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Published: 28 february 2012 16:48

Lithuanian liberal centrists stay in government

Algis Čaplikas
BFL/Tomo Lukšio nuotr. / Algis Čaplikas

Chairman of the Lithuanian Liberal and Center Union, Algis Čaplikas, met with Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius on Tuesday morning. He refused to comment on what they talked about but said the liberal centrists were still in the coalition and hoped to find common ground with the prime minister.

"I would not and will not comment on the contents of the conversation," Čaplikas told journalists at the parliament.

"We are still in the coalition. The coalition agreement is valid, and we continue to work. The most important thing today is to find the truth about who made a billion disappear from bank Snoras, and end this scandal as soon as possible. The longer this scandal takes the better it is for the people who took that money from Lithuania. If it dies down and everything is settled, then the Financial Crime Investigation Service, the Prosecutor General's Office and the State Security Department will be able to do their job," the politician said.

Although Čaplikas did not disclose the contents of the conversation, he said he believed they would find agreement with the prime minister.

"I believe we'll find a common position for the sake of the state so that Lithuanian money goes back to Lithuanian people," he said.

The conflict arose after Minister of Interior Affairs Raimundas Palaitis, member of the Liberal and Center Union, sacked two top officials of the Financial Crime Investigation Service, Vitalijus Gailius and his deputy Vytautas Giržadas. They were dismissed on 15 February on the basis of information received from the State Security Department, which had conducted an investigation into information leak to do with Snoras bank. The minister had earlier revoked Gailius and Giržadas' access to classified information.

On Monday, the prime minister said the information received from Palaitis and the State Security Department gave him an impression that "the dismissal of the FCIS was hasty and not based on clear reasons."

Lithuania 's ruling Coalition for Changes includes three parties – Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats, Liberal Movement and Liberal and Center Union.

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