From Feb. 25, current President Dalia Grybauskaite’s election headquarters officially began its re-election campaign work, reports ELTA. Currently, 3 people are working in Grybauskaite’s election headquarters. The election headquarters is headed by former Minister of Energy Romas Svedas. Treasurer Jolanta Zutautiene, who worked as Grybauskaite’s assistant when she was the EU commissioner, and spokeswoman Skaiste Plausinyte (Grybauskaite’s advisor) are also among the staff at the headquarters. “In the election headquarters, I am working as a volunteer without any salary,” added Plausinyte. The presidential elections will be taking place on May 11.
According Statistics Lithuania, the Consumer Confidence Index in February, compared to January, decreased by 1 percent, standing at -10, reports ELTA. As compared to the previous month, citizens were more pessimistic about the perspectives for the country’s economy and the household financial situation; however, the forecast of changes in the number of the unemployed was more optimistic. According to the data, in February, 13 percent of citizens said that their financial situation has improved over the past 12 months; 27 percent claimed that it has deteriorated and 60 percent say that it has remained stable. While evaluating the changes of their family’s financial situation within the period of 12 months, 21 percent of citizens hoped for improvement; 20 percent believed that it was to deteriorate, and 54 percent said that it was to remain stable. Evaluating the economy, 25 percent declared that the economy had improved within the last 12 months, while 29 percent said that it had deteriorated and 44 percent agreed that it had remained stable. Twenty-nine percent of the respondents thought that the country’s economy was to improve within the next 12 months; 27 percent said it was to deteriorate and 39 percent said it was to remain stable.
On March 4, Rasa Jukneviciene, member of Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party (TS-LKD), registered a draft decision of the Seimas on an increase in financing for the national defense system, reports ELTA. The MP proposes that the government authorizes at least 100 million litas (29 million euros) of additional assignations for the Ministry of National Defense by April 1. According to MP Jukneviciene, in 2015 assignations for the Ministry of National Defense should make up at least 0.9 percent of GDP. “Lithuania has committed to increase funding for national defense; however, the difficult situation that developed in Ukraine and on the border of our country, when Russia demonstrates its military power at its exercise in Kaliningrad and directly interferes in domestic matters of Ukraine by deploying troops in Crimea, forces us to implement this immediately. Considering the threats posed to security of the region, it is necessary to strengthen our country’s military capacities,” said former Minister of National Defense Jukneviciene in a statement.