• December 8, 2015
  • 284

This cockerel is no eagle

The most eminent grandson of the Lithuanian political scene, and his even more eminent grandfather – Gabrielius – tries to prove in a quite strange manner that ‘growing up in the Landsbergis family is equal to being awarded a diploma in political studies from Oxford University’.

I don’t know how Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, who, along with the above compliment, anointed the young Landsbergis as his successor on the throne of Homeland Union – Christian Lithuanian Democrats, but I am sure that the professors at this prestigious British University would be surprised if their graduates spoke in the same way as this Euro mandate heir.

The latest example comes from the broadcast ‘Current interview’ (org. Aktualny Wywiad). Asked what to do in the current political situation with our country’s commitment to the EU regarding accepting refugees, he replied that both Christian charity and duty requires the acceptance of those who have escaped war but… How can we be sure that they will integrate?

“There is a significant issue in Lithuania regarding integration of our non-Lithuanian speaking compatriots – complains the young Conservatives’ leader. – It is the Polish minority and Russian minority. We cannot find a common language”. Drama! What about France, where the most recent history is filled with terrorist attacks? What about Belgium, where about 10% of population is Muslim and where ISIS soldiers are being recruited? What about Germans, who, already having 4 million Muslims, recently accepted almost a million refugees, and where there exists a radical Islamic community, which recruits jihadists from the German youth? What do they mean when compared to our ‘great issue’!

Our political establishments cannot find – you see! – a common language, with representatives of the same faith, values, mentality and temper, who lived in Lithuania for many generations with national minority representatives. Maybe it is for the better that this act of God was inherited by our brave leaders. I am worried that neither Chancellor Merkel nor President Hollande could face such a challenge as finding a common language with minorities like Polish and Russian in Lithuania.

I admit that I secretly hoped that a seat in the European Parliament and most recent challenges and dramas in Europe (actually in the whole world), would clean out Landsbergis’ mind of this parochialism. [I hoped that] all of this would make him aware of the real problems arising from the collision of completely different religions, cultures, values and rules; different worlds. [I hoped that] he would finally be able to distinguish between integration and assimilation, that he would realize that Lithuanian Poles and Russians are fully integrated with the rest of society. But nothing. It all serves to indicate that nothing, even European politics, could convert this cockerel into an eagle.

Gabrielius Landsbergis can stay calm about the refugees. It is not our problem. They could only be forced to settle in a country where leaders of a political party announced (through Facebook), that ‘it is our duty’ to make sure that our country does not get “poorer quality” or “wrong religion or race, unacceptable for Lithuanian people.” I wonder: is it grandpa’s wisdom or did the grandson draw inspiration from Mein Kampf?

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

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