• March 5, 2017
  • 167

Skvernelis backs the original spelling of surnames: Three letters will not destroy our language

Adressing the issue of original spelling of non-Lithuanian surnames in the Seimas needs a political will – stated the Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

“Today we intend to raise this issue on the plenary session and thus we need to ask ourselves: do we have strong political will? If we do, let’s do it. Or rather we should say: today we will not discuss it because we are not mature enough to do it” – said Skvernelis during the television broadcast „Savaitė“.

Personally, the Prime Minister backs original spelling of non-Lithuanian surnames. “Those three letters will not destroy our language and will not threaten our identity. If necessary, the government will present its proposal in the Seimas” – stressed the Prime Minister.

In 2010 the Seimas rejected a draft bill on the surnames spelling which was prepared by Andrius Kubilius, the then Prime Minister. Among other things it allowed original spelling of a Polish surname in a passport entry. The main argument was the concern about the future of Lithuanian language.

Remigijus Šimašius, the then Minister of Justice, referred to the Seimas rejection of the government draft bill on the surnames spelling as a “short-lived patriotic enthusiasm”, which reflects Lithuanian provincialism.

Original names spelling, bilingual inscriptions, and Polish education in Lithuania have been a bone of contention between Poland and Lithuania for years.

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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