- February 16, 2013
Mahomet to the mountains, the goat did not come to the cart
If Mohammed will not go to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed. Half a year ago, Dalia Grybauskaite did not make it to Poland to celebrate the anniversary of the independence of Poland, she went to Lithuania to celebrate the independence of Lithuania – more fond of these events – Bronislaw Komorowski. As he said, is going to “keep the good tradition of mutual visits by heads of state.” Praise the Lord.
Lithuanians recently started to like Poland. Polish shops in Suwalki and Augustow did not stop liking (unless prices rise significantly in them), but the path to Warsaw – too far, narrow and dangerous – it overgrown with weeds. Today, despite the lack of rail connections, viabalticowych, contacts become active, and Lithuanian politicians rushed in Poland. The Polish and Lithuanian statements appear that once again there will be the era of good Polish-Lithuanian relations. Why not? Neighbors have to live under. It’s for their own good and the good taste of European standards. And that means everyone.
But something’s up. Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania threatened to leave the ruling coalition, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius is a week in Lithuania is condemning, and soon he will burn him at the stake. Mainly spoken in Poland, “I’m sorry” (for rejecting Act spelling of names during the last stay in Vilnius in 2010, President Lech Kaczynski), but indirectly also for the promises made solutions to matters of the Polish minority in Lithuania.
Recently (a year and two years ago) Polish politicians assured that without the Polish solution of Lithuania there is no question of closer relationships.
Mutual economic relations are more important than the question of the Polish minority in Lithuania and should be separated “- encouraged a few days ago Borodzicz Wojciech Smolinski, a former deputy director of the Centre for International Relations, in an interview with the Polish Press Agency, which repeated the Polish media.
Of course you can, separate these two issues. Lithuanians dream will come true. By the way, the well-known scenario from the past will be reproduced. For twenty years, since Lithuanian and Polish politicians consistently separated the economic issues and other issues of national minorities. Given the economic ideas and cooperation between the two countries was to lay exemplary style (that’s why presidents, prime ministers and ministers were constantly visiting). The cases of the Polish minority in Lithuania were discussed on the sidelines. None of the cases was settled not Polish, he has always been a more important, except that “did not seem right.” Because sensitive little Lithuania could feel offended. And as a result? For decades, built bridges, energy, gas connection, Via Baltica, Rail Baltica, and from now on the Lithuanian market problems has Orlen. None of the projects were never a spectacular success.The success of any business unless they are pure intentions and respect for your partner. This, it seems, on both sides ran out.
Submission of promises on the one hand and non-enforcement of the other led to a political gibberish. Some promised, others believed in the promises. Some mocked, while others pretended to laugh. Final? It is known. Once you pretend not seem right, big surprise. And then the denial in itself, blame the Cold War.
A few years ago on the projects, which depended on Lithuania, Poland cared less. Today, this is changing. For the Polish-Lithuanian energy bridge is a common gas connections with Poland looks more and more popular. And another issue holding the style of regional leader, and style with good relations with its neighbors, the young also, and perhaps above all … So Prime Minister Tusk hugs Butkevičiusa, and Butkevičius rushes to Warsaw, before rushing to the Solecznik to demonstrate the nod to poles. Those who in their time a fishbone in the throat the Polish-Lithuanian relations were faced with.
Again, something does not fit. In a meeting room in Solecznikach beautiful gestures, beating their breasts, that a change in policy, compromises. But already at the door, surrounded by Lithuanian journalists and cameras, tons of prime minister exacerbate that if relief is slight standardized exam, with no bill of spelling the names of the Prime Minister even heard, but about the law on minorities, indeed heard, and perhaps this arises, but for the time being in arrears in the ministerial drawers. Bright and clear message: We have time for everything (put off the evil hour).
Next to the Prime Minister’s performance a lovely performance of advisers Remigijusa Motuzasa, former Minister of education, that they all talk nonsense, what they say about poor Polish and Lithuanian relations. Relationships are impeccable, and the problems, if any, is negligible. I immediately felt ten years younger. For more than ten years ago, the then Minister of Education, and before that head of the Department of National Minorities and Emigration, and the same ten years younger Remigijus Motuzas, word for word preached the same thesis.
