- November 24, 2011
Another punishment for Polish language
The First Vilnius District Court has punished the director of Vilnius Region Local Governments’ Administration – Lucyna Kotłowska with 500 litas fine for not removing the boards with Polish street names, which was previously demanded by the court.
According to BNS agency, the decision to remove the street boards with Polish names in the Vilnius Region was made already in August 2011, but the authorities of the region did not make any decisions about this matter. It is not the first time when the subject of Polish street name boards in the Vilnius Region is being discussed. The local governments of the Vilnius and Soleczniki (Šalčininkai) Regions were punished many times for not following the recommendations of the Lithuanian Inspection of the National Language.
Previously the director of Vilnius Region Local Governments’ Administration Lucyna Kotłowska has emphasized many times that the local government is not planning to remove the boards with Polish names.
‘Indeed, according to the national language act there should be street boards in the Lithuanian language, and there are, but next to them there are boards with the names in the Polish language. Our citizens need these boards and it doesn’t bother anyone.’ said Kotłowska in one of the interviews for the Delfi portal. By saying that she also implied that the local governments are the citizens representation, so they are following their will.
Public opinion poll conducted in 2002 has shown that more than half of the citizens of the Vilnius Region considers the existence of the Polish boards to be justified. According to the respondents, the Polish names make it easier to reach the appropriate administration officer. The Administration of the Vilnius Region was given one week to appeal against the decision of the district court to the higher court.
Tłumaczenie Katarzyna Słowik w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Katarzyna Słowik within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu