Open letter of new political movement ‘Vilnius Forum’ to Government

V. Rubavičius, K. Dubnikas, R. Valiukaitė, J. Kauneckas

The bishops, actors, scientists, businessmen joined the non-party political movement in „Vilnius forum” to appeal to the Lithuanian government, which requires a fundamental change in the economic and social policy.

A petition on the need to change the Lithuanian social and economic policy addressed to the President, government and parliament members was signed by a number of well-known people in the country.

Amongst them, a biochemist, a businessman Arvydas Janulaitis , Panevežys Bishop Emeritus Jonas Kauneckas , actress Rimantė Valiukaitė , philosopher, writer Vytautas Rubavičius Vilnius University associate professor Kęstutis Dubnikas.

The appeal states that since the restoration of independence up to this day a neoliberal economic and social policies that are being carried out push Lithuania to demographic and geopolitical impasse.

“The enormous emigration, declining birth rates and a rapidly aging population results the unprecedented decline, which already poses a direct threat to the survival of Lithuania an independent state.

If this policy will be continued, in the near future in the Soviet occupiers cherished “Lithuania without Lithuanians” vision may become a reality. Property inequality and social exclusion, driven by citizens massively changing by bringing in cheap foreign labour force in Lithuania in a short period of time they will inevitably become a minority in their own land”, – reads the petition.

Helplessness has to end

As said to DELFI by one of the “Vilnius forum” initiative group members K. Dubnikas, this petition is his main concern in the principles of the rising movement.

“Vilnius forum” as a social and political movement, a year ago adopted a declaration, which was published in Lithuania, and it aims at mobilizing citizens about threats to the state and nation. During that time, the problem in the form of increased threats became completely clear. You can look reality in the eye and not argue with it.

“Vilnius Forum” is the obligation in the face of those problems, to return democracy into their lives and sovereignty back in the hands of citizens. At present sovereign happens only once every four years, when the Parliament is elected or during other elections. Following is a political activity that serves the interests of certain groups, but not the people. It saw people desperately protesting We are looking for a solution. However, it seems like a squirrel in a wheel “, – he said.

K. Dubnikas said that as long as the citizens understand that sovereignty is not a one-day affair but a constant commitment then nothing will change.

“People emigrate not only on economic but also on moral matters. When you realize that people are feeling helpless. If the feeling is putting roots, then it is absolutely depoliticized and they are refusing the thought of a perspective normal life in Lithuania.

The petition is not just talking about our situation. The most important is the mobilization of our people: the more people will sign, the greater will be the hope that this helplessness will end “- said he.

Equate liberalism with communism

One of the “Fermentas” (now Thermo Fisher Scientific – DELFI) founder A. Janulaitis said that signing the petition will draw attention to the problems listed therein.

“I understand that part of the public, especially young people may admire liberal ideas. They have a right to exist but, unfortunately, in recent times it is evident all over the world that liberalism and a bright future are very similar to communism, only on other grounds.

I keep these views to the boundless liberalism (not saying that I would have for dictatorship or something), but the framework of democratic liberalism leads to a dead end. There is a serious social unrest “- he said.

The businessman said that is intolerance for another view is characteristic to liberalism, and all who opposed it are ignorant who do not understand.

“Apparently, I am among them “, – said A. Janulaitis.

It seems that employers are the main developers

V. Rubavičius argued that it is quite clear that the current policy should be changed. “It led us to a great tragedy in the state, the nation, the cultural loss” – he said.

According to the publicist, currently we live at the time of two-Lithuanias and the massive exodus of the country.

“The only problem arises that and the ruling and a certain part of society, which has made itself a very good life, do not want to change anything”, – said V. Rubavičius.

The respondent said that the petition was signed, because the people who are thinking about the future of Lithuania, are going through the country and the nation state, one way or another have to say, what they see, what they understand.

“One thing is obvious, but no one wants to admit it publicly – a huge value is created by the redistribution of inequality. In other words, most of the added value of a certain class of people is shared correctly.

From that social exclusion, wage inequality, etc arise. It seems that we live in a society in which employers are the main developers, creating jobs, and this is the ultimate good. Then the question arises: and who needs those employees? “- considered V. Rubavičius.

The terrible inequality

“I signed because I think that right there it says all and it’s time to actually change something. It is impossible to carry on like this, “- said stress R. Valiukaitė to DELFI.

She said that she supports the Vilnius forum activities. “I am glad that there is such initiative and it is not hard to contribute to it,” – she added.

In turn, Bishop J. Kauneckas criticized the country’s social policy.

“Lithuania has created a social policy that is biggest difference between the poor and the rich. We have the most poor people in the European Union. Here, the government should take care of people in the social policy “- he commented.

He resented why Lithuania is one of the most underdeveloped countries in Europe.
“So what that GDP rises, the economy arises, if social inequality is becoming such a big deal,” – said the cleric.

