Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-03-09-Speech-1-055"

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"Madam President, once again in this Chamber I am forced to speak up for the rights of national minorities in Lithuania, which are being ruthlessly broken and violated by the Lithuanian authorities and judicial system. In the region around Vilnius over 70% of the population are Polish. Until now, the names of streets and towns were bilingual, as they are in many countries of the European Union with national minorities. Not long ago, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania judged the placing of street name signs in Polish alongside signs with Lithuanian names to be illegal, and ordered their removal. The local government in Vilnius has implemented this decision – the Polish street names in the region where most residents are from the Polish minority have been removed. This is not acceptable in a country which has been a member of the European Union for five years. It is a symptom of extreme nationalism, shows a lack of respect for the rights of national minorities and is a violation of the fundamental principles on which the European Union is built. I call upon the Lithuanian authorities to restore the Polish names of streets and towns in regions where most residents are part of the Polish minority."@en1

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