- December 21, 2012
Linkevičius: in the last names case, we have to do what we promised Poland
The new Minister of the Foreign Affairs in Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, said that Lithuania is to do what it promised Poland, in the case of the original spelling of last names.
“We have to behave in a European way. When two people meet, a young one and an older one, which one should say ‘Good morning’ first? The one who is more polite. Maybe it is not worth to look at it in such a simplified way, but we have to do what out previous governments have promised.”- said Linas Linkevičius in an interview for “15 minutes”.
In 1944 Lithuania and Poland signed a Treaty of Friendship and good neighbourly cooperation. In the Treaty, both, Lithuania and Poland agreed to allow the national minorities to use their names and last names with original spelling in official documents. Inner laws of the countries had to regulate this matter. “We have to do it in such a way that will not violate the Constitution. There are such possibilities.”- said the head of Lithuanian diplomacy.
In the Minister’s opinion, topographic names written in the language of a minority will not do any harm to the Lithuanian language. “I am sure we will not harm our own language. I am talking about a European and good neighbourly approach. We have to go this way. I believe that if we do it, it will be a great victory.”- said Linkevičius.
In 2010 the Lithuanian Parliament rejected a bill allowing for the last names to be written originally, using Latin alphabet. Local Poles and politicians in Warsaw had demanded such a law for longer time. The project was rejected a few days before the plane crash in Smolensk.
Tłumaczenie Emilia Zawieracz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Emilia Zawieracz the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.