Lithuanian president cautions against fiscal populism ahead of elections

Dalia Grybauskaitė
DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

According to the president, geopolitical processes in the world and the pre-election period in Lithuania will influence the country’s development. Therefore Grybauskaitė stressed the need to focus on three areas: economic and financial stability and the reduction of social exclusion; national defence and the refugee crisis; transparency and efforts to reduce corruption.

The president said the slow-down of the global economy and the Greek debt crisis will influence Lithuania’s economic situation. Thus the pre-election budget has to be based on economic reality and not populist promises.

Under these complicated conditions Lithuania will have to ensure further economic growth and the reduction of social exclusion. The Labour Code will have to be amended and it is crucial for social partners to reach an agreement on this. In addition, pension indexing must be linked to the actual economic situation. The reform of the social care homes has to be implemented. The management of state enterprises must become more effective and their input into the state budget must become more significant. Grybauskaitė also highlighted the development of separate regions, especially southeast Lithuania.

Grybauskaitė emphasised the necessity to continue devoting attention to national defence. Adequate defensive funding must be ensured as Russia’s behaviour has not changed, she said. The State Defence Council has made a decision to increase funding for defence by EUR 150 million in 2016.

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