Lithuania’s governing coalition will survive despite Culture Ministry controversy, parliament speaker believes

Loreta Graužinienė
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

“Without a doubt, (it will last), there is no other choice,” Graužinienė told the Žinių Radijas news radio on Wednesday.

The future of the coalition came into doubt after Minister of Culture Šarūnas Birutis, of the Labour Party, appointed a deputy without consulting Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, a social democrat.


Graužinienė also said she could not imagine that the social democrats could finish the term as a minority government supported by the conservatives, dismissing it as an old “dream of Gediminas Kirkilas and Andrius Kubilius”.

“This may be a dream some men may entertain in order to return to power,” said Graužinienė.


The next parliamentary elections are scheduled for the autumn of 2016.

Tensions among coalition partners emerged earlier this week after Social Democrat Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius gave the Labour Party’s Culture Minister Birutis a week to sack Culture Vice-Minister Vytautas Vigelis, also a member of the Labour Party. The party’s leader Valentinas Mazuronis was initially indignant, saying the party had no plans of making any changes, but Vigelis stepped down himself on Tuesday.


The ruling parties also disagree on the new social model proposed to the parliament, as part of it contains wide-ranging liberalization of labour relations. The prime minister urges the parliament to adopt the government-proposed amendments of a few dozen laws, while the parliamentary speaker maintains that there should be no haste in reforming the labour code.

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