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Published: 28 november 2019 17:47

With V. Sinkevičius packing his bags to Brussels – talks about ministry merger

Ramūnas Karbauskis ir Gediminas Kirkilas
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Ramūnas Karbauskis and Gediminas Kirkilas

With the European Parliament having approved the new European Commission, Minister of Economics and Innovation Virginijus Sinkevičius will depart to work as a European commissioner. Seimas Vice Speaker Gediminas Kirkilas says that there might not be a need to seek a new minister.

According to G. Kirkilas, so far there is no news on who could take V. Sinkevičius’ place in the Ministry of Economics and Innovation.

“To my knowledge, the president is also thinking about it. It could happen that there will be a ministry merger,” he said in Seimas on Thursday.

According to G. Kirkilas, the government programme has a section on implementing a merger of the Ministry of Economics and Innovation with the Ministry of Energy.

“This option could be considered. Until it is not discussed, approved or rejected, other options will not be considered,” the Social Democrat Labour leader explained.

The Ministry of Energy was reinstated in 2009, separating the institution from the then Ministry of Economy.

G. Kirkilas explained that the Ministry of Energy was established in preparation of building a nuclear power plant.

“As this project is now in the past and is not being fulfilled, it is logical to consider merging the two ministries once more,” the Social Democrat Labour leader believes.

The possibility of a ministry merger was also confirmed by Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the largest ruling party – the Lithuanian Farmer and Greens Union (LVŽS).

“Everything is possible, I cannot answer this question. If we are to talk about our programme, it states that there is potential for merger. But the programme is one thing, reality is another. We really do not want to make rash decisions, but it could be that the question of a merger will be discussed very seriously,” the LVŽS Seimas group prefect commented.

According to R. Karbauskis, so far there have been no discussions on who could replace V. Sinkevičius as minister of economics and innovation. The “Farmer” leader emphasised that currently the forming of the state budget for next year is most important.

“When the budget is approved, we will perhaps reach this question. Because currently a different minister can substitute temporarily. There’s no rush, no problem here,” R. Karbauskis said on Thursday.

Commenting on murmurs that the office of minister of economics and innovation may be offered to former prime minister, member of Seimas Algirdas Butkevičius, G. Kirkilas stated it is too early to discuss candidacies.

“Theoretically – why not? But I think that initially, the merger will be discussed to start with,” he explained.

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