Catalan MEP and President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament, Josep-Maria Terricabras has paid tribute to Aquitaine regional councillor David Grosclaude.
M. Grosclaude, of Partit Occitan, is on hunger strike in protest at the lack of official support for the Occitan language, and notably the failure to establish an Office for the Occitan language, as agreed last year.
Josep-Maria Terricabras called upon the French authorities to act urgently to enable the creation of an Office for the Occitan language. This has already been agreed at local level but is being held up by the French government.
Josep-Maria Terricabras said:
"I pay tribute to the courage of David Grosclaude in taking this brave and principled action in defence of the Occitan language.
"I strongly urge the French government to respond positively and urgently to this situation and live up to their responsibilities.
"Europe's rich linguistic diversity is one of its greatest strengths and the regional languages of France are an important part of this.
"I very much hope that a positive outcome can urgently be achieved."