• March 13, 2015
  • 224

Zuokas or Šimašius – who is more sympathetic towards for the Poles

A. Zuokas, over the years when he held the office of mayor, tried to do in Vilnius city “on European show.” Put more on the image-side. Hence ideas to Vilnius had its own airline, the desire to build in the Lithuanian capital of the Guggenheim Museum and the development of cycling network in Vilnius.

Šimašius, if we analyze his political activity, probably will go towards some solutions strictly liberal, or optimization of the network of schools, the administrative apparatus and to increase competitiveness in the energy market.

The last election campaign in Vilnius showed that electoral minority voice, is becoming increasingly important. Both candidates were joking, each in their own way, and Poles from Vilnius. “In this case, their attitude and visions of how to work with the Polish society in Vilnius, but somehow they are not very expressive. No one has the advantage. Both Zuokas and Šimašius during the election campaign and has previously sent signals on the Polish question, “- said political scientist Andrew zw.lt portal Pukszto. Political scientist stressed that the rhetoric is more pro-Polish Šimašius. Liberals Movement candidate always expressed itself in favor of bilingual inscriptions, the original spelling of names or even the need for Polish Mass at the Vilnius Cathedral. Nevertheless, these issues do not belong to the discretion of the mayor and the city authorities.

Both candidates are also divided on that Vilnius is a multicultural city and that his character should be. “We Liberals do not divide people by nationality. The absolute majority of the problems of Vilnius applies equally and Lithuanians, and representatives of national minorities: public transportation, high cost of heating, multi-residential houses renovation, lack of places in kindergartens. Of course, there are also specific, I would say symbolic, national minorities issues to be resolved. I have always been for the original spelling of names, I have nothing against bilingual or arrays with street names. I believe that the government of Vilnius should associate with supplicants, not only in Lithuanian, but also in Polish, Russian or English, they are doing so and objective reasons and opportunities “- said at the meeting in the Polish Club Discussion Remigijus Šimašius.

“Not just from textbooks, but also know from experience that Vilnius is a multicultural city. His spirit and aura created by representatives of various nationalities”- also said at the meeting in PKD Artūras Zuokas. Zuokas also stressed all the time, that very well he works with AWPL, the consequence of which is to maintain the network of Polish schools in Vilnius, including the legendary “five” or Secondary School. Joachim Lelewel. “When I heard from representatives of the Polish community about the history of this school and how much to say to the Poles, and many prominent Poles taught in it, we decided to keep this facility. Because if we would like to closed school where he studied Jonas Basanavičius? Certainly not” – said during a meeting with Polish minority A. Zuokas.

Regarding the fate of the Polish school, which lacks students Šimašius comments were more restrained. He promised to seek solutions through dialogue with the Polish community, but its expression can be concluded that it is rather opposed to maintain unprofitable schools. “What is more important for the Polish community? It seems, however, that education is more important than the author. A quite possible that the grid is affected Polish schools in Vilnius for Šimašius coalition with the conservatives. Because it seems that conservatives are inclined fiercely against the Polish education. So both candidates are generally fine, but everything will depend on who will be in the coalition,”- said Andrzej Pukszto zw.lt portal.

Translated by Michał Sadowski within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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