On Tuesday, December 11, 2012, after the first reading, the Seimas accepted the project of the governmental policy which included the fundamental proposals of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania [Polish: Akcja Wyborcza Polaków na Litwie; AWPL]. After the second reading and voting – at the moment of release of this issue – the policy has been probably accepted and will become a guideline for the activity of particular ministries.
The leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and member of the European Parliament, Waldemar Tomaszewski, was satisfied that after difficult and long negotiations, the fundamental proposals of the party were included in the governmental policy.
“We started the coalition negotiations not with appointing ministers nor personal arrangements but with policy negotiations.” stressed the leader of AWPL. He said that he as well as Rita Tamašuniene, the leader of the parliamentary faction of AWPL, and Jarosław Kamiński, the chairman of the party supervisory board, worked in the group for forming the governmental policy. Moreover, Jarosław Narkiewicz participated in the discussion concerning the educational issues.
According to Tomaszewski, it is a great success that the governmental policy includes the decision to increase the subsidy for building and repairing of regional roads from 20% to 30%, which means it was increased by half. A significant success is also the inclusion of AWPL’s proposals concerning the heat economy, namely the introduction of the alternative energy sources, including biofuels which may lower the costs, help manage the large area of unused land and create new working places. The policy includes also a proposal concerning the introduction of competitiveness and elimination of monopolies of certain companies on the heat energy that can be observed in several big cities. The government is obliged also to bring to an end the land return process to legitimate owners.
The problems of the national minorities will be solved as well. The first sign of it will be the acceptance of the Law on national minorities which will solve all problems concerning the bilingual street signs, use of native language, and original spelling of surnames. We are looking forward to changes in the Law on Education which will be modified in accordance with the expectations of national minorities and school communities.
“We thought that the minimum wage should have increased to 1200 LTL. However, the coalition members reached a compromise and form January 1, 2013, it will amount to 1000 LTL.” said the leader of AWPL.
During the Tuesday discussion about the governmental policy in the Seimas, Rita Tamašuniene asked the Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius when the government planned to increase the subsidy for the regional roads. She received a very concrete answer that the issue was extremely important, the proposal was very good and up-to-date, and the government was going to deal with it immediately after the acceptance of the governmental policy.
Another member of the parliament, Wanda Krawczonok, asked when the government planned to finish the land return process and whether it would be finished justly. The Prime Minister answered that it could have been finished earlier but it had been stopped by the changes in the Law on returning the land to the legitimate owners accepted by the previous government. The Prime Minister promised that the process would be finished before the end of the term of the current government.
The inclusion of AWPL’s proposals in the governmental policy is the first significant success but now the politicians have to make sure that the next important document – the plan of the governmental activity – will include concrete deadlines of their execution.
Tłumaczenie Karolina Rolka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Rolka the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.