bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 20.02.2020 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris
LithuaniaLithuania

Lithuania’s ruling LFGU and opposition Conservatives feud over forget-me-not flower

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

 Lithuania Forget-me-not Conservative patent Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

Forget-me-not, a symbol of eternal love and remembrance and the flower believed to have played a role in God‘s creating the earth, has been the target of feud between the opposition Conservatives (officially, the Homeland Union- Lithuanian Christian Democrats (HU-LCD) and the ruling party,  Lithuania’s Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU).

The symbol was trademarked

The flower, known for its five blue petals, ended up in focus after the symbol this year was profusely used in the events commemorating the victims of the January 13, 1991 massacre, when in the aftermath of the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania the Soviet troops killed 14 civilians defending the Lithuanian Television Tower.

The revelation that the symbol of the flower has been trademarked, i.e. became intellectual property of one of a Conservative MP who registered the symbol, just poured gas on the fire.

«I was stunned to learn that Conservative Monika Navickienė made from the forget-me-not a trademark symbol for the party she represents. This is very unfair,» Ramūnas Karbauskis, leader of the ruling LFGU posted on Facebook.

Double standards?

After the State Patent Bureau (SPB) in charge of issuance of new trademarks rejected previously Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis’ request to trademark the name «For the Fatherland», Karbauskis suspected double standards applied by the patent bureau. «The bureau officials refused to register the name, claiming that it has a big symbolic value. However, this was not applied to the Conservatives’ similar request regarding the forget-me-not flower,» regretted Karbauskis.

«I’ve been observing for the last couple of years how the Conservatives are luring everyone to participate in January 13 commemoration events using the flower’s symbol. I really cannot understand why they are not using for that our other historically well-distinguished symbols like, for the example, Vytis, the coat of arms of Lithuania, consisting of an armour-clad knight on horseback holding a sword and shield? Our tri-colour flag? Or, say, the Columns of Gediminas or the Pillars of Gediminas that are one of the earliest symbols of Lithuania?» the LFGU leader asked rhetorically.

«I am really flabbergasted that the forget-me-not flower was trademarked by Conservative MP Monika Navickienė back in 2015 and, now, is effectively owned by her. This is preposterous and very unfair. I can just make my guesses why the Conservative did not admit the fact until now. Perhaps she along with her fellow party members had apprehensions that not everybody, especially students and children, will want to associate themselves with the symbol of Conservatives?»

Where the money goes?

«Frankly, I feel cheated and betrayed by the State Patent Bureau that is clearly applying double standards when it comes to registering or not a trademark. I believe that, with the indignation in the public, Navickienė should renounce her rights for the trademark,» Karbauskis said. «When the badges and the T-shirts bearing the symbol started going on sale and were given free for schoolchildren and kindergartners, the line was crossed. The money they collect from the sales fills the Conservatives’ coffers, which is the explanation why the Conservatives are pushing the items with the flower’s symbol,» the LFGU chairman reasoned.

According to him, wearing such badges and T-shirts equals to expressing «full support» for the Conservatives and their policies. «We certainly cannot forbid it, but, looking forward, we all, including President Gitanas Nausėda, have to understand this clearly,» Karbauskis concluded.

Ownership rights handed over?

Defending herself, Navickienė argued that the forget-me-not bloom has nothing to do with the Homeland Union- Lithuanian Christian Democrats. She claims she has handed over ownership rights for the symbol to public association «Neužmiršk» (Do not forget), established to commemorate Lithuania’s January 13 tragedy.

For the seventh consecutive time, «Neužmiršk» organised this year a commemorative event to remind heroism of the fallen January 13 heroes. Association sold badges containing the forget-me-not flower in kiosks across the country and the money from the sales were to go for the National Defence Volunteer Forces, «Neužmiršk» said.

