Bad blood
Arvamus 09 Mar 2012  EWR
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Polish-Lithuanian ties are ancient but increasingly acrimonious

The Economist Mar 10th 2012 | from the print edition
Bafflingly bad and getting dangerously worse. That is how Polish-Lithuanian ties seem to outsiders. The two countries share six centuries of overlapping history (and sometimes geography), but remember it differently, Lithuanians, some 3m of them, think Poland is arrogant and interfering. Poland, 12 times larger, thinks Lithuania mistreats its ethnic Polish minority—around 8% of the population—and fails to keep its promises.

The rows are long-running and seemingly arcane. One is about spelling: Lithuanian law says official documents, such as passports and birth certificates, may be written only in the Lithuanian alphabet, which lacks the letter W and most of the diacritical marks of Polish. That is a nuisance for those with non-Lithuanian names.

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