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'Poland not objective over its Lithuanian Polish minority'

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 09.09.2011 08:42
Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius says Poland is not being objective regarding his government's treatment of ethnic Poles.


“Polish authorities do not assess the situation of the Polish minority in Lithuania according to objective criteria,” the prime minister said in an interview with the Lithuanian radio station Ziniu Radias.

The remarks come after rising tension between the two countries following a new new law passed in Vilnius which would restrict access of Polish minority students to Polish language teaching.

Similarly all students in minority schools must take a matriculation exam in Lithuanian.

Andrius Kubilius said that he “sometimes gets the impression” that Poland was “drawing its conclusions” from information fed to it by the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania - a political party representing ethnic Poles in the Baltic state - and “other Polish organisations at large in the country.”

The strike in Polish schools was postponed following a meeting last weekend between prime minisyers of both countries, during which a special bi-national commission was appointed to look into the matter.

“Such work, carried out by experts, will allow the Polish authorities to take a more objective look at the decisions we have made regarding education, likewise it should dispel fears that have been formed, for various reasons,” Kubilius said.

Yesterday, Solidarity legend Lech Walesa declined to accept a top Lithuanian honour, saying that he could only do so when Vilnius had rethought its policies towards its Polish minority. Besides the education issue, he also cited the fact that Poles have to “Lithuanianize” their names in all official documents. (nh)

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