By Z. Lamenhof
Tuesday, April 1, 2003
Romano Prodi, the President of the European Commission, announced today that from January 1st 2004, Latin would become the sole official language within the European Parliament and other EU institutions. Prodi told reporters that the translation budget already accounts for over half the total budget for the European Parliament and that the budget would increase exponentially with the imminent expansion of the EU. The only sensible solution to this problem, according to Prodi, would be to adopt a single language for use in the European Parliament and other EU institutions.
When asked why Latin, Prodi remarked that many of the languages of Europe are either direct descendants of Latin or have borrowed a lot of vocabulary from Latin thus making Latin the logical choice. He also said that no member country would enjoy a linguistic advantage over the others. He also mentioned that knowledge of Latin would give people direct access to a huge range of literature and help them to think logically.
Intensive Latin tuition will be provided for all EU staff, Members of the European Parliament, journalists and politicians from all member countries. The cost of this will be approximately the same as the translation and interpretation budget for six months.
A spokesperson for the Association of Classics Teachers (ACT) expressed her astonishment and delight at the news. She said that the ACT has been campaigning for re-adoption of Latin as Europe's lingua franca since 1834. "We never expected to be taken seriously so this decision came as a complete surprise", she told reporters.
British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, commented that it was about time the translation and interpretation issue was sorted out once and for all and that he wholeheartedly supported Prodi's bold move to adopt a single language for EU institutions. Blair disagreed with the choice of Latin stating that English already functions as a lingua franca within the EU and throughout the world, and would therefore be a much better candidate.
Lionel Jospin, the French Prime Minister, expressed his support for the plan and confirmed that he would be lobbying for French to become the official language of EU institutions. He told reporters that it was time that French was restored to its role as the international language of diplomacy.
Note: This article is a spoof intended for your amusement. As far as I'm aware, none of the people mentioned have expressed these particular views and some of the organisations featured are figments of the author's imagination.
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