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2015.09.08 13:45

No decisions needed on location name spelling in minorities languages – Lithuanian PM

DELFI EN | The Lithuania Tribune2015.09.08 13:45

(BNS) Lithuania’s Social Democratic Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius stresses the importance of a law on the spelling of non-Lithuanian names not only for the Polish minority but for Lithuanians as well. But he does not mention, however, any amendments on the spelling of location names, saying that such decision are not needed at the moment.

 (BNS) Lithuania’s Social Democratic Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius stresses the importance of a law on the spelling of non-Lithuanian names not only for the Polish minority but for Lithuanians as well. But he does not mention, however, any amendments on the spelling of location names, saying that such decision are not needed at the moment.

“We should not make a big thing out this (name spelling – BNS) bill and say that is needed only for the Polish community. Judging from the statements I have received in recent years, the majority of them are from female Lithuanians, married to foreigners, who reproach over the inability to have their husbands’ surnames,” Butkevičius said in an interview with the Žinių Radijas news radio on Thursday.

In his words, the existing spelling rules cause problems for some citizens when dealing with property or other legal issues.

But asked about possible amendments on bilingual location names, the head of the Lithuanian government said no decisions were needed in this case. “A separate discussion is needed on the spelling of location names in several languages. We should definitely not make any decisions now,” the prime minister said.

Butkevičius told BNS earlier there should be no bilingual location and street signs in Lithuania.

The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, a Polish party in the Social Democratic-led ruling coalition, wants the government to allow the use of bilingual public signs in areas with large Polish populations. Currently, a number of properties in Vilnius and Šalčininkai Districts have bilingual street signs illegally put on them, despite court orders to remove them.

The Butkevičius government made a commitment in its program to draft a law on national minorities and resolve the street and location name spelling issue in compliance with the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

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