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Chirac Leave EU Summit Because Frenchman Speaks English


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Waaah! Waaah! :cry:

Chirac ‘shocked’ by use of English at summit

Upset French leader bolts EU meeting after Frenchman switches languages

Reuters - Updated: 9:35 a.m. ET March 24, 2006

BRUSSELS, Belgium - President Jacques Chirac said on Friday he had been so shocked to hear a fellow Frenchman speak English at a European Union summit the previous day that he had felt compelled to leave the room.

“I have to say I was profoundly shocked to see a Frenchman express himself in English at the (EU) Council table. That’s why the French delegation and myself walked out rather than listen to that,” Chirac told reporters.

Chirac said France had fought for a long time to ensure that French was spoken and used within multinational institutions, from the European Union and United Nations to the Olympic Games.

“It is not just national interest, it is in the interest of culture and the dialogue of cultures. You cannot build the world of the future on just one language and, hence one culture.”

French once dominated the EU, but English has overtaken it since the bloc expanded to take in Nordic countries in the 1990s and east European members in 2004.

Chirac, flanked by his foreign and finance ministers, quit the summit chamber on Thursday when Ernest-Antoine Seilliere, head of a European business lobby, switched from French to English during a speech to EU leaders.

Chirac missed Seilliere urging leaders to “resist national protectionism in order to avoid a negative domino effect” in the EU’s internal market, a veiled criticism of France and others who have tried to block cross-border takeovers.

English, French and German are the working languages of the 25-nation bloc, which has no single official language. All 20 languages of the member states are used at summits, ministerial meetings and in the European Parliament.

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Once there was a NATO meeting in France. There were high ranking military generals from England, France, Germany Australia and America. In a group of generals, the French ambassador heard everyone speaking in English and whined, "Why must we always speak English at these meetings? Why can't we speak French like civilized people?"

An American general stepped up and said without missing a beat, "Perhaps it's because the Brits, the Aussies and we Americans arrainged it so you don't have to speak German"

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Why is France even relevant?

Honest question. Why do we care? Besides Michelin tires, what exactly do the French do?

French Onion Soup? French Dressing? :jerk:

I cannot think of one contribution that the French make to progress or to the international community. Somebody help me.

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