- January 11, 2013
Press review: About Cinderella and two ministers of energy
About Poles either good or nothing. One could think that such a maxim has been recently followed by Lithuanian journalists. There are not so many articles with Polish episodes in the background and if they are, they are so sweet that even the most ardent supporter of AWPL would not be ashamed of.
The year began with a dancing accent thanks to Katarzyna Niemyćko who in the last days of December 2012 won a dancing show “I’m inviting you to dance. Awaken passion”. The winner, immediately hailed “the queen of dancing in Lithuania”, smiled reading news on portals, in newspapers on the pages devoted to entertainment, ecstatic gave interviews for colourful weeklies.
“A few years ago she was known only to the inhabitants of the Vilnius district municipality – the singer Katarzyna Niemyćko was a frequent guest on the wedding parties. Now her face is all the time on portals and covers of magazines and from now on she can be called not only a singer but also the queen of dancing” – it was summed up on the entertainment portal klubas.It. A real story of Cinderella who won golden shoes.
At present Katarzyna is a favourite of Lithuanian nation. In a dancing show almost 178,000 viewers voted on her. It is the best to win Lithuanians through their hearts with the song on the lips, additionally pirouetting. Ewelina Saszenko’s success from two years ago is the best example.
Niemyćko’s incontestable merits for Polishness are also included in popularizing the name Katarzyna, so far placed in the category of difficult to pronounce (the signed below knows something about it, very often called by Lithuanians as Bagužatą, Melžetą lub Malgužą). One may joke but Katarzyna Niemyćko will arouse the media’s interest for a long time because very soon she is going to take part in another TV show “Duets of Stars”.
As far as names are concerned, the European Foundation of Human Rights has recently proved that not only names as Katarzyna or Małgorzata in their original spelling are legal in Lithuania. The names as Matthew or Ewa ( and not for instance Mefju, Eva) can officially function here and additionally a lot of other letters and sets of letters untypical for the Lithuanian language are accepted. At the request of the Foundation the Office of Population Records at the Ministry of Home Affairs (Gyventojų registro tarnyba prie LR VRM) confirmed it by an official document.
The activity of EFHR on another field was seen by the Lithuanian media. “Commentators inciting to hatred more and more frequently wait the attention of law and order institutions” – Delfi.It wrote. In the statement of Klaipėda’s prosecutor Simonas Genys the foundation was awarded by a honourable place. The prosecutor frankly emphasizes that thanks to the activity of EFHR the number of investigations on punishable Internet comments rose significantly in 2012.
“As many as 28 litigation proceedings (out of 39 – editorial note) on incitement to hatred due to nationality were initiated at the requests of the organization. In the requests of EFHR there are given addresses of various Internet portals and the articles published on them are connected in different ways with Polish and Lithuanian relations” – said S. Genys.
These relations can be different, commercial, among other things, as Aistė Labinaitė from “Vakaro žinios” points out. In her column, or rather in her sermon “It is not important whether Polish bread is tasty as long as it is cheaper” the author reproaches Lithuanians for going shoping to Poland instead of raising Lithuanian GDP.
“More and more frequently the opinions are heard that Poland has become a paradise for our compatriots. Almost every second Lithuanian would like the Polish goods to be transferred to our country. Indeed, food is much cheaper there, so as clothing and appliances, in other words, it is a country of permanent discounts” – A. Labėnaitė is ironic.
“Like in a vicious circle in our country one of the deadly sins manifests itself: greed. The authority imposes enormous taxes, tradesmen set cosmic prices, so poor consumers quietly go to the neighbours. (…) Should a Lithuanian pay his unfair share for expensive Lithuanian bread for the sake of the country? What is the most important for Poland to live” – we read in “Vakaro žinios”.
The newly-appointed under-secretary of education Edita Tamošiūnaitė was accused of unjustified liking for Polishness, as a matter of fact, only the local one. The newspaper “15 min” described her parting with the position of the deputy director of administration of Vilnius. During the meeting of the city council political opponents from the conservative party resented AWPL’s representative the violation of the educational reform realization, for example, “not closing half-empty Polish and Russian schools”. “Issues concerning renovations also were only the realization of electoral promises made to their own electors” – said councillors from the Homeland Union. It is obvious – will say the supporters of Edita Tamošiūnaitė – what is good for a Polish elector hurts a conservative.
Meanwhile the Minister of Energy Jarosław Niewierowicz so far has not waited the symptoms of dislike. At least the media permanently like him. Anyway, maybe it is not the viewers’ liking but an ordinary force of comparison? Since the beginning of the government analysts have been proclaiming that Niewierowicz is one of the most reliable ministers of the government. Now it is more visible.
What did his colleagues manage to become famous of? Any random example you take is enough. For instance, very surprisingly it turned out that the wife of the Minister of Education and Science Dainius Pavalkis is the defendant in a criminal case and the minister defending his wife expressed his certainty that she is going to be acquitted because she is “an honest human being, even more honest than I am”.
Next, the Minister of Economy Birutė Vėsaitė thanks to the interview in the programme “Pinigų karta” (“The Money Generation”) became an idol of the Internet users. In honour of her films are edited, so-called Internet memes are invented and commentators pick her to pieces. In the interview mentioned above the minister reached the peak of ignorance. Not only she was confusing all the time the facts concerning the branches of Lithuanian industry (never mind!), but even the name of the department she is in charge of. Once it was the Ministry of Economy and once the Ministry of … Energy.
In this context Jarosław Niewierowicz who normally knows what he is talking about makes a good impression. So far in his talks with journalists the experience in diplomacy has been very useful for him. It is needed to tone down somewhat unreal promises of the Prime Minister in the issue of 20 per cent cheaper gas or speak his mind on the appointment of under-secretary of energy Algimantas Zaremba suspected of the illegal enrichment thanks to real estate scams.
Diplomatic skills of a young minister are also emphasized by the journalist Renata Baltrušaitytė in a special supplement “Prognoses for 2013” to the weekly “Veidas”. In the supplement there are, among other things, prognoses and expectations towards each of the government members discussed in detail. Two pages article about Jarosław Niewierowicz is almost a congratulatory card – only superlatives.
“The youngest minister of the government is – according to his co-workers – a flawless man, there are little chances to throw him off the balance.- writes R. Baltrušaitytė. “And in his previous job – the company Litpollink – he was simply a discovery”- she writes further.
As a matter of fact, the journalist predicts that it may turn out that J. Niewierowicz’s powers are disproportionately big in comparison to the possibilities which the minister has on his position. After all, nursing the project of nuclear power plant in Ignalino currently is belonging to the Ministry of Economy (hence probably Birutė Vėsaite’s confusion who does not know which ministry she is in charge of). Moreover, it is not ruled out that AWPL’s representative may be in the role of the scapegoat for never ending failures of Lithuania in energy sector – sums up “Veidas”.
Maybe it is not going to be so bad. In any case Birutė Vėsaitė may be blamed for everything.
Tłumaczenie Barbara Szydłowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Barbara Szydłowska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.