- February 18, 2014
PM reminds national minorities that we are all citizens of Lithuania
Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius sees national minorities primarily as citizens of Lithuania and does not think that there are worse conditions for them in the country, but he is ready to discuss how to improve solving their problems.
‘Firstly, we should understand that we are all citizens of Lithuania and we should provide all citizens of this country with conditions that will improve living in Lithuania. (…) As the ruling and parliament majority, we really do our best to provide good living conditions for all Lithuanian citizens. I do not think that this government is ignoring national minorities by providing them with worse living conditions,’ said Lithuanian PM in the interview for LRT radio on Tuesday, just before the meeting with representatives of national minorities.
Plan for the meeting is to discuss issues connected with preparing the act on national minorities. PM is also going to ask if there is a need for a separate institution that would coordinate the activity of national minority communities.
‘We need to talk about things that should be included in the act, but not about whether the act is necessary. Preparing the act should be discussed also with other national minorities and it cannot be based on explicit demands of one national minority,’ said Algirdas Butkevičius.
According to the census from April 6th 2001, there are members of 115 different nationalities living in Lithuania. People who had declared to be members of national minorities represent 16,5% of the country.
The ruling majority had pledged in their coalition agreement to accept the act on national minorities. A promise to solve problems of national minorities and accepting the act on national minorities was also included in election program of Social Democrats whose leader is Algirdas Butkevičius.
Tłumaczenie by Anna Leśkiewicz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Anna Leśkiewicz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.