- March 25, 2014
“Tusk told me: Listen to what our countrymen in Lithuania will tell you”
Since court imposed the penalty of over 40 000 Lithuanian litas to Bolesław Daszkiewicz for non-removing Polish plates from private properties, Soleczniki became an obligatory point of every Polish politicians’ deputation in Lithuania.
At the beginning of February, politicians of Law and Justice visited Soleczniki, and later did it MEP Jarosław Kalinowski. Yesterday, vice chairman of Polish Sejm, Cezary Grabarczyk, and the leader of Polish-Lithuanian parliamentary group, Tedeusz Aziewicz, met with the residents of Soleczniki. Both politicians belong to Civic Platform. “It is undeniable that those meetings enrich us, because dialogue is necessary to solve problems. Therefore, we enjoy every meeting. Today’s arrival we assess as a way of expression the respectability towards our community”, Zdzisław Palewicz, a mayor of Soleczniki region welcomed guests and all gathered people. Meeting took place in Jan Śniadecki Middle School. Bogdan Jaworski, vice-director of International Affairs Bureau of Polish Sejm Chancellery, also arrived with parliamentarians.
Grabarczyk: Listen to what countrymen have to say
Grabarczyk, vice chairman of the Polish Sejm, started his speech in a diplomatic way. He noted about 25th anniversary of the Association of Poles in Lithuania and congratulated Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania electoral success, which allowed party to enter the governing coalition.
Polish politician emphasised that Poland still remember about its countrymen living in Vilnius region. “Premier Donald Tusk said to me: “You know, currently I am occupied with many issues in the country, I also actively participate in European politics, so you will go and you will represent me and whole Civic Platform. Send greetings and listen to what our countrymen have to say”, Grabarczyk explained the reason of his visitation.
Tomaszewki: Repressions came after the years of stagnation
Then, the leader of Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and MEP, Waldemar Tomaszewski, took the floor, whose tone of utterence was more strident and firm. During his speech politician thanked Polish politicians, who replied to the appeal and came to Lithuania. “Premier Tusk said very important words in 2011 in Saint Teresa Church that Polish-Lithuanian relationships will be as good as an attitude (of Lithuanian leadership) to Polish minority. We thank you for the support, because it is very important for us. Today, we ask for further support, because unfortunately situation became unfavourable for Polish community. Repressions came after the years of stagnation and non-solving our problems. For now, those are financial repressions”, said Tomaszewski.
Leader of Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania quoted the example of Bolesław Daszkiewicz, the administrative director of Soleczniki region. “He will have to pay a Draconian penalty. The question remains: for what? For using his mother tongue in his homeland from which he has never emigrated? His ancestors lived here for over 700 years. Unfortunately, now it is so paradoxically that Polish minority and other minorities have lesser rights than they had before the accession agreement”, Tomaszewski added. Polish politician in Lithuania also pointed out that eight representatives in Sejm are not enough to solve ensuing problems, which is why this support from Poland is needed.
Aziewicz: Lithuania did not fulfilled the treaty record
Tadeusz Aziewicz, the leader of Polish-Lithuanian parliamentary group, pointed out that it is natural thing for him to work in aid of the agreement between Poland and Lithuania because his family comes from the region of Nowa Wilejka. He started his cooperation with Lithuania already then, when he was only a member of local government in Gdynia. “I was responsible for cooperation with Vilnius region and that is why I know Mister Waldemar Tomaszewski. I did not think then, in 90s, that this cooperation would last so long. Beneficially for both Lithuania and Poland, I beleive”, representative declared.
“Since the beginning, we unequivocally repeated that the key to improve the relations between Poland and Lithuania is to readjust the situation of Polish minority in Lithuania. When I started my job as a representative, it was year 2007, Gedeminas Kirkilas was the premier of Lithuania and we have heard that relationships between Poland and Lithuania were the best ever. With time passing by we could see that it was not so simple, though. Now we should celebrate 20th anniversary of signing Treaty between Poland and Lithuania. We do not, because records of this treaty were not fulfilled by Lithuania”, representative emphasised.
Mackiewicz: Light at the end of the tunnel
Floor was also taken by Michał Mackiewicz, the representative for Sejm, leader of the Association of Poles in Lithuania and the chairman representing Lithuania in Polish-Lithuanian parliamentary group. “There are a lot of problems. The same problems exist for 20 years. Something gets better; something gets worse (…). We would be bad politicians, if we did not see a light at the end of the tunnel, though. I think that our Polish-Lithuanian groups in Poland and Lithuania are optimistic. It is 21st century and it cannot be different. Mister Representative Aziewicz have his roots in Nowa Wilejka, I have also grew up in this region. Everyone knows what is in Nowa Wilejka (psychiatric hospital) and some mean people say that only those people from Nowa Wilejka are able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But by nature every man is an optimist, otherwise why would we be in Sejm”, Mackiewicz joked.
Narkiewicz: Hope is at the end
According to Jarosław Narkiewicz, vice chairman of Lithuanian Sejm, situation have changed. “Hope of our voters, our society and our own (…) is at the end. (…) Our people are disappointed and they wish this victory brought definite results”, J. Narkiewicz turned to guests.
Guests from Poland are meeting today with Loreta Graužinienė, the chairman of Sejm, and with the representatives from Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and members of Polish-Lithuanian parliamentary group.
Tłumaczenie by Beata Kanadys w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Beata Kanadys within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.