- February 26, 2013
Poczykowska: majority of people would like to have land in the city rather than outside Vilnius
Leokadia Poczykowska, delegated by the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (AWPL) to be the under–secretary of agriculture, in her interview for the “Upon Neris” radio said that the government would like to finish the process of land returning as soon as possible. There are major problems, though, especially in Vilnius.
“Since I am responsible for the land return policy in the Ministry, we have made an agreement to do everything to end the process of returning land. This year we would like to finish the returns in regional self–governments. Maybe it will not be possible to end the process entirely in the Vilnius region, but I believe that 50% out of the 4.000 people will get their land back.” – announced Poczykowska.
The under–secretary pointed out that the problems with land return are present not only in the Vilnius region. The process has not been finished in such places as Ignalina, Kaunas, Palanga and Molėtai. “In the places where there are lakes and beautiful nature, there are even too many people willing to own the land. Outside Vilnius and the Vilnius region there is a lot of work to do as well, but we want to do it all.” – ensured the politician.
The under–secretary has informed us that the Ministry is looking for various solutions in order to end the process of land restitution as early as it is possible. “There is land; we do not lack grounds, especially in regional self–governments. It may happen that the land will be returned partially in one village, partially in another, but it will be returned.” – promised Leokadia Poczykowska.
There are major problems in the land return process in the city of Vilnius. “And when it comes to Vilnius, the city has great areas to return. (…) The Ministry keeps pointing out these cadastre villages in which even one parcel for owners could be made, but unfortunately the city pays no attention to us.” – said the under–secretary, emphasising that the capital government has already lost a court case in this matter. Poczykowska stated that the Ministry is going to fight the Vilnius government over this.
The city is currently ruled by a coalition, which also includes the AWPL, but the under– secretary was defending the party in the City Council: “I cannot say that there is some kind of obstacle in the Council, but it is all done by officials who have been working for 20, 30 or 40 years and now they have to give their posts up for the youth, who at least more or less know how to deal with spatial management.”
The people, for whom there will not be enough land in the city, will be able to have their property returned in the form of forests. “Now, in such situations, apart from money reimbursement we have nothing to give to the people, but there is a new right under construction, which will allow returns in the form of forests. This bill was not passed in the previous parliamentary term of office. (…) I do not know if there will be many people willing to take this option, since the majority would like to have land inside the city rather than somewhere far away from Vilnius”– suggested Leokadia Poczykowska.
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.