French irked by EU use of English

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 18:24 EDT
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Jean Quatremer via AFP
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BRUSSELS — The Brussels-based French-language press corps reacted with fury Wednesday to the release in English of the EU’s annual report cards on the bloc’s 27 economies.

In an angry open e-mail to the European Commission, the correspondent for the daily Liberation newspaper Jean Quatremer said — in French: “Once again, all the documents published today are available only in English. This is unacceptable.”

The Commission released 1,500 pages of hotly-awaited reports on the state of the bloc’s economies along with proposals to redress public finances as Europe fights the debt crisis threatening some of its biggest economies.

“I can’t see why the Anglo-Saxon media should benefit from such an unbelievable competitive edge on the remainder of the other media and I can’t see any practical reason for the Commission’s incapacity to do this work.”

“The right to be informed in one’s own language about the social and budgetary sacrifices demanded by the EU executive is a minimum right,” he added.

His protest was backed by most of his French colleagues.

A spokesperson for the Commission told AFP that “the translations are coming.”

The correspondent for English-language magazine The Economist agreed with French colleagues.

“More insulting than telling France to reform,” the correspondent wrote on the Twitter account @econCharlemagne, referring to the Commission’s growing powers to give orders on economic reforms to national governments.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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