The German Times’ wrong on Lithuanian ‘Europsceptism’

November 23, 2008 at 10:59 pm 7 comments

WorkigI have read an article in the German Times monthly and found some untruth about the Lithuanian election results.  The information in the article is simply untruth.  I have sent a letter to the paper asking to correct this missinformation.

Dear Editor,

I am a subscriber to the German Times and enjoying reading it for almost a year.  It is a fantastic monthly which gives its reader the German perspective of the current affairs to the world.  I am convinced that despite this IT age every country in the world should have something similar to the German Times.

However, the November issue (Vol 2. No.11) had grossly misinformed its readers.  In the article ‘A guarantor of freedom and prosperity’ by Andreas Theyssen it is written; ‘In October, a majority of Lithuanians voted for parties that had proclaimed two main goals during the election campaign; a more distant stance toward the EU and resistance to decisions in Brussels that supposedly go against national interests…’

I would like to inform you that this is simply untrue.  Out of all parties, which entered the parliament, only one party (Order and Justice) openly declared that it would not allow closing the Ignalina nuclear plant ‘no matter what Brussels will say’.  Some other parties declared their support for the advisory referendum on the issue, which was held simultaneously with the elections.

I can assure you that all the parties, which were elected to the Parliament declare support for the Lithuania’s EU membership.  Even though some of the members of the Order and Justice MP’s are calling to look after the Lithuanian national interest first, the party’s programme fully supports Lithuania’s EU membership and highlights membership’s benefits to for the countries future.

Hence, it is evident that Mr Andreas Theyssen was subjective in his remarks and unprofessionally saw what he wanted to see in his analysis of the Lithuanian Parliamentary vote results.

I hope that the German Times will correct this mistake since it is a well-respected international publication.

In addition I would like to add that the Lithuanians traditionally remain amongst the one of the staunchest EU supporters.  Furthermore, the referendum of extension of the Ignalina plant was void due to lack of votes (less than 50 per cent of those eligible to vote turned up) and the party Order and Justice will be represented only by 15 MPs.  And this is out of 141 seats.

Sincerely Yours,

Ruslanas Iržikevičius 

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Entry filed under: Baltic States, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Politics.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • […] criticises an article in the German Times for misrepresenting results of the recent parliamentary elections in […]

    Reply
  • 2. Nerijus  |  November 24, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I am not entirely convinced they [The German Times] were wrong. It all depends how you consider the ones who are in support and the ones who are against. The ground is very slippery. Taking into account the recent Lithuania’s stance againts new EU and Russia trade treaty negotiation, that doesn’t seem untrue at all. I assume, that in general Lithuanian camp in Brussels goes hand in hand with countries like UK, Poland, Czech Republic and Sweden. Be aware that is only a generalization, of course on some issues they can differ immensely. And what have we got now, after elections? Probably, it will be very hard to deny that election winners are very keen in supporting this camp, which the author of the article considers as “anti-European force”. Consider quote from the article: “Ganley’s latest plan is to unite anti-European forces in the Czech Republic, France, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.” . The interesting point here, is that this article and Ruslanas complaint is a shiny example how differently EU is taketh.

    Reply
  • 3. Ruslanas Iržikevičius  |  November 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Nerijus,

    I appreciate your interesting remarks. However, if you would have a look at the official Lithuanian position on the EU you will see that it is super pro EU. Lithuania is the first to vote in favour of the EU Constitution (one could argue if it was prudent to do that so fast). Lithuanians are keen to adopt Euro and Lithuania’s actions to join the Schengen area. Lithuanians are supportive of the Lisbon Treaty. Also don’t forget about the Lithuanian public support for the EU.

    Your reference to the Lithuanian actions towards the EU-Russia agreement derives from the Lithuanians’ frustration that the EU has not common voice towards Russia. Hence, the common EU voice on the foreign policy and energy is also one of the Lithuania’s priority. It is another question if the Lithuanian’s actions made this goal more realistic.

    The UK, Poland and Czech Republic are openly and officially ‘reserved’ in regards to further integration. One could argue again, if the official opinion expressed by the Polish and the Czech presidents fully in line with the ‘official ministries’ position. There is no such a ‘phenomena’ in Lithuania. All institution fully support the EU integration.

    Best regards,

    Reply
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