- April 15, 2014
“X”, “Q” and “W” entered the Seimas’ corridors
The Seimas has given the green light to the draft laws which could make it possible to register the names of companies, partnerships and organizations using all of the Latin letters – not only the Lithuanian ones.
48 Seimas deputies voted in favor of the amendments to the Law on the State Language and the Civil Code, 18 abstained and 12 voted against. The draft laws will be presented to the Seimas committees and will be discussed during the Seimas sitting in a fall session.
Under the above-mentioned amendment the name of a legal person can comprise all of the Lithuanian and Latin alphabet’s letters. An initiator of the amendment, a liberal Remigijus Šimašius justified it with the fact that using Latin letters in the names of companies and partnerships is not permitted only in two EU Member States: in Lithuania and Slovenia.
“Today in Lithuania we can have “Maxima” and other names, since there is a legal loophole which makes it possible to use foreign names. It is permitted to use Latin letters if a subsidiary of a foreign company or partnership is being formed. Nevertheless, a small entrepreneur has difficulties in finding a name of a company or partnership which would satisfy both his clients and investors” – Šimašius explained.
“Try to attract clients in London or Paris using a nice Lithuanian name – you can do it, but it is really hard. A question arises: why do we want to put a burden on entrepreneurs’ activity?” – the politician explained. The amendment considers primarily only a few Latin letters which could be used by entrepreneurs in their names, that is “X”, “Q” and “W”. A conservative Arvydas Vidžiūnas countered saying that the amendment led to a loss of Lithuanian identity.
“Don’t you think that we give up our cultural area of our own accord? We start from the trifles, then the surnames will be handled and after that we will give up the great part of our identity” – Vidžiūnas said.
The amendment to the Law on the State Language is supported by the liberals Remigijus Šimašius and Petras Auštrevičius, Andrius Mazuronis from the “Order and Justice” party, a social democrat Birutė Vėsaitė, Vytautas Gapšys from the Labor Party as well as a conservative Dainius Kreivys.
Tłumaczenie by Martyna Kołtun w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Martyna Kołtun within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.