- February 8, 2013
The Minister’s apologies evoked mixed feelings among experts
After the Minister of Foreign Affairs had apologised Poland in the Polish papers for that the Lithuanian Seimas rejected the bill on the original spelling of surnames during the last visit of Lech Kaczyński in Lithuania, some experts criticized such statement of the Minister.
‘State rarely apologizes. Sometimes it is necessary, as it was for example in 1996 when the then president Algirdas Brazauskas apologised in the Knesset for massacres of Jews. I doubt whether it was necessary to apologise for the political vote. In this case we can regret it’ – expressed his opinion famous Lithuanian political scientist, Kęstis Girnius.
According to the political scientist, it is not obvious whether the Minister has apologised in his own name or on behalf of the Republic of Lithuania. If the latter was the case, the question arises whether he had consulted that with the President of Lithuania. ‘It may have negative consequences and create conviction that all Polish demands were right’ – stressed the political scientist.
Šarūnas Liekis, the lecturer in Vytautas Magnus University, has a different view. According to him, Linkevičius’s statement was absolutely appropriate. ‘Our relations have been in stalemate since 2008. The Minister has made a very appropriate gesture. The problem itself, which the Lithuanian side could not solve, has arisen because of us and through no fault of Poland’ – said Liekis.
Another professor in Vytautas Magnus University, Antanas Kulakauskas, drew attention to the fact that the legalization of original spelling of surnames is contradictory to the Constitution. ‘Apology is a good thing, but I am not sure whether the Minister had familiarized himself with the judicature of the Constitutional Court that explained that the problem lies in the Constitution. In such case the Minister has apologised for the Constitution and this looks a little oddly’ – said Kulakauskas.
Tłumaczenie Barbara Rożek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Barbara Rożek the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.