English on Algerian banknote prompts French anger

A banknote issued by the Central Bank of Algeria has caused a stir in the French media and angered politicians in France.

The 2,000 dinar banknote ($14, £12) was issued to commemorate the Arab League Summit held in Algeria on 1 and 2 November.

But the problem for the French is that it features the amount written in Arabic and English.

This all comes amid concern that English is being preferred over French.

In July Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced that the former French colony would start teaching English in addition to French in primary schools.

Although French has not been on Algerian banknotes since 1964, the use of English was seen by many French politicians and commentators as a “disregard” of their language.

French opposition leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon blamed France’s President Emmanuel Macron for the “omission” of French from the banknote.

He tweeted: “It is an Algerian banknote. The common language is no more there. Sad. Macron… [has] failed in everything everywhere.”

Commentators on radio and TV programmes described the move as a political message from the Algerian authorities.

Algeria gained independence from France in 1962 after 132 years of French colonisation.

BBC Africa

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