Cover

“Polish-Lithuanian relations hit rock bottom”, cries Rzeczpospolita commentator Jerzy Haszczyński as Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė signed an amendment to the education law on 30 March, which, according to the daily’s headline story, may further deteriorate the situation of 200,000 Poles living in Lithuania. Under the new law, which comes into force on 1 July, teaching of several subjects (such as Lithuanian history and geography) in the Lithuanian language will be now be compulsory in minority schools, a move that in the eyes of Lithuanian education minister Gintaras Steponavičius is dictated by “the need for a better integration of the Polish minority in Lithuania”. Rzeczpospolita fears that the new law may also result in the liquidation of more than a half of the 116 Polish schools in Lithuania, as it specifies that in places where there are two schools (one providing education in a minority language) and not enough students, the minority school is to be closed down.