Only liberals are for the original spelling of surnames and bilingual street signs


During the last Sunday electoral discussion, the Liberal Movement (Liberalų sąjūdis), as the only political power in Lithuania (except AWPL [Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania; Polish: Akcja Wyborcza Polaków na Litwie]), gave its support for the statutory introduction of the original spelling of surnames in official documents and bilingual street signs. 

“The law which allows fixing bilingual street signs and the original spelling of surnames in official documents has to be accepted as soon as possible. The liberals have always been for this and not only because of the Polish minority’s demands but also, because the surname is a private property of every person, neither the country nor the government has the right to change it.”claimed Eligijus Masiulis, the leader of the Liberal Movement.

Andrius Kubilius said that his Cabinet had prepared a suitable draft of the law allowing the original spelling but the the Parliament rejected it. “Since 20 years only our government have prepared the project which would solve the problem of surnames. Unfortunately, only one member of the Labour Party (Darbo partija) and one social democrat voted for our project. We have to reach a consensus on this issue. We can’t forget about the decision of the Constitutional Court. We have to carefully consider it and find the right solution” pointed out Kubilius.

Algirdas Butkevičius, a leader of social democrats, blames the current right-wing coalition for the deterioration in the relationship with Poland. According to the social democrat, the government have not yet appointed a special Polish-Lithuanian group which would deal with the current problems.

The Labour Party does not see any problem. “This problem is greatly exaggerated, and in reality it isn’t a big problem (…). As far as the names of the streets and other things are concerned, we live in Lithuania and Lithuanian is our language. In our country, there is a similar number of Russian people who could stress the same problems. I think that such a problem doesn’t really exist, we have to live in peace because we live in Lithuania” said Vydas Gedvilas, a representative of the Labour Party.

According to Valentinas Mazuronis, a vice-leader of the party “Order and Justice”(“Tvarka ir teisingumas”), the problems connected with the Polish minority in Lithuania are the internal problems of Lithuania and they do not have to be solved at the international level. In the politician’s opinion, the solution has to be found through the discussion with the Polish minority, not the government in Warsaw. 


Tłumaczenie Karolina Rolka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, Translated by Karolina Rolka within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights,

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