April 9, 2017
Who Speaks the Language of Moliere?
In the history of France, politics and language have often been intertwined. In the past few months, the political use of language has been shown in a new form. A number of French regions, including Paris, have passed rules obliging workers on publicly funded building sites to speak French as their working language. These regions are run by the conservative party, Les Republicans, the party of Francois Fillon, one of the leading candidates in the presidential election. The rule, the Moliere clause, is ostensibly based on language, but in reality it is a political tactic, a call to remove foreign workers and replace them with French workers. Politically, it is an appeal by the Republicans to pander to voters who might be thinking of voting for the rival Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front. The two rivals and other candidates are in the midst of coping with the problems of French identity, national sovereignty, political and economic relations with the European Union and...(Read Full Article)