Lietuva in brief - 2008-10-08

  • 2008-10-08
A Lithuanian-language secondary school in Dublin is  unlikely to become a  reality because Lithuanians living there should return home, Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas said. "We cannot agree on emigration concepts. Lithuanians disagree on what emigration is, whether they [emigrants] should be punished or view emigration as a source of additional opportunities," he said. "It is very likely that we'll have to say "no" to the school in Dublin. They are not paying taxes and should return to Lithuania." Education and Science Minister Algirdas Monkevicius believes that the Lithuanian secondary school in Ireland should be given serious thoughts. "We should discuss the issue because there is a need for this. Politicians should hear out the arguments." he said. Monkevicius said he had relatives who had gone to Ireland to work and would like their children to attend a Lithuanian school in Ireland rather than leave them alone in Lithuania. He pledged to go to Ireland immediately after the upcoming parliamentary elections to personally look into the situation.

Lithuania is one of the most homophobic countries in the EU and the situation can only be improved by a change of generations, Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas told parliament. Asked by Social Democrat MP Ausrine Marija Pavilioniene about the measures to be taken to prevent violations of human rights in Lithuania, Vaitiekunas replied "the situation cannot be changed by any party or any minister," in the short term. "Time or change of generations is the solution to some problems. We need to work  and explain our position patiently. To achieve results, we need to do this without anger and irritation," he said.

Fifty two percent of Lithuanians plan to vote in next year's European Parliament (EP) elections - 20 percent less than last year a survey has shown. A total of 13 MEPs are to be elected in Lithuania. The number of Lithuanians feeling positive about EU membership decreased from 32 to 28 percent, with a leap in the number of inhabitants against Lithuania's EU membership from 11 to 16 percent. 69 percent of respondents said their opinions on the matter have either remained the same or changed for the better. Fewer inhabitants, in comparison to 2007, believe EU membership would help strengthen democracy in Lithuania (49 to 43 percent). The number of disbelievers that Lithuania is capable of competing with other EU members jumped from 46 percent last year to 63 percent.