“The act of removing the sign with Polish name of the Warszawska Street is at least an infraction of the administrative law, but we should assess that incident in a broader context. Such violations, crimes made with envy are quite frequent. Recently, other signs were removed too; it happens also, that gravestones with Polish writing on cemeteries are being devastated. There is a camera installed next to the Józef Piłsudski’s Mausoleum in order to prevent from repeating acts of political vandalism.”- says the Vice Mayor of Vilnius social democrat Gintautas Paluckas.
“I don’t know if we can look for the influence of foreign special forces in this case, but the fact is that such incidents are not contributing to our normal coexistence, because the nationalists who want this problem to escalate are present on the both sides.”- states Gintautas Paluckas.
Asked whether there should be bilingual signs present in Vilinius not only as a decoration, but also official ones, Paluckas said:
“Vilinius is a multinational city- it always has been and I hope it will stay like that. Every national communities should be able to find their place here, for the city to develop and achieve success. However, the legal basis is a different thing, Parliament in no way can come to an agreement not only in the case of the bilingual signs but also if it comes to spelling of surnames. Promises and political will were often raised, also by social democrats, but they did not manage to realise them because of lack of support from coalition partners. I hope that in the Parliament of this cadence something will move forward, however, looking at the members of this Parliament, I would say that our hopes should be limited.”
As Paluckas, who was one of the negotiators of the Social Democratic Party during the discussions with Lithuanian Union of Farmers and the Green, on the topic of spelling surnames informed us, they did not manage to come to an agreement with the future coalition partners. Next to other issues, so called “World-view” ones, the spelling of surnames has been implied into the appendix of the coalition agreement as a case, in which members of the alliance will not be looking for the compromise and if there was voting in the Parliament, they will be representing separate positions.
In the conversation with Gintuatas Paluckas- about being a candidate for the chairman of Social Democratic Party, durability of the future ruling coalition and relations with Poland.
Tłumaczenie by Agnieszka Bladowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Agnieszka Bladowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.