- January 28, 2013
Another verdict: Remove plates with Polish inscriptions!
Once again the District Administrative Court in Vilnius ordered the director of administration in Šalčininkai district municipality to remove the plates with Polish street names, as they are considered illegal. All the Prime Minister, Algirdas Butkevičius, can so far offer to Poles who solicit for the right to have bilingual street names is the discussion on the issue but not the solution to the problem itself.
A government’s representative in Vilnius district filed a complaint about the plates with the bilingual street names present in Šalčininkai district municipality. The judges stated that “the director of administration in Šalčininkai district municipality illegally and unjustly refused to carry out an order received from a government’s representative in Vilnius district to change plates with street names into those which are in conformity with regulations and legislative acts enacted in the Republic of Lithuania.” A year ago, it was established that in more than 10 towns in Šalčininkai district houses have the plates with street names written in Lithuanian and Polish.
Algirdas Butkevičius’ government announced that the issue of bilingual inscriptions of street names will be solved in places where the majority of population is represented by national minorities. The Prime Minister was asked to reveal his opinion about bilingual inscriptions. “So far I have no information about it and I think that this issue will not be resolved in the near future. (…) I think, it will be discussed. When it is talked over, I will reveal my opinion concerning it,” Prime Minister distanced himself from the case.
Within 14 days, the decision may be appealed against to the Chief Administrative Court. Boleslaw Daszkiewicz, the director of administration in Šalčininkai district municipality, said to “Wilnoteka” that he was going to appeal against the decision but he himself did not pin his hopes to any change. Since 2008, he has been fined several times by the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language – he has already paid 2,000 Lithuanian litas but he cannot see any possibility to carry out the order. “In the worst case scenario I will take a ladder, visit people and ask them for permission to climb up their walls and remove one of the plates,” japes Daszkiewicz. “I will go to prison or open a current account for my fines – it is reportedly 1,000 Lithuanina litas per twenty-four hours for evasion of carrying out the order… Before I retire, a considerable sum will be saved,” he adds.
Based on: BNS, own sources
Tłumaczenie Patrycja Olszówka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Patrycja Olszówka the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.