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President reluctant to interfere in Government rows over Minister of Interior

Lietuvos prezidentė Dalia Grybauskaitė
Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė sees no reasons why the current government could not continue working, and disagreements caused by Minister of Interior Affairs Raimundas Palaitis' decision to dismiss two top officials of the Financial Crime Investigation Service should be dealt with by the coalition. The President does not interfere in their relations, the President's chief adviser on internal policy affairs Mindaugas Lingė has said.

"In discussing the government, it's very important to underline that the President is working with this government and sees no reasons why she could not continue doing that. Everything depends on the government itself and the President does not directly interfere in their relations," the presidential adviser said commenting on the situation when the ruling conservatives demand resignation of the Interior Minister delegated by the liberal centrists.

Lingė believes internal disagreements of the ruling coalition should not become obstacles for reaching strategic goals which have to be priorities for the ruling coalition while deciding its future, the presidential adviser said.

"The president and the government have so far agreed and still agree on strategic state issues, and the President has on numerous occasions expressed support for the government's ongoing work, and this support remains unchanged. Performance, and not other factors, should be the main factor determining the future of the government," Lingė said in an interview for the Žinių Radijas (News Radio) on Tuesday.

"If differences of opinion on minor issues occur, they do not have a decisive influence on the President's relations with the government and parliament," he added.

According to Lingė, the Presidential Office hopes the ruling coalition will find a way out of this situation without undermining strategic goals, and "the dialogue with the parliament and government will remain constructive until the very elections."

Constructive relations

Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius has said his relations with President Dalia Grybauskaitė are and will remain constructive despite differences of opinion on certain issues.

The prime minister expressed his position while commenting whether the scandal around the dismissal of two top officials of the Financial Crime Investigation Service might undermine his relations with the president. Minister of Interior Affairs Raimundas Palaitis might loose his job as a result of the scandal.

"The first thing is that our relations have been and will be constructive, and this is not the first case when we have slightly different attitudes towards some problem. But our experience of the last three years shows that we manage to find constructive solutions by retaining our individual attitudes," the Lithuanian prime minister said in an interview for the Lithuanian Radio on Tuesday.

He refused to say whether the whole story would end if he proposed the president to dismiss Palaitis.

According to him, despite differences of opinion, partners of the coalition - the conservatives, liberal centrists and liberals - have, in recent years, managed to find constructive solutions allowing them to continue working.

"In this case I can reiterate the same. I also see my responsibility, just as I see the responsibility of the coalition partners. Even if some of the coalition partners fail to find a solution in their area of responsibility, in that case we'll all find one together," the prime minister said, calling the dismissal of the FCIS chiefs a mistake.

"I see that the coalition has proved its ability to solve the most serious problems, including internal problems, therefore, it wouldn’t be very wise trying to predict something. The most important thing is the work we see as very important, and we are determined to do this work consistently," Kubilius said.

In his words, important work related to solving energy, financial and law enforcement problems does not depend on the way how the coalition manages to solve "one or another personal problem".

The ruling conservatives want Palaitis, who dismissed the two top leaders of the Financial Crime Investigation Service Gailius and Giržadas on 15 February, to resign.

Asked on Monday whether he trusted Palaitis, Kubilius said: "Palaitis and the Liberal and Center Union should have a serious discussion of the commission's conclusions." He said he still believed the dismissal of the FCIS officials was a mistake.

Lithuania 's parliament Anti-Corruption Commission, which carried out an investigation into the dismissal, proposed reinstating Gailius and Girzadas as hey had been sacked unfoundedly. They also called on dismissing Palaitis.

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