Half of Lithuanian Parliament Members do not fear ‘q’, ‘w’ and ‘x’

The project solves the problem of spelling surnames of mixed families, but not polish minority photo ELTA

Half of deputies of the Seimas support the bill, which allows to write names and surnames with latin letters that do not exist in the lithuanian alphabet.

-This suggestion does not solve the problems of national minorities in Lithuania, but it is some kind of step taken forward. It shows that the European standards slowly approach Lithuania – says Rita Tamašunienė, starost of parliamentary group Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania.

The bill of conservatives gives possibility to write names and surnames using latin alphabet with letters like ‘q’, ‘w’ and ‘x’. According to the amendment ‘name and surname can be written in an original way, if it is written this way in the source documents. These documents prove that the person or his/her ancestors had citizenship of other country or the person married a foreigner and got his surname’. The bill has been signed by over 70 deputies, as well as leader of the party – Gabrielius Landsbergis, the prime minister – Saulius Skvernelis, members of conservative faction, agrarian party, liberals and social democrats.

– Many people turn to us, who married a foreigner and their surnames contain latin letters, which do not exist in lithuanian alphabet. They have many problems when it comes to using lithuanian letters. They have to prove their identity, marriage or other relationships. Such legal problems should be solved as fast as possibile – said Gabrielius Landsbergis.

Surname spelling with lithuanian alphabet in ID and passport is in force in Lithuania since 1991. During last few years lithuanian courts have issued many positive decissions in spelling non-lithuanian surnames using latin alphabet. European Foundation of Human Rights has been fighting for the original spelling of name and surname in Lithuanian documents.

– The project that we are talking about, solves the problem of spelling. If it enters into force, also others who married a foreigner and have been refused to have their names spelled originally, will not have to go to the court in the future. It is different in the case of national minorities. They are not being mentioned in the project.

– When the act (that allows to spell the names originally) enters into force, the possibility of winning these cases in courts would be higher – says EFHR lawyer, Ewelina Baliko. Regulative law is being courted also by Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania.

– Bill mentioning only three letters does not cover our demands. Diacritical marks still cannot be used. Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania aims to able original spelling without any exceptions – says Rita Tamašunienė.

– The Seimas fraction Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania chairman highlights, that although the project is not responding to the needs of Polish minority it would ease life of many families.

– I would vote for such project, even though it is not responding to our demands. I would support it, so that Lithuanian citizens who get married to foreign men could write their surnames in an original version – says Tamašunienė.

Source: http://kurierwilenski.lt/2017/04/07/polowa-poslow-litewskich-nie-boi-sie-q-w-i-x/

Tłumaczenie by Agnieszka Piontek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Agnieszka Piontek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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