“I’m all for compromise, I am for dialogue” – repeated in Solecznikach frequency of organ grinder, also for high school graduates, the Prime Minister Butkevičius. Not stated only: For a compromise in words or in action? …
Butkevičius perhaps it is a compromise, but it is the Prime Minister of the country, which the Poles as a rule do not like politicians and their accounts include the complaisance degree against Poles and Polish. That’s why the affair with “apologize” Prime Minister Linkevicius broke, and after three days of silence, publicly scolded him. Atmosphere thickened, excitement reached its zenith, the Prime Minister could not remain silent, so he said he knew. First place in the popularity ratings of politicians – of toil, tears beautiful Dalia year – you can easily lose it. That the Polish-Lithuanian particularly the battlefield die easily.
Premier Butkevičius like no one else knows that in two years the presidential re-election, and not gained popularity on an ad hoc basis, but constantly working on it.
Butkevičius betrayed himself. After quite unexpected (for him perhaps the most) EAPL statement that it may withdraw from the ruling coalition, thundered across the media: It’s a trick of Mr. Tomaszewski on the account of europarliamentary future elections.
Funny-ridiculous allegation. EAPL electorate is very diverse. On the one hand it is a monolith, which snaps the EAPL in fire and water. Is the party going to the right or to the left, back and forth, will be next to the monolith EAPL together unconditionally accept any decision gurus Waldemar Tomaszewski. This part of the electorate do not have to mobilize – is mobilized forever. This electorate loyal and loving. But too small to spectacularly win the elections.
On the other hand, a large part of the electorate are voters of EAPL for which the leader of the extreme statements are like a toothache. They feel betrayed and battered by the Lithuanian authorities, so gravitate towards EAPL, giving to see that the unity will be strong and that only as a compact group can do something. This is no small percentage of voters EAPL, which prefer distant kind tone of Polish party. These are the people who work with the Lithuanians, learning environments in Lithuanian, living side by side and in the morning saying to their selves laba diena. Who know that in life you have to arrange with the Lithuanians. EAPL aggressive tone of stunned, so I took a huge relief to change his rhetoric: moderate, conciliatory and kind to the Lithuanians. EAPL realize that this part of the electorate will certainly not be happy that the party, which she trusted, just abandon the coalition, only possible because of the vagaries of electoral leader.
But the seemingly unreasonable interpretation Butkevičius has deep meaning. In the same year as the elections europarliamentary presidential elections. Unfortunately, Butkevičius understands that Lithuanian society is still very anti-Polish and excessive trustworthiness geared towards Poland and Polish people are hard settled. Include Dalia Grybauskaite so often and so hard words against impunity lavishes Polish reasons (“We just need a disinterested friend,” “I see absolutely no need to go to Warsaw”). Or another way, do not notice and does not accede to the presence of a … One, however, wish to Lithuanians: normal relations with its neighbors, including Polish. A good policy is one that will maintain good relations, will do something for his country, without saying anything anymore.
So why the coalition of Social Democrats co-opt Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania? Because everyone Latvian already knows that Poland and Polish people cannot be like, but bridges and any other energy without the cooperation of others is not easy to build. EAPL, as a coalition partner in the role of litmus paper was acceptable, but only for decoration. Not in order to change something in a partner, have an impact on decisions, repair. In order to authenticate the image of the current Lithuanian politics. Not enough? Poles must be grateful that they occupied few jobs in the ministries and can add to their business cards: a member of the ruling coalition. Formal member.
As soon as the ruling Polish co-coalition wanted specifics, turned out to be wicked, naughty and ungrateful. And what is demanded? Among other things, the discussion and the withdrawal of the Education Act and the adoption of the Law on National Minorities. I have a few other issues. But it’s all for the future. In cito but want a clear decision on the harmonized examination of the Lithuanian language and clear formula: what will be this year’s exam.
It is mid-February, in early June, high school graduates will take the most important and the only compulsory exam in the language. Test, which determines whether to get to college, fees, and whether or not to get. This exam has a huge driving force. It takes place the first time, and no one knows what will be, and will be evaluated. Pressure and debate resulted in some findings, not entirely satisfactory Poles, but a compromise still has to be. The document was signed by the Minister of Education. Days, weeks pass Minister for the reluctant, and the draft document – other than set records. Everything is ending shoulder shrugging, clarity on the exam is still missing.
