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As a native speaker of English...
... I must vote NO!|
While I do support a second language as a requirement, I totally disagree with the government cramming English down everyone's throats.
Right now in Nanjing, Polish translators are earning five times the salary of English translators. In Hefei, French earns 1.1 times the English salary, plus many more jobs are available. French speakers might be teahcing it in university in the daytime, doing translation work in the evenings and on weekends, and then going to france every summer to guide a Chinese tour group. I knew of one university professor who had to start turning offers down so she could spend some time with her family. Many fluent English speakers in Hefei forget their English once they leave university since companies have already hired the English speaking staff they need. China Radio Internaitonal is always short of Esperanto, Swahili and other staff; they must even go to the universities, recruit and train the students themselves in the needed languages! Another businessman friend of mine from Hefei, when travelling abroad for business, uses English for hotels, restaurants, trains, airplanes, etc. But when it comes to negotiating and signing contracts, ALWAYS in Esperanto since he and his partners know that language better (it's a much easier language overall), not to mention that it's a more technically grammatically precice language too, thus avoinding future legal problems as a result of bad English communication. Anotehr company in Hefei had to spend THREE months advertising ALL OVER CHINA to find a Spanish interpreter for their company which dealt with South America. One Chinese university and its Polish counterpart also have an Esperanto exchange since it's easier for both sides to learn Esperanto than it is to elarn English. A university in Buenos Aires, Argentina, had a hard time for awhile (maybe still does, I don't know) looking for Chinese teachers who knew Spanish since so many students wanted to elarn Chinese but didn't knwo English. The UN often has a shortage of Chinese-Arabic interpreters. And the list of examples goes on and on and on and on!
Perhaps the following official decree from the Italian Ministry of Public Instruction might shed some light on the problem.