- February 13, 2013
Media storm after W. Tomaszewski’s statement
The statement about a lack of cooperation perspectives in the coalition, made by Waldemar Tomaszewski, the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (AWPL), has been causing a storm in the media for a few days. Tomaszewski’s words are commented by his coalition partners as well as by political scientists, and he has been frequently asked to be a guest in Lithuanian media.
In the Wednesday issue of “Lietuvos rytas” newspaper Waldemar Tomaszewski was consistent – in his opinion, AWLP’s discontent results mainly from the budget division, and it is not an attempt of political blackmailing. It also has no connection to Algirdas Butkevičius’ visit in Poland.
“Of course, not all of our proposals are to be accepted. But so far – not even one was. Although there were many promises, there was no action. So is there any cooperation we can talk about? We did not gather to sit down and drink some tea, did we?” – said Tomaszewski in an interview for “Lietuvos rytas”.
In an interview for the Lithuanian Radio, the Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius was disproving the accusations indirectly: “There were a few remarks that proposals made by some parties are not being taken into consideration, but I think that it would be difficult to follow all suggestions just in two months. It is not a listeners’ choice concert, it is a governmental program that must be introduced systematically.”
On Wednesday, in his conversation with “Laisvoji banga” radio, A. Butkevičius emphasised that the coalition still has a chance for stable and constructive cooperation, but “we have to talk and seek compromises and agreements, to avoid some statements which may be profitable for some politicians in some periods of time. It would not last long and nobody would accept it. In my opinion, the recent statement did not make the relations better.” – said the head of the government.
Lithuanian media widely speculate about the reason that could cause W. Tomaszewski to make this statement, which is surprising even for his coalition partners. One of the mentioned reasons is the will to make Lithuanian – Polish relations worse.
“In time, the interests of the Polish party and the minority may become different. The party constantly needs some danger, tension, because election can be won, if there is great support for a party. This is why the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania is constantly trying to stand in the position of the one who initiates misunderstandings and tensions. If the relation between Poland and Lithuania is good, if the problems are solved in a way that is beneficial for the Polish minority, the tension becomes much less intense, and the purpose of the party’s policy decreases. It can make the chances for election victory smaller” – commented Tomas Janeliūnas, a political scientist, for the Delfi.pl website.
The scientist’s opinion made members of the Polish party angry. Wanda Krawczonok, an MP, has published a statement in which she criticises the opinion of Tomas Janeliūnas and she calls it “harmful”.
“In a response to the opinion of an academic worker from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of the University of Vilnius, T. Janeliūnas, about the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, it seems crucial to emphasise that the party received an undeserved and too severe a criticism, only for its activity that seeks to guarantee normal life and co-existence for all Lithuanian citizens. The party does not need conflicts, for any purpose. It is just the opposite: we do everything to avoid fights. The party, by representing interests of its voters, only defeats itself from the regress in the field of national minorities’ rights, which is obviously present and it goes faster and faster” – as we can read in the statement of W. Krawczonok.
Based on BNS, lrt.lt, “Lietuvos rytas”, own information.
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.