“Nuclear power plant project will not be stopped; negotiations with Hitachi are still in progress,” said the leader of Social Democrats Algirdas Butkevičius on Monday morning. But by the afternoon, the party distributed a totally opposite opinion, lrytas.lt reported on 15 October.
“We thank the citizens of Lithuania for the expressed will about the construction of the new nuclear power plant, the obvious disapproval of the conservative project is a political precept to us, which we will keep on assuming responsibility for Lithuania’s energy future,” said Butkevicius late Monday.
Apparently, he understood that ignoring the strongly expressed will of the voters for a new nuclear power plant, could hurt the Social Democrats during the second round of parliamentary elections. Such rhetoric is dangerously similar to the speech of conservatives, who crushingly lost the election, so the left leaning leader changed his mind.
“Social Democrats would like to thank the people of Lithuania for the civic position expressed in a referendum on a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania,” continued Butkevicius. “62.72 percent of the referendum votes supported the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party’s position that our country does not need the expensive, non-transparent and economically feasible project.”
Does not want to spend borrowed money
Butkevicius also promised to eliminate investments in new projects that are not useful for Lithuania from the next year’s budget. Which programs will be removed, he did not specify, stating that he is still not familiar with the investment program.
Speaking as if he intends to become a prime minister, Butkevicius drew the vision of how from the middle of next year the tax system will be replaced.
“There will be a group of experts, which will prepare a detailed analysis of the current tax system,” said Butkevicius. “It is unrealistic that taxation of labor income and consumption is the highest in Lithuania and the smallest for capital. After that we would present it to the public, perhaps on the month of June. In this case, we could adopt tax law changes before July 1.”
The main consumption taxes are the added value tax and excise duties.
“Lithuania needs to stimulate the economy by creating new job positions and creating the added value, this would generate revenue to all budgets. I think every head of state’s position must be so.
“But our position is not to spend borrowed money. First, you need to earn money, earn higher income in all budgets, and then be able to raise wages. Increasing the wages not to all people by a certain percentage, but after the analysis of the situation only to the low wages sectors. In some budgetary institutions, such as police officers, young, healthy, energetic men receive 1.2 thousand LTL and has to keep families.”
The Social Democrats, together with the Labour Party and the “party Order”, agreed to form a coalition. Who will be the prime minister, nobody agreed. This will be determined after the second round of the elections.
“We have every opportunity to perform well in the second round,” said the Social Democratic elections chief of staff Juozas Olekas.
Translated by Laura Bojarskaitė
Edietd by Sara Lischynsky