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Lithuanian Parliament opens spring session

Seimo salė
Redo Vilimo/BFL nuotr. / Seimo salė
Šaltinis: BNS

The Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania opened a plenary spring session on Saturday, with almost 700 bills on the agenda. The state's leaders call energy issues priorities of the session.

The parliament will have to decide on the concession agreement of the Visaginas nuclear power plant, the Laws on Energy Strategy, Electric Energy, Gas, Natural Gas, as well as the LNG terminal.

On the eve of the parliamentary session, Speaker of the Seimas Irena Degutienė underlined that strategic projects need agreement of all political powers and not only the ruling parties.

"We need common agreement of all political powers to decide on energy projects. If we imagined that the adoption of energy law is only the matter of the ruling majority, then we should not adopt them in the first place. These are long-term projects determining our life for the next 10, 20 or 30 years. If we lay the foundation today, it should be strong and not built on one or two bricks, meaning bills adopted by a majority of one, two or three votes," Degutienė said in an interview for BNS.

The President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with members of the Board of the Seimas on Thursday and said that parliamentarians should focus on the most important tasks of stepping up the country's energy independence, securing financial stability and restoring social justice.

Speaking about the bills registered for the spring session, Grybauskaitė highlighted the legal acts regulating compensation of the pensions that were reduced in the wake of the crisis.

The Lithuanian government has put forward 140 bills, President Grybauskaitė 16, and members of the parliament around 540. The President will also make her annual address during the spring session, starting on March 10, while the government and other institutions accountable to the parliament will also present their annual reports.

54 plenary sittings are planned during the spring session. According to the Lithuanian Constitution, the parliamentary spring session starts on March 10 and end on June 30.

Cabinet changes before election

Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Irena Degutienė congratulated parliamentarians on the new spring session, inviting all to rally their efforts to complete the term and decide on strategically important energy projects. She also noted that a state does not benefit from changes in the administration six months before the election.

"There is nothing worse to the state than making major changes to the administration and the government six months before the election, as six months is not enough for a new body to start working, also, the political instability would also draw an effect from financial markets and pull up borrowing costs. Consequently, I am inviting everybody step over party and personal tensions, focus on the tasks that are important to the state and that are important to every resident in order to complete the Seimas session and term with honor," Degutienė said in her opening speech.

She expressed regret that crucial energy projects would have to be discussed during the complex and tense political period, at the same time voicing hope that, regardless the political heat, interests and upcoming elections, the parliamentarians would rally the strength to see the strategic projects in the state light, the parliament's Public Relations Division said.

The Seimas kicked off its regular spring session on Saturday amid disagreements among coalition partners on the decision of Interior Minister Raimundas Palaitis of the Liberal and Center Union to sack two top officers of the Financial Crimes Investigation Service.

Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius has dismissed the decision as a mistake, proposing that the president should dismiss Palaitis. Meanwhile, the Liberal and Center Union stood up for the minister, saying that his steps were in line with the law.

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