Zapatero in talks with Irish premier on languages

28th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 April 2005, MADRID-Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was to hold talks with his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern about the European Union.

28 April 2005

MADRID-Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was to hold talks with his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern about the European Union.

The topics will include future EU funding, progress on ratification of the EU constitution and the status of minority languages, such as Gaelic and regional Spanish languages within the union, a spokesman said.

Ahern will also raise the issue of United Nations amid the appointment by Secretary General Kofi Annan of Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern as one of five special envoys to promote UN reform proposals.

In February, Spain voted by 77 percent in favour of the new European constitution and Ahern will brief Zapatero on preparations for Ireland's referendum. No date has been fixed for the Irish vote.

A government statement said the two leaders would also discuss financing of the EU in 2007-2013.

"The Luxembourg EU Presidency has indicated that it intends to press for an agreement on these future Financial Perspectives at the European Council in June 2005," a spokesman said.

"The Financial Perspectives cover such issues as structural and cohesion funding and research and development funding.

"The negotiations also cover the Union's revenues and the issue of the British budgetary rebate."

Ahern will also raise Ireland's application to the EU to have Gaelic made an official and working language. Currently Gaelic only has the status of a treaty language.

Pressure to gain greater EU recognition for Gaelic mounted last year when Ireland held the revolving six month presidency of the EU during the accession of 10 new countries.
Ahern recently told Irish MPs Zapatero was "fighting a separate battle that feeds into our issue, namely, that of regional Spanish languages gaining recognition".

While in Madrid, Ahern will lay a wreath at the memorial in Retiro Park to the victims of last year's terrorist bomb attacks in the city.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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