Britons have their own flower symbols

«In 2014, I came up with the idea of having a symbol that would remind us what happened during January 13. The similar idea is implemented in Great Britain, where the symbol containing image of the poppy is profusely used to mark heroism of an English woman, who raised funds during World War I for widows, orphans, veterans and different charities.

The modern Remembrance Poppy has been trademarked by veteran’s associations in many jurisdictions, particularly in the Britain and the Commonwealth nations.

«From the very beginning, the idea we came up with had nothing to do with political affiliation. It could not be otherwise, as the idea was widely accepted by various societal organisations and the public,» said Navickienė.

Two different things?

Referring to the State Patent Bureau’s decision to refuse to register PM Skvernelis’ trademark name «For the Fatherland», the Conservative MP said that it was «understandable», as it originated from Skvernelis’ plans to establish under the name his new political party. «We here have to completely different things…Unfortunately, Karbauskis tends to mix size of shoes with size of lemons, but this is his personal problem,» the parliamentarian quipped speaking to Lithuanian media.

Old traditions are being pushed out?

However, many analysts disapprove appearance of new symbols, like that of the forget-me-not. «Any symbol is reference to a certain tradition, as well as our identity. The symbols we have show what tradition we are associating ourselves with…We do have many well-recognised symbols, like Vytis, the columns of Gediminas, so appearance of new symbols means to me that the older traditions we have are becoming less important in our lives and we are not association with them any more…To me, the popularising of the forget-me-not symbol is just thing of the kind – we are pushing into oblivion the tradition which has played an essential role during January 13 and we are creating new traditions, which are erasing the memory,» Vygantas Malinauskas, chairman of Lithuanian Catholic federation «Ateitis», told BNN.


Leave a reply

Kristīnes Misāne’s representatives say her extradition is temporarily halted

The extradition of Latvian citizen Kristīne Misāne, who is accused of kidnapping her own child, to the South African Republic has been temporarily halted, as Delfi TV ar Jānis Domburs was told by the woman’s sister Mārīte Batraka.

Estonian wind farm land sold for EUR 51.4 million

In Estonia, the auction of a 160-hectare plot of land intended for the erection of wind turbines, has been won by Estonian energy giant Eesti Energia, which offered the price of 51.5 million euros, ERR reports.

Citskovskis: around 3 000 people have left state administration in Latvia in three years

Over the course of three years the number of people employed in Latvia’s state administration has reduced by 3 000 people, as reported by State Chancellery director Jānis Citskovskis at a meeting of Saeima’s Public Administration and Local Government Committee on Wednesday, 19 February.

European Central Bank annuls PNB Bank’s license

The European Central Bank has made a decision to liquidate PNB Bank’s license, as confirmed by Latvia’s Finance and Capital Market Commission.

Number of births in Latvia has increased in January since last year

Over the past four years, birth number is declining, however during the year there are months when greater birth number is registered. Provisional data of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia show that 1.6 thousand newborns were registered in January 2020, which is 5 % more than in the corresponding month a year ago.

133 jobs in welfare liquidated in Latvia last year

A total of 133 jobs were liquidated in Latvia’s welfare sector last year. This was done to reduce and optimize institutions and administration in this sector, as confirmed by Welfare Minister’s advisor Liesma Kalve.

Latvia needs almost 300 million euros to afford Rail Baltica

The funding Latvia needs to implement Rail Baltica project is EUR 297 620 500. This includes EUR 242 385 425 from the Connecting Europe Facility and EUR 55 235 075 from the state co-financing, as reported by Transport Ministry’s communication office.

Spanish government approves digital tax, but waits for OECD deal

As European Union member states seek to tax the profitable business of tech giants, Spanish government has passed a digital services tax, which could affect such US companies as Facebook and Google, according to The Guardian.

Estonian police finds potentially fatal substances added to illegal drugs

In Estonia, the police have informed the society about finding rat poison and washing powder in illegal drugs, ERR reports.

