- January 10, 2014
Waldemar Tomaszewski: Polish minority feels cheated today
The EAPL subordinates the abolishment of restrictions in the land selling to the foreigners to a boost of supplements for the Lithuanian farmers, to the level of eastern countries of the EU.
The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (EAPL) is protesting against the coalitional partners who are against enacting the Bill of National Minorities.
Claims its possibly fast acceptance, yet this year. Does not approve of launching the euro in 2015. The issue of selling the land to the foreigners subordinates to higher payouts for the farmers. Demands to start the mechanism of returning the pensionable benefits decreased at the time of crisis, yet this year.
Yesterday, during the press conference in the Parliament, the leaders of the EAPL presented their political and economic postulates and expressed the protest due to the situation which appeared after the court’s finding concerning the punishment of Šalčininkai’s self-government’s warden, which was a fine of over 40 000 litas, for Polish boards. In that case, a parliamentary faction of the party issued a special declaration (full text of the declaration on pages 4-5). It’s been pointed out, that in the day before the celebration of the Defenders of Lithuania’s Freedom Day (13th January) the Polish community, which actively approved of and defended the independence of the country, experiences an oppression and receives horrendous fines for using own mother tongue. It has been accentuated in the declaration, that it happens 23 years after regaining independence and almost 10 years after Lithuania’s accession to the EU and to the NATO and after the end of Lithuanian presidency in the EU council.
– The Polish minority, which fought for Lithuanian independence and approved of it, feels cheated today – said the chairman of the EAPL, MEP Waldemar Tomaszewski, during the conference.
The vice-chairman of the RL Parliament, an MP of Polish faction, Jarosław Narkiewicz, noticed, that when in the time of establishment the independence, the support of the Polish minority was needed, so the Bill of National Minorities was accepted, and in 1991 when lasted the fight for independence, it has been completed with the Polish minority’s postulates.
– After 20 years, when Polish minority’s help is not needed, it’s being limited in rights – Narkiewicz observed.
Then, Waldemar Tomaszewski announced that his party is going to demand enacting the bill from the ruling and assured that the bill will be accepted for sure.
– Because any of the authorities haven’t won the fight against its citizens – the leader of the EAPL pointed out. He also expressed dissatisfaction with the indecision of the partners from the coalition – the PM Algirdas Butkevičius’ Socialdemocratic Party.
– In their election platform, there is the obligation to accept the Bill of Minorities possibly fast. Unfortunately, we see however that the social democrats linger to enact the bill, likewise the previous ruling party lingered – Tomaszewski said during the conference.
On the leaders’ of the EAPL meeting with journalists, the issues of launching the euro, increasing the minimal pay, revalorization of pensions and selling the land to the foreigners have been raised. The starost of the faction, an MP Rita Tamašunienė, shared with the information that owing to the budget postulates for this year it worked out to donate additional funds for increasing the pays for culture workers (25 mln litas), for increasing the domestic part of supplements for the farmers (11 mln litas) and for melioration works (8 mln litas). Tamašunienė observed also, that the pays in the culture’s sector since a lot of years, even in the time of the big growth, haven’t been enhanced, as since a lot of years haven’t been funds in the budget for the indispensable melioration works. Meantime, in the issue of the minimal pay the EAPL doesn’t approve of the chairwoman’s of the Parliament proposal on the subject of increasing the gainful minimum up to 1500 litas and the PM is also against it, because he claims that growth will threat the governmental plans of launching the euro in 2015.
– The parties of ruling coalition are transcending each other in the issue of the minimal pay. Our party stays by the electoral postulate of increasing the minimum to 1200 litas by the simultaneous increase an untaxed minimum to that sum – said the chairman of the EAPL. He pointed out that the sum proposed corresponds to the half of an average domestic pay and he proposed to establish that relation statutorily, which would limit political speculations on that subject. The EAPL wants also to increase the income tax from 15 to 20 per cent for the people earning more than two-three state averages.
The MPs on the EAPL’s behalf appeals also to the ruling for holding back the impetus in the issue of accession to the Euro zone.
– Our financial system is steady and there is no need to launch the euro in the situation, when there are not the best news from the countries of common currency, especially from Greece or Spain, where the unemployment remains still over 20 per cent – explained the leader of the EAPL. He also added that by launching the euro, Lithuanian society would sponsor recessionary countries’ economies of the South of Europe at the cost of own impoverishment.
– Let us wait until the economic situation improves there, because we don’t have to be the next country in the eurozone. We can be penultimate or the last one – said Tomaszewski. The leader of the EAPL said also that despite international obligations of the country, his party approves of the limitation of selling the land to foreigners. The EAPL subordinates an abolishment of the limits to the increase of supplements for Lithuanian farmers to the level of the western countries of the EU.
Tłumaczenie by Małgorzata Bigoraj w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Małgorzata Bigoraj within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.