“They did not take into consideration what had been agreed in the social committee, it was done in the most brutal way possible, trampling over all social partners, disregarding what had been achieved – this came as a surprise to me. This is a sign of how completely inhumane the administration is,” Grybauskaitė said in an interview to Lietuvos Ryto television broadcast on Thursday evening.
She added that the reform, which is part of the larger revamp of Lithuania’s labour relations and social welfare system, would only encourage emigration from the country.
“We do not make the reforms for somebody abstract – in the end, they are intended for the people of Lithuania. Who will live here? Aliens? Who are the reforms for? Such reforms push our people to the margins, boosting their mistrust in the government and the feeling that we do not care about people, thus fuelling emigration,” said the president.
In her words, the regulation of labour relations in Lithuania needs to be revised, but those provisions that most directly affect people’s well-being should be mollified by way of negotiations.
“As a matter of fact, we need the labour reform, more flexibility in the labour market, and nobody questions that and I truly support the reform as such. However, after 18 months of trilateral negotiations among employers, the government and employees, all of the agreements that had been reached were scrapped in the phase of adoption,” said Grybauskaitė.
“My suggestion is to look for compromise without destroying the reform, without destroying the fundamental changes in the liberalization of the labour force – we should polish the sharp corners that harm people,” the president concluded.