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24.05.2012

European support for Aragonese language rights

Representatives of Chunta Aragonesista (Cha) have been at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to campaign for Aragonese language rights.

The Parliament's Minority Languages Intergroup heard that Aragonese authorities are failing to adhere to Spain's international treaty obligations in respect of minority languages, and in this case Aragonese and Catalan.

The group decided to write a letter to the Aragonese and Spanish authorities highlighting their concerns at the current situation in Aragon in respect of the Aragonese language. They also discussed raising the matter with the European Commission.

The intergroup is co-chaired by Corsican MEP François Alfonsi and Hungarian MEP Csaba Tabajdi.

The 2009 law approved by the Aragonese parliament provided for:

- Precise definition of linguistic territories
- Setting up of Aragonese academies
- Teaching in schools as a curricular subject (now they are taught in a limited number of schools once the academic activities are over)
- Social dignification and cultural promotion
- Use to communicate with public administrations
- Promotion and use by the media and in social and economic life
- Promotion of civil society initiatives

In his presentation to the Intergroup, Cha party Leader José Luis Soro said:

"It's extremely serious that the Aragonese government is allowing the Aragonese language to die. And much worse if you think that it does it by infringing the European Charter, the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon and the Law of Languages of Aragon. That's why we call for European action to try to oblige the Aragonese government to uphold its legal commitments.

"I am grateful to the intergroup for this opportunity to highlight the serious situation faced by the Aragonese language. I am also very encouraged by the support we have received here today."

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