The principles and measures

Petitions text also says that the political and historical abyss of nothingness Lithuania found itself in can no longer wait.

“By realizing this we, the undersigned appeal Lithuanian citizens, require a fundamental change in the economic and social policy based on the following fundamental principles:

• The first and necessary economic and social policy change condition management democratization reform, the first steps must be the recovery of self-governance of real citizens’ by strengthening the direct representation. It is necessary to carry out the Constitutional Court’s 2002 interpretation, according to which the municipal body for self-government must be recognized in the local community, that is, its people, and not just the administration. It is necessary to establish directly elected elders, local councils and their budgets, without which the direct election of mayors do not make sense, as well as representatives of the public participation in the implementation of justice;

• Refused the long-term national strategy ” Lithuania 2030 “, which so far ideologically legitimized and carried out economic and social policies that made the nation leave;

• New economic and social policy choices based on ideological foundation of the nation and the common good of society the concept of solidarity and to refuse to date the prevailing ideological provisions of special business layer, as a state, “bearing” and “feeding” the group’s role in society;

• Radically transform the Economic, social and labour relations in accordance with the provision that the honest workers of all professions and social layers are equivalent and equally important and respected national wealth and national wealth creators;

• Refuse the so far carried out neo-liberal state of social responsibility and commitment to nationals narrowing policy;

• Refuse the hitherto predominant economic and social policy of the principle that the state should maintain the lowest incomes and the poorest citizens of the country;

• To fundamentally change relations of social groups in power in the country and stop the middle class decline Lithuania as well as narrowing of big business oligarchic privileges and influence on economic and legal means of limiting the potential for abuse of a dominant position in the national economy and the excessive political power, to prevent the country an equitable, fair and just to all citizens benefit decisions.

Implementation of the new state economic and social policy must be immediately triggered by the following measures:

• It is necessary to develop an open, but the nation’s survival and prosperity of the conditions which can guarantee and not individuals or groups of privileged interests and the common good of society, serving the national economy development concept. This, clearly defined state responsibilities and obligations to their citizens in the economic and social field scale and limits. Its practical implementation should be developed by a strategy and program;

• Forceful and targeted policy decisions to reverse the small and medium business in existence and operating conditions for creating a favourable legal and economic conditions for the free development;

• Implementation of citizens’ equality, equity and solidarity, social and labour relations, to create an effective and well-balanced social dialogue between workers and employers, a system in which both sides are equivalent without government intervention to find a consensus on the regulation of labour relations, but if it is not found, the final decision would be left to state government employees in recognition of the weaker party to the negotiations;

• In line with the provision that the state of maintenance burden should be shared by all citizens of fairness, justice and the common good principles, it is necessary to improve the tax system. It must be changed: property inequality and social exclusion, promoting the tax system, the abolition of all existing tax privileges and exemptions, and, following the best and proven in Europe and other Western countries examples and taking into account the country’s economy the real opportunities and development needs, properly optimized GDP redistribution of work and capital charge ratio;

• It is necessary to establish a clear, transparent and public salary system in the public sector and establish reasonable and fair relationship between the workers in this sector salaries;

• It is necessary to optimize and reduce the bloated and costly state and municipal bureaucracy, thus saving him to maintain unjustifiably high given the citizens assembled budget;

• Legal and economic measures necessary to eliminate the use of taxpayers money have created an open and hidden politicians and officials the privileges that go beyond the Soviet nomenclature abuse;

• It is necessary to begin resolutely combat abuses, corruption and misappropriation of public funds in the public sector, especially in public procurement, as well as measures to reduce the shadow economy, thus creating financial preconditions for boosting the country’s social policies and programs implementing it to a qualitatively higher level of organization and financing;

• It is necessary to change the legal base and remove all the artificial barriers to find out and punish people who got rich illegally quickly and effectively recover their illegally acquired property in returning to society and the state needs;

• Create a long-term national development strategy, the main aims would be to guarantee the Lithuanian state, political and historical continuity and the long-term survival of the Lithuanian nation, “- reads the petition.

The appeal was also signed Sigitas Tamkevičius, Jonas Vaitkus, Dalia Michelevičiūtė, Vytautas Radžvilas, Algimantas Pupkis Rasa Čepaitienė, Vytautas Sinica, Alfonsas Vaišvila, Andrius Navickas, Gediminas Storpirštis, Andrius Vaišnys and others.

About Edgaras Savickas 24 Articles
Ekonomikos teorija ir istorija – sritys, kuriomis itin susidomėjau dar studijų Vilniaus universitete metu. Šias žinias kasdien stengiuosi pritaikyti dirbdamas DELFI. Nagrinėdamas makroekonomikos, finansų, socialinės politikos ir kitas verslo temas visada siekiu laikytis pliuralizmo bei objektyvumo principų. Manau, kad laisva žiniasklaida yra vienas pamatinių demokratinės valstybės akmenų, o žurnalistai – tokios santvarkos gynėjai bei puoselėtojai.
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