President Dalia Grybauskaite will veto the 2012 budget if the expenses are too big and bloated, because the state would be better off living by this year’s indicators instead of further increasing the debt, lrytas.lt reported on 12 September. “The hard times haven’t passed just yet, we have to be careful with our finances. At the moment our goal is to improve our finances, we can not afford increasing the debt any further”, – spoke D.Grybauskaitė after a meeting with the Parliament Board.
During the meeting with the Parliament Board, D. Grybauskaite not only discussed Parliament’s autumn session’s most important tasks, but also underlined priorities of the new political season. These included constraining the monopolistic prices and political corruption. During her speech about the next year’s budget, D. Grybauskaite claimed she had noticed the tendency to attempt to win the favor of voters through popular, but costly suggestions: “It is being attempted to repeat what the 2008 government did with the pre-crisis budget, which I called a ‘feast during plague time.” Head of State promised to support the restoration of pensions but only after they are cut down. Also, according to her, it is time to begin carefully discussing the increase of the minimal wage.
President has suggested to parliamentarians to show political will and adopt Heat Sector and Competition law amendments. These amendments would help curb monopolistic activity, reduce the heating prices. D. Grybauskaitė has confessed that due to the Heating Sector reform, her team is experiencing pressure from lobby groups. Irena Degutienė, speaker of the parliament, has also confirmed the existence of various pressure groups who are interested that the amendments would not be adopted. According to her, politicians who are possibly working with or taking requests from various interest groups to block the process, exist even in the Parliament’s Economy Committee. President also urged the Parliament to adopt amendments related to Public Procurement law. These amendments would force to publicize all the information related to the procurements and would grant more authority to the Public Procurement Office.
Head of State also hoped that Seimas would adopt her proposed amendment, which would ban companies from contributing to the political parties and political campaigns. When asked why she believes in the success of her project when this type of proposal has been previously rejected multiple times, D.Grybauskaitė explained that previously these were propositions by separate parliament members. “Now its a proposal by the President, right before the elections. I dare them to try and tell the people of Lithuania that they want to continue to work not for Lithuania, not for the citizens of Lithuania, but for businesses and interests groups.” President stated that the neighboring countries – Poland, Latvia and Estonia – have already refused support from juridicial persons to the parties. Lithuania is left to be one of the least transparent political systems in the region.