Grybauskaite says that Lithuania’s government will have to heed her word

May 25, 2009 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

Few Lithuanian commentators doubted the Lithuania’s president-elect resolve to influence the internal Lithuania’s politics.  According to them the Lithuania’s Constitution limits the powers of the Lithuania’s president a lot.  As Kestutis Girinius mentioned in Lietuvos Zinios daily, it is wrong to call Ms Grybauskaite and Iron Lady and compare her to Thatcher.  Thatcher was the British Prime Minister, and Ms Grybauskaite will be Lithuania’s President with very different set of powers.

However, the in the Veidas weekly magazine Lithuania’s president-elect Dalia Grybauskaite has rebuffed talks that her bid to do some reshuffling in the Cabinet may go counter to the country’s Constitution.

The government will have to hear her word, Grybauskaite repeated, saying that ministers who fail to provide a vision or convince her of their capacity to take things into their hands when the going gets tough will no longer be able to continue their work in the government.

“No, I don’t think it does (goes counter to the Constitution). I’ll mull this over with the prime minister, and put into use not just all legitimate powers vested in me, but my authority as well,” Grybauskaite said in an interview to Veidas weekly.

The president-elect assured that the incumbent finance, social security and labour, economy and energy ministers can stay on as long as they get their ‘homework’ done.

“I have no problem with them. I mentioned not the individuals themselves, but the specific domains, which proved most complicated in Lithuania amid the downturn. They require much attention, knowledge and competence. All the confusion and turmoil regarding taxes for small and medium sized businesses, Sodra (the State Social Insurance Fund Board), health insurance and others needs to be cleared up in the immediate future. If that gets done, and I see that ministers comprehend the complexity of the situation at hand, and are capable to react accordingly, I will by no means care to replace them,” Grybauskaite said to the magazine and the BNS writes.

The president-elect also went on to say she disagrees that her plans to take a more active role in domestic policy, especially in supervising government activity, is in itself a key to a conflict between three governing bodies, i.e. the President’s Office, the government and the Seimas, as foreshadowed by some political scientists.

“All will depend on politicians themselves, lets leave the need to create bubbles to some political scientists and some of the press. And I repeat: I am ready to work hand in hand and pursue compromise, to summon, not fight,” Grybauskaite said.

The future president of Lithuania again reiterated her being point-blank against the established national investor Leo LT and said it was necessary to find the most economic means of disassembling it.

“I think this was the ugliest example of oligarchy and for this reason alone it must be ousted from Lithuania even regardless of what costs it will ensue. Of course, we need to find the most economic means of splitting up, but I think a private partner should well understand that after a blow as harsh as the one that hit both them and the state it’s best to separate on good terms,” she said.

Grybauskaite said she was expecting to hear decisions on Leo LT during her first day in office, namely July 12.


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

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