The Albanian government is planning to officially recognize the language of minorities in the municipalities where they make up at least 20% of the total population.
The proposal, which arrived by the interior minister and which will be discussed soon in parliament, provides for ethnic minorities the right to use their language at local administrative level in each municipality where the minorities themselves make up at least 20% of the total population.
According to the draft of the Ministry of the Interior published by Shqiptarja.com, minorities in these municipalities will have the right to directions and road signs in their language, as well as for the toponymy of squares, streets and neighborhoods.
The legislative draft
The new legislative draft is now being examined by the parliamentary committee and should enter into force by the end of 2020:
"In local administrative units, persons belonging to a national minority who make up at least 20% of the total population create the conditions for using the language of the minority in question. " - reads the draft proposed by the Ministry of the Interior, which also defines the cases in which bilingualism will be provided:
"[...] During the process of informing minority rights, in everything that concerns the local government, during consultancy sessions with the community before examining and approving official documents, in submitting requests or complaints to local government bodies, in presenting initiatives services addressed to the city council through authorized representatives and […] in road signs and in the names of streets, squares and administrative areas. "
Albania currently recognizes several minorities, including the Greek, the Montenegrin, the Arumena and - the most recent - the Bulgarian one.
A year ago the issue of bilingualism led Albania and Greece to a diplomatic conflict. In the district of Saranda where the Greek minority is most present, in fact, in May 2019 were introduced numerous road signs only in Greek or where the Albanian language appeared as a secondary language. Removed by the Albanian road authority, the signs were revised and put back in accordance with Albanian law after the hard reaction arrived from Greece.
Follow Albania News on Google News