The prime minister’s spokesman and Landsbergis both refused to elaborate on the meeting. Furthermore, neither of them specified who had initiated the meeting.
“I do not know who was the initiator, I didn’t ask this but I want to say this is nothing out of the ordinary, it is part of continued, normal constructive cooperation with both coalition partners and opposition figures,” Skvernelis’ spokesman Tomas Beržinskas told BNS. Skvernelis has been delegated to the post by the Lithuanian Farmers and Green Union.
Spotted at the government by BNS journalists, Landsbergis said he could not remember who exactly had initiated the meeting, emphasizing it was a “private” conversation that was not harmonized with the rest of the party’s leadership. The conservatives’ leader said the meeting only addressed two issues, including Skvernelis’ upcoming participation in the conservative party’s congress.
“We may object ideas, we may refuse to support the program or proposals, however, the Western experience and practice is that parties in general are not enemies. This is the message we want to sent – this is a new phase of culture that is broadly propagated at the European Parliament and Western Europe,” he told BNS.
Landsbergis refused to comment whether the meeting addressed the planned reform of forestry companies, possible coalitions, relations with coalition partners, the Social Democrats.
“The (conservative) Homeland Union is not pushing its way to the ruling majority, we are ready to support the reforms that are necessary for Lithuania (…). The prime minister may decide to tell more, if he deems it necessary, however, it was merely an informal friendly chat,” Landsbergis noted.
On Monday, the leader of the opposition conservatives stated that the party was willing to support the ruling bloc’s education reforms and restructuring of state companies, including the forestry sector, if they do not secure backing of the Social Democrats or some of the members of the Lithuanian Farmers and Green Union.
Skvernelis, the LFGU prime minister, said on Tuesday that Landsbergis’ pledges to back the strategic reforms was a sign of the opposition’s constructive work.
The LFGU has 56 votes in Lithuania’s 141-seat parliament (excluding Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis who is not a member of the group), while their coalition partners, the Social Democrats, have 19 mandates. The conservative party group has 31 members.
After winning a landslide victory in the parliamentary elections last fall, LFGU announced they would hold coalition talks with both the Social Democrats and the conservatives. However, a coalition was formed by Farmers and Green Union and the Social Democrats. The conservatives moved to opposition.