What more Lithuanian politics – chaos or reform?

Viktoras Pranckietis, Saulius Skvernelis, Ramūnas Karbauskis
DELFI / Domantas Pipas

The Labour Code that have harmed the Social Democrats is affecting the Farmers Greens as well. It seems that they had the support to adopt it in the Parliament, this week they stopped the discussions on the Labour Code, postponed it completely, pushing it to the Tripartite Council, and were criticized again. Same with alcohol control and prohibitions, education reform, writing names in Latin letters in passports – there’s a lot of controversy everywhere, ambiguity and uncertainty, which makes Farmers and Greens to change their opinion. As if that is not enough, even among themselves they often think and speak differently. Anything can happen, the same fate will be for the tax innovations, which the PM promised to announce on the 1st of June. Saulius Skvernelis sated that the voter reaction, declining ratings, are because of the reforms. But today we can argue what is more right: reform or chaos?

After the President returned from a visit to Thailand and Indonesia, she visited the Innovation and Technology Festival and stated that Lithuania could be a paradise: “When you come back, when you land – the air is fresh, well, almost paradise … and the feeling stays for a week. And after it’s ruined. And everyone ruins it – from politicians to other people.”


Someone ruins the mood of the supporters of Farmers Greens – according to the population surveys in a month they have lost 4 per cent of support and ratings are falling for the fifth month in a row. PM Saulius Skvernelis rating dropped by 6 per cent and the Chairman of the Farmer Party Ramūnas Karbauskis by 8.

PM S. Skvernelis says that the ratings are falling because of the Government reforms: “All 27 years, when reforms were made, had created a desperate situation in education, a hopeless situation in the social sphere – in isolation, hopeless situation with emigration, a desperate public sector – a massive corruption. Someone did those reforms, and now we moved all of this. “


“Our ratings have fallen because it takes time to prepare and adopt laws, on the other hand, we felt a big resistance from interest groups that use the help of politicians, just like the recent concert, “Freedom to rock’n’roll” near the Parliament” explained the chairman of Farmers and Greens union Ramūnas Karbauskis.

People, who are directly linked to the initiated transformations, say that they’re worried about the fact that the laws discussed by ruling are unprepared and ideas are unclear.


„The unknown, the uncertainty, rush, pushing us to chaotically push the law and poses a major concern” said businesswoman Rasa Starkuvienė.

It is difficult to explain and where the reform of higher education is going. Suddenly, the initiative was taken over by the Chairman of the Parliament Viktoras Pranckietis. He agreed to the plans of Vytautas Magnus University to become national – to merge with other Kaunas universities like Aleksandras Stulginskis and Lithuanian Sports universities and the University of Education.


At that time, according to the Government’s plan connected not only these but also one of the strongest Lithuania, Kaunas University of Technology, should merge.

“These things seem, since instead of the support to Government, which decided to try to make such a drastic reform, instead of help here seems to be actions driven by interests. And for the strong universities, who support the attempts – the quality-oriented changes – it seems strange” said the rector of Kaunas University of Technology Petras Baršauskas.


“I am filling the Government program as it’s published, I waited for university’s initiative and now they’re coming, it’s probably the first time in the history when the universities themselves contribute to the reform” said V. Pranckietis.

“The goals of universities are fundamentally different – it’s practically impossible to agree. There must be a state arbiter, state provision, which clearly says what the stare needs and what it doesn’t – I will survive, or I will not survive”said P. Baršauskas.


Not only the merge of universities is seen differently, this week Ramūnas Karbauskis stated that all the Farmers and Greens group in the Parliament opposed Minister of Education and Science Jurgita Petrauskienės, who they delegated to the Government themselves, proposal to lengthen the school year for students.

Farmers Greens are miscommunicating and there are no changes, the President also took notice: “So far, we see that the process has been slow and difficult but let’s not forget that we have a lot of people in politics – in the Parliament, as well as a large part of the professional but politically inexperienced members of the Government, so the stopping is partially encrypted.”


S. Skvernelis said that “If someone was used to decisions being accepted harmonious, chorus, in unison – it won’t happen.”

There are obvious differences on how Farmer Green leaders approach some issues. For example, the PM believes that the original names in Latin letters must be allowed to post on the main page of the passport and the Peasant Greens leader – only in other pages of the passport.


“Talking about what is called chaos – this is where we would talk about 3 letters X, Y, W, in this situation all groups vote freely – this is a question of values, where no one group, neither us nor the others didn’t agree to vote the same because there are different opinions” said R. Karbauskis.

The leaders of Farmers Greens see differently also in the political situation in the ruling coalition. Towards the end of the week S. Skvernelis said that the Social Democrats are already waiting to be thrown out of the ruling coalition because most don’t want to leave themselves.


R. Karbauskis doesn’t see the fall of the coalition: “It’s difficult for everyone but I think as long as we can make decisions, then we’ll make them.”

Not only politicians are torn with their proposals and laws, political scientists evaluate their behaviour differently as well.


“Clearly, there’s chaos in details but it’s important that this Government wants to make reforms. Still, discussing in the Parliament about the reforms some sort of change will become clear” said political scientist Mažvydas Jastramskis.

At the same time, another political scientist Lauras Bielinis said that the Farmer and Green reforms strategically are poorly thought out.


The strength of the Farmers and Green ruling coalition and the ability to make decisions will be tested again next week – Parliament is planning to discuss plans the currently postponed new Labour Code and the reform of higher education.

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