- June 11, 2013
The penultimate exposé of President Grybauskaitė
A total criticism of the current government, which is unfavourable to the president, and a praise of the previous one. Not a single word of a self-criticism, only an exclamation of proud of the alleged service to the country.
The incitement against the Polish national minority for the benefit of the citizens with Lithuanian origins. These were the major points of the 4th proclamation of Dalia Grybauskaitė this year. She announced her report on 11th June in the Lithuanian Seimas.
As for the energy independence, the president warned the current government of an automatic lookout for the new energy projects. In her view, such a calculation might contribute to a situation, in which “both the energy independence and the freedom might become objects of substitution”.
– The Lithuanian language has become a hostage of the ruling coalition. A controversial exam in Lithuanian language is slowly transforming in different demands, diving our country. In the meantime, the Lithuanian schools are being closed abroad – exclaimed the president, unexpectedly changing the subject from the energy questions to the demands of the Polish national minorities and the situation of the Lithuanian schools in Poland. Grybauskaitė added promptly that “people should be explained distinctly, what the price for this can be”.
Michał Mackiewicz, the deputy and the chairman of the Association of Poles in Lithuania (APL), assessed very negatively the words of the president.
– Mrs. President has been either mistaken by the chauvinist communities – or – possessed by the Polonophobia [anti-Polish sentiment], as she appears not to distinguish between the international law and the law of the national minorities – commented the chairman of the APL in the interview conducted by “Kurier”. He also exclaimed that the question of the price that the Lithuanian society would be supposed to pay for the coalition with the Poles, should be related to stirring up a national conflict.
– The Poles do not demand anything which would be against the international or the European law – replies Mackiewicz. In his opinion these “clearly chauvinist” words of the Lithuanian president are not auspicious for the upcoming presidency of the European Council that Lithuania will be holding in the nearest future.
With regard to the aforementioned exam, he also remarked that – as the name itself implies – the aim of an exam is to assess the acquisition of the material that has been done so far, whereas the new type of the exam forces Polish students to take an exam which encompasses the material, with which they have not been acquainted, as it has not been included in their curriculum.
– Therefore, forcing children to take an exam containing issues that have not been done during the classes can be referred only in one term: discrimination – replies Mackiewicz. He also related to the question mentioned by the president which concerns the need for fostering the Lithuanian language, as a mother tongue.
– Polish is our native language, therefore Poles are willing to foster it – exclaimed the deputy. Taking into consideration the general tone of the report, he also noticed that it was of populist, insincere and unobjective nature.
– When someone does not talk in a sincere way, he avoids looking others straight in the eyes. Consequently, the president was trying not catch a glimpse of the deputies while delivering her speech. Instead, she always took a glance at the balcony with the journalists and the guests – explained Mackiewicz, adding that such a behaviour is nothing but playing a game to please the audience.
– Unfortunately, we can do nothing about it, as we have such a president – regrets the deputy.
Mrs. President in her exposé accused the government of having done literally nothing since its inauguration in the previous year. She also referred the formation of various working groups by the Prime Minister, which aim at the preparation of the necessary conclusions, as “a waste of time”.
– The lack of political willingness, the complex mechanism of making decisions, the lack of efficient reaction, the waste of time in the working groups – all these factors can have a high price to pay for and can be destructive for our country. Not the biggest ones, but those who are the fastest and the most ingenious are able to win in the contemporary world. Being perceptive and enterprising is therefore our only chance – exclaimed the president.
She also added that “if we want to live the better lives, we need to work faster and harder” and criticised the government for “the idleness”.
– 6 months have passed since the inauguration of the government. After long preparations, it is high time the deputies started doing their job, since only a consistent work for the benefit of the economy growth can be profitable for every Lithuanian citizen – remarked the president.
Assessing the situation concerning the foreign policy, she also accentuated the potential threats of Russia and demanded a closer cooperation with the Scandinavian countries as a counterweight for the “offered calculated brotherhood”.
During her speech occurred an incident, as the deputies of the Labour Party put in front of them posters against applying “the double standards”, “the pocket judiciary system” and “the political dissertations”. They were supposed to relate to the alleged commitment of the president to the lawsuit against the leader of the Labour Party, the deputy Viktor Uspaskich.
The opposition leader and the chairman of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats and the former Prime Minister, Andrius Kubilius, flew into a rage at the sight of the posters and started removing them by force from the deputies, giving rise to a petty fracas between Kubilius and the deputies of the coalition. Eventually, Kubilius made an official claim on demanding either getting rid of the posters or asking the deputies to leave the room. In spite of this, the chairman dismissed his request.
Dalia Grybauskaitė was designated the President on 17th May 2008. Her 5-year tenure ends in 2013. It is still unknown, whether Grybauskaitė is going to run for election once again.
Tłumaczenie by Joanna Mirek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Joanna Mirek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.