Simplification of this year’s exam should be obvious. Students had only two years to prepare for the new exam formula. It has been calculated that the minority high school students, knowing the same exam as their Lithuanian counterparts, within 12 years of education had 600 hours less! The new formula does not have a specific database textbooks and curriculum. But even such an obvious fact, the simplification of the inhuman exam comes coalition partners (and big proponents of compromise) with difficulty. In such a coalition nothing but change the law and work on the new!
Of course, the way that EAPL showed it dissatisfaction least surprised. But the mass media EAPL never been and is not a strong suit of the party. It’s like a bull in a china shop .
If EAPL in this coalition is to serve as window-dressing and flower emoticon for Polish in the transmission, it’s a real chance of resolving the important issues are zero. It is hardly surprising that the Poles are considering removing the coalition.
The nervousness of high school graduates and parents is huge. If EAPL will not negotiate changes and preferred embodiments will become legitimate question: Why where they in coalition ?
If there are changes, they can activate the strike committees. This is the worst of the options, but very possible. Previous strikes against the Act was suspended because it was clinging to the belief that things will change. Because there were two years old. But within two years nothing formally changed. And how much longer can we wait?
Became fashionable to say that it will take generations to change that you need to look for new approaches to difficult issues. The Polish-Lithuanian discourse is very important. For now, the waiting is over and nobody regained the homework. Lithuania has not ceased to be treated dismissively and derisively of his Polish diaspora. Poland did little to change social attitudes towards each other to promote their own country to achieve a common history.
Some mistake turned out to be a celebration of the 150-year anniversary of the January uprising. Both countries – Poland, and Lithuania – the same year announced the jubilee year of the January Uprising. But it ran out of joint celebrations, a stronger message about the essence of our common history. The focal point of the celebration was the anniversary exhibition of Grottgera “January Uprising Arthur works in cycles Grottgera” Polonia “and” Lithuania “” in the Lithuanian Museum of Applied Arts. You have to give the Polish Institute that for it tried. I’ve been waiting for this announcement of the exhibition proudly and what was my surprise when it turned out that it was just part of the whole, and it’s backed (so what if that giant and good copies). Supposedly they ran out of money and time. But this is only a school exhibition, blown up to a large Polish-Lithuanian events. If students come and watch, it will be a success. Will they come? Maybe. Next, in two rooms, exhibition attracts beautiful authentic costumes from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s from the collection of the art historian, art collector and patron of Alexander Vasilyev. The exhibition, which is impressive, and quite unlikely to turn out to be a meeting with the Wasiljewem, which shows the tour around, and catch such show should be in Vilnius to bon tone.
The Polish Institute Grottgera did what he could. Due to the slender finances could probably do not much. It takes a broader and more involved programs, not only after a dynamic, yet lonely in the activities of the Polish Institute. The need for careful preparation and broader substantive message. Otherwise, you will only show good evidence, as the two countries (totally separately) fought for independence and autonomy (statement of one of the Lithuanian journalists). President Bronislaw Komorowski during a stay in Vilnius went into one of the places associated with the January Uprising. Łukiski on the square, where the leaders of the uprising were executed in Lithuania: Konstanty Kalinowski and Zygmunt Sierakowski.
It is a pity that he did not go to one of the most interesting places – Podbrzeża on Kowieńszczyźnie, where it is the world’s only museum of the January Uprising (Lithuania – Museum, 1863). Very interesting, created by enthusiasts, in a former Manor. Warm and welcoming ladies with enthusiasm convinced that Father Antoni Mackiewicz was an untrue Lithuanian and formation commander fighting for the independence of Lithuania. Fighting against whom? This information will supplement some Lithuanian historians: against the Russian Tsar and Polish masters …
Fortunately, there are other voices in the Polish-Lithuanian discourse. There are people who become bashing everything and wakes Polish irritates their reflection. They come to, why Poland suddenly turned from Lithuania, looking for solutions. They are in a significant minority, but it is a gap in the darkness. If so more wise discussion of interesting ideas? Ice cream would melt …
For now, President Komorowski comes to place flowers on the square Łukiskim in a place where Lithuanian national heroes lost, defenders of the Lithuanian and Lithuanian national liberation resurrection movement – Kostas Kalinauskas and Zigmantas Sierakauskasa.
Tłumaczenie Katarzyna Dąbrowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Katarzyna Dąbrowska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.