La Langue des Affaires

Friday, March 24, 2006

La Langue des Affaires

Reuters reports:
French President Jacques Chirac walked out of a European Union summit briefly on Thursday when the French head of the EU’s industry lobby addressed leaders of the bloc in English.

A French official said Chirac, Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy and Finance Minister Thierry Breton left the room when Ernest-Antoine Seilliere, head of the UNICE business lobby, switched from French to English at a summit session with the EU’s so-called social partners — employers and unions.

“Representing 20 million companies in 39 organizations in 33 countries, I will speak English, the language of business,” the former head of the French employers’ organization said.

... English, French and German are the working languages of the 25-nation bloc, which has no single official language.

... Nicolas Schmit, secretary of state for European affairs of Luxembourg, said ... “With all the love I have for the French language, I think there are other problems, notably in France” ...
By "other problems," I suspect he means this.

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