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Lithuanian president says she will closely observe that new government reports accurately on public finances

Lietuvos prezidentė Dalia Grybauskaitė ir Algirdas Butkevičius
15min.lt/Juliaus Kalinsko nuotr. / President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius
Šaltinis: BNS
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Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with members of the country's new Cabinet on Monday and said she would personally look into the accuracy of information provided by the Cabinet on the country's finances.

"I have approved the 16th Cabinet with a certain advance of trust. I will therefore personally pay a lot of attention on the compliance with fiscal and economic discipline and whether information about the situation matches reality," the president said after the meeting.

Grybauskaitė also promised to observe that "statehood and strategic long-term interests are not sacrificed for a short-term illusion of cheaper living and whether the distribution of EU funds and public procurement are transparent."

The president read out her statement following her first meeting with the Cabinet of Social Democratic Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius.

The president said the Cabinet's key task is to responsibly run the state's finances. In Grybauskaitė's words, it is important to "transfer fiscal discipline provisions to the national law on the constitutional level." Grybauskaitė also highlighted the need to step up economic competitiveness through the application of innovations, and also improve tax collection.

The president said the new government would also have to "reduce dependence on one supplier" of energy, referring to Russian gas giant Gazprom which is currently the sole gas supplier to Lithuania.

According to Grybauskaitė, it is important to finish the construction of the LNG terminal for Lithuania to have an alternative. The Lithuanian president also said Lithuania should "remain a mixed-energy country" without elaborating.

In the president's words, the new Cabinet will have to take real action to fight political and economic corruption and it "should not become a hostage to oligarchic and criminal interests."

Following the meeting which lasted slightly less than an hour, Butkevičius also mentioned the same issues.

"We touched upon key provisions and tasks of the Cabinet's program. We also talked about more specific implementation of energy security in Lithuania, about job creation, especially focusing a lot on youth employment, as well as about compliance with strict fiscal and monetary policy, and introducing the euro as fast as possible. The Cabinet's goal is to introduce the euro in 2015," Butkevičius said.

The prime minister confirmed that his government is still determined to finish the construction of the LNG terminal in the port of Klaipėda by late 2014.

Neither the president nor the new prime minister mentioned the new nuclear power plant project.

The president and the prime minister would not take questions from reporters.

Lithuania's new ruling coalition formed by the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, the Labor Party, the Order and Justice Party, and the Electoral Action of Poles has 85 seats in the 141-seat parliament.

BNS
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