President voiced her expectations, rather than criticism – PM

President Dalia Grybauskaitė president delivers the State of the Nation Address at the Seimas
DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

“I regard it as an overview of the past year, the voicing of certain hopes and expectations about what needs to be done by this government and ruling coalition,” he told reporters, commenting on the president’s address.

When asked to comment on the president’s words about the uncertainty of reforms, the prime minister said that he did not think that her criticism was leveled specifically at his government.

“I don’t think it was a criticism of the government. (The president) also spoke about the ruling majority as a whole and voiced her expectations. I appreciate every observation and positive criticism, and, apparently, the government will have to make even more determined and targeted efforts to do that work,” he said.

Commenting on the new government’s work, the president said in her address that last October’s general elections in Lithuania raised hopes for positive change, but “the prolonged state governance turmoil and the uncertainty of some reforms is already causing concern”.

In response to this criticism, the prime minister underlined that his government started to deal with problems that had not been addressed for decades and that these reforms meet with opposition from the state bureaucracy and are not easy to implement.

When asked if he himself saw governance turmoil, Skvernelis pointed his finger at the state bureaucratic apparatus that stubbornly resists changes.

“I do see turmoil in that the state bureaucratic apparatus, which is inefficient and not result-oriented, today is using all means to protect itself in the face of the necessary, inevitable changes,” he said.

Under the Lithuanian Constitution, the president delivers the State of the Nation Address on the situation in the country and its internal and foreign policies to the Seimas once in a year.

Grybauskaitė was elected as president in May 2009 and re-elected for her second five-year term in June 2014.

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