Kariņš: it is blatant we’ve had to wait for so long for a ruling in Maxima tragedy case

It is blatant that we have had to wait for more than six years between the Maxima tragedy and a ruling in the criminal case, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview to LTV programme Rīta panorama on 19 February.

Latvian government takes over National Opera building

The government has decided to take over the Latvian National Opera and Ballet building and hand it over to Culture Ministry for management, as reported by the ministry’s representative Lita Kokale.

Ukraine warfare escalates; OSCE calls for restraint

In Eastern Ukraine, this week has been marked with a deadly battle between Ukrainian government forces and Kremlin-backed separatists. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has called on sides to adhere to agreed ceasefire, US news portal Radio Free Europe reports.

Rīgas satiksme new management’s stance on contract with Rīgas karte remains unclear

Municipal public transport company LLC Rīgas satiksme’s new board offers no clarity in relation to potentially terminating the contract with LLC Rīgas karte, as Saeima’s Public Expenditures and Audit Committee was told by RS board chairperson Džineta Innusa.

UK would not give visas to unskilled EU labour after Brexit

The British government has announced its immigration plan for the period after Brexit. It sets forth not issuing visas to unskilled labour from European countries, the BBC reports.

Attīstībai/Par! and Progressive party to run in Riga elections together

Party union Attīstībai/Par! and the Progressive party have decided to put together a shared list of candidates in the upcoming snap elections in Riga. Mārtiņš Staķis will be their mayoral candidate, as confirmed by Attīstībai/Par! representative Aleksis Zoldners.

Einars Repše becomes Baltic International Bank’s council head’s advisor

Latvia’s ex-prime minister and once the governor of the Bank of Latvia Einars Repše has become the advisor to Baltic International Bank’s council chairman Valērijs Belokoņs, as confirmed by the bank.

Prosecutor General’s Office requests Denmark to extradite Misāne to Latvia

The Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Latvia has sent a request to Danish authorities regarding the extradition of Kristīne Misāne to the country, as confirmed by the office’s press-secretary Laura Majevska.

In pictures: UK hit by heaviest winter floods of past years

The storm Dennis has heavy flooding to the United Kingdom as widespread rainfall came a week after the powerful storm Ciara, according to The Guardian.

FDP: economic growth may be slowed by multiple global and domestic risks

Latvia’s Fiscal Discipline Council agree on Finance Ministry’s analysis, expecting the strong effect from slowed economic growth to remain in 2020, the council says.

Estonia dismisses Beijing’s call to amend intelligence report unfavourable to China

Estonian diplomats have rejected a call by the Chinese Embassy in Tallinn to amend an annual security report by the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service pointing to growing influence of China in Estonia, ERR reports.

Latvian ex-state secretary has no plans to take disciplinary case to court

Economy Ministry’s state secretary Ēriks Eglītis, who was suspended from his post, has no plans at the moment to take the disciplinary case to court, as the man confirmed in an interview to Latvijas Radio on Tuesday, 18 February.

Multi-billionaire Bezos promises USD 10 billion to help tackle climate change

In the US, the founder of the e-commerce giant Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has pledged to allocate a funding of USD 10 billion for fighting climate change, British public broadcaster BBC reports.

Latvia will continue fighting for fair financing in EU’s next multi-year budget

It is in Latvia’s interests to reach a timely agreement on the next European Union (EU) multi-year budget to help contribute to projects and secure uninterrupted investments in Latvia, as reported by Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Land acquisition for Rail Baltica going slow in Estonia

As Estonia seeks a stretch of land across the country for the construction of the pan-Baltic railway Rail Baltica, only 32 plots of land have been acquired out of some 650 needed, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.

Construction engineer Sergets sentenced to six years in prison in Maxima tragedy case

On Tuesday, 18 February, Riga City Pārdaugava Court commenced reading the ruling in the so-called Maxima tragedy criminal case, sentencing construction engineer Ivars Sergets to six years in prison, as well as five year prohibition to work in his profession.


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!