Tuesday, 21 November 2017 | News today: 4

MPs to discuss Law on Use of Languages

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The Parliament is set to resume Monday its session on the Law on Use of Languages, after the debate was interrupted because of the campaign for the October local elections.

During the debate, opposition MPs said the law is unconstitutional and violates procedures while discriminating smaller ethnic communities. On the other hand, the ruling majority said the law does not disrupt the country’s unitary character and will contribute to better coexistence.

The law stipulates that all state institutions, public enterprises, agencies, directorates, organizations, commissions, legal entities with public jurisdiction use the language spoken by 20 percent of Macedonian citizens (Albanian language) besides the Macedonian language.

This will enable citizens to use the language in judicial, administrative and investigative procedures.

The law also regulates the language use by elected or appointed officials with head offices in Skopje or municipalities where at least 20 percent of citizens speak a language other than the Macedonian.

In Parliament and Government, an MP or an elected or appointed official using a language other than the Macedonian, spoken by at least 20 percent of Macedonian citizens, can chair a session in that language.

Moreover, websites of institutions will be managed in Macedonian language and the language spoken by at least 20 percent of Macedonian citizens, whereas titles of institutions will also be written in both languages.

Names of streets, squares, bridges and other infrastructure facilities in municipalities where at least 20 percent of citizens speak a language other than the Macedonian, as well as the City of Skopje, will be multilingual.

The law’s implementation will be carried out by an Agency for the Use of the Language, accompanied by an Inspectorate for the Use of Languages within the Ministry of Justice.