A member of the Frisian national party – Fryske Nasjonale Partij – has caused shockwaves by suggesting the party drop its Frisian-only language rule, the Leeuwarder Courant says on Thursday.
The FNP currently only communicates in Frisian but Friesland provincial councillor Johannes Kramer told the paper that Dutch should also be considered acceptable.
‘People should stop looking strangely at an FNP member who talks Dutch,’ he said. ‘Dutch is also part of Friesland but has been a blind spot.’
‘As a party we want to win over people in Dutch language areas,’ he told the Volkskrant later in an interview. ‘And there are a lot of voters who tell us they like our ideas but that they can’t read Frisian.’
Kramer and two other party stalwarts have now drawn up a position paper calling for change which will be discussed by the membership later in the year. The paper is entitled ‘From party of language to party of action’.
Frisian is the native tongue of around half the 350,000 people who live in the province of Friesland.
The FNP was founded in 1962 to promote the Frisian language, culture and sports. The party has five members on the 43-strong provincial council
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