• February 22, 2017
  • 311

Skvernelis: The government is determined to address the issue of Poles

“Our government is determined to address the issues that have not been resolved yet. Of course, it should be done with respect for our Constitution and law” – said the Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis in an inteview for the Polish Radio. This was the first meeting of the head of the government with the Polish media since he took office.

“I see that there are many myths about our relations. They result from the fact that we do not discuss directly with each other. The government will spare no effort to change it and some steps have already been made. We can sit and talk openly” – said the Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis when asked about the prospects of resolving matters that are essential for Poles in Lithuania.

“As regards educational matters, there are no serious problems. Lithuania is the only country that enables Poles to learn in their native language from kindergarten to the university level. There are some technical problems, but we are ready to tackle them because this case concerns our citizens. We want them to be able to obtain a good education and pass exam successfully” – stressed Skvernelis.

With respect to a standardized matura exam from Lithuanian language, to which Polish minority have some objections, the Prime Minister thinks that the exam with the same rules should be taken by those students who, throughout the whole educational period from the first to the twelfth grade, used the same curriculum as students from schools where Lithuanian is a medium of inctruction.

“I think we should expect a breakthrough in names spelling. A mirror principle should apply here – the same solutions should be offered both to Lithuanian in Poles and Poles in Lithuania” – noted Skvernelis.

As he said, the government intends to provide the opportunity to broadcast Polish televisions in so-called South-Eastern Lithuania. “We want to ensure that our citizens, not only those with Polish nationality, have free access to Polish channels and do not have to choose Ostankino” – stated the Prime Minister.

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

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