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Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 

Gov't: Language law beneficial for all citizens and Macedonia itself

Gov

Skopje, 17 January 2018 (MIA) - The government of Macedonia has expressed regret over President Gjorge Ivanov's decision to veto the Law on the Use of Languages.

"On this occasion, we want once again to note that all provisions in the Law on the Use of Languages are in compliance with the 5th Amendment of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia. The law advances the use of the languages of all minorities in the Republic of Macedonia. The motive behind the adoption of this law is our care of all the citizens in the Republic of Macedonia, in which we are building a society equal for all. It is a concept in which this administration truly believes and which we keep on improving," the government says Wednesday in a statement.

The law, it reads, will extend the use of the official language spoken by at least 20% of the citizens, i.e. the law extends the use of languages in the institutions and allows the citizens to communicate with state institutions in their mother tongue.

The government, it says, has committed itself to policies establishing Macedonia as a civil country of all those who live in it: Macedonians, Albanians, Turks, Serbs, Vlachs, Romas, Bosniaks and all other communities. Linguistic policies will be adapted according to the needs of the citizens of all ethnic communities.

"Most notably, the law fully guarantees the proper use of Macedonian and the languages declared official in certain local self-government units - Turkish, Roma, Serbian, Vlach and Bosniak," the government's statement reads adding the law allows all citizens to exercise their constitutional rights more easily and more efficiently.

It says the law was passed in Parliament in line with all procedures. "The opposition was given every opportunity to improve the law by filing amendments. The opposition on its own had decided not to take part in the political process of enacting the Law on the Use of Languages."

The government is categorical that the language law doesn't put into question the unitary character of Macedonia or the use of Macedonian and its Cyrillic alphabet. "Macedonian language and its Cyrillic alphabet remain the single official language and alphabet across the territory of the Republic of Macedonia and in its international relations, defense, police forces and monetary politics," the statement reads.

The law will be sent to the Venice Commission to be reviewed and its remarks will be included in the bill. "It guarantees that the law envisages nothing that is against the European standards on the use of languages of ethnic communities. If the citizens enjoy the right to speak in their mother tongue, the other citizens lose nothing, it is Macedonia that gains everything, as a civil and democratic country," reads the statement of the government. ba/20:02

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