Fwd: RFE/RL: Deputies in Estonian City Seek Equal Status for Russian Language


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Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001 09:55:08 +0300 (EEST)
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Subject: Fwd: RFE/RL: Deputies in Estonian City Seek Equal Status for Russian Language

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Petra Kovacs <multiethnic-owner@yahoogroups.com>

Fwd: RFE/RL: Deputies in Estonian City Seek Equal Status for
Russian Language


RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 5, No. 151, Part II, 10 August 2001
DEPUTIES IN ESTONIAN CITY SEEK EQUAL STATUS FOR RUSSIAN LANGUAGE. Four
deputies on the Narva City Council have made a proposal to permit the
use of the Russian language in the city as an official language of
public administration, BNS reported on 9 August. Noting that 86
percent of Narva's population speak Russian as their native language,
they cite Article 52 of the constitution, which states that in
localities where the language of the majority of the residents is not
Estonian, local governments may use the language of the majority of
the permanent residents as an internal working language. Population
Minister Katrin Saks, however, commented that she had not heard of any
problems related to speaking Russian in Narva, but had personally
experienced difficulty in being understood in Estonian there.
Therefore, she said, the Estonian government must first ensure the
fulfillment of the language law requirement that officials be fluent
in Estonian at the required level before it can approve the Narva
proposal. The Narva City Council chairman sent a proposal similar to
that of the four deputies to the Estonian government in 1995, but
never received a response. SG
 
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