ESTONIAN PRESIDENT SAYS LANGUAGE LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT SAYS LANGUAGE LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL<­

TALLINN, ESTONIA (AP) _ PRESIDENT LENNART MERI HAS GONE TO COURT TO PROTEST ASPECTS OF THE NEW LANGUAGE LAW THAT HE BELIEVES ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL, THE BALTIC NEWS SERVICE REPORTED FRIDAY.
IN NOVEMBER, THE PARLIAMENT APPROVED AMENDMENTS TO THE LANGUAGE LAW THAT ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT TO ASSESS THE LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY OF PARLIAMENT MEMBERS AND MEMBERS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS.
“THIS IS IN DISAGREEMENT WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLE OF SEPARATION AND BALANCE OF POWERS,” MERI SAID, ACCORDING TO BNS.
LANGUAGE IS ONE OF THE BALTIC COUNTRY’S MOST CONTENTIOUS ISSUES. NEARLY A THIRD OF ITS 1.5 MILLION PEOPLE ARE ETHNIC RUSSIANS, WHO RESIST BEING PRESSURED TO LEARN ESTONIAN.
ESTONIAN IS REGARDED AS AN ESPECIALLY DIFFICULT LANGUAGES, WITH A COMPLEX GRAMMATICAL SYSTEM AND ALMOST NO WORDS IN COMMON WITH ANY OTHER LANGUAGE EXCEPT FINNISH.
02 JAN 98

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