- December 21, 2012
Lithuania / Foreign Minister for the original spelling of Polish names in the documents
Lithuania should allow the original spelling of Polish names in Lithuanian documents, said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Lineviczius in an interview with the weekly ’15min’ released on Friday.
‘We should behave in a European way and keep the promise made by the former leaders’, stated the minister.
In 1994, the then Polish and Lithuanian presidents, Lech Wałęsa and Algirdas Brazauskas, signed the Treaty on Friendly Relations and Good-Neighborly Cooperation in which both parties committed themselves to allow Poles in Lithuania and Lithuanians in Poland to use their first and last names written in accordance with the original spelling.
The Treaty also assumed that spelling rules relating to names will be laid down in a separate agreement. The agreement, however, hasn’t been adopted so far. The Lithuanian side argues that the spelling of Polish names with the use of Polish diacritic marks is inconsistent with the Lithuanian constitution.
‘We need to do this without violating the constitution – there are such possibilities’, said the head of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the ’15min’.
According to Linkeviczius Lithuania should also permit bilingual names of streets and places in areas where national minority lives in dense groups, for example in the Vilnius region, where Poles constitute the majority of the population.
‘I am convinced it won’t inflict any harm on our language”, said Linkeviczius noting that ‘the matter should be treated in a European and neighborly way.’
The program of the center-left government which began to work a week ago is expected to resolve the specific problems faced by the Polish minority in Lithuania. The program envisages, among other things, the legalization of bilingual street names and the original spelling of Polish names in the documents as well as the analysis of certain assumptions concerning the education law criticized by Poles.
Algirdas Butkeviczius’ center-left government, comprising the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, the Labour Party, Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and the Order and Justice grouping, took over the reins of government from the conservatives and liberals under the leadership of Andrius Kubilius who lost the October elections.
Tłumaczenie Milena Jajkowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Milena Jajkowska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.