Lietuva in brief

  • 2015-06-04

Grybauskaite’s unprepared questions

On May 20, Latvian journalist Gundars Reders, appeared to irk Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite in a live 30-minute TV interview for Latvia’s LTV channel.

The interview largely focused on foreign policy and EU issues, but when Reders asked Grybauskaite several questions that had “not been agreed upon” beforehand, the president refused to answer.
Reders asked the president about LGBT rights in Lithuania, and reminded her Estonia legalised same-sex partnership in October 2014.

“There is no large discussion in Lithuania until now,” responded Grybauskaite. “I think this topic is not on the [agreed] agenda.”

In early 2015, a same-sex partnership bill was submitted to the Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas. If passed, partnership for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples would be written into law.

Reders then tried to follow up on the question, but was interrupted by Grybauskaite, who said she would not answer questions that had not been agreed upon beforehand. She also requested to cut the footage of the exchange from the interview.

Grybauskaitė gave the same response after Reders asked enquired about the Zolitude shopping centre roof collapse, which took place in Riga in November 2013.
The roof of a shopping complex which housed a a branch of the Lithuanian supermarket chain, Maxima, collapsed - 52 people lost their lives.
“It was not agreed question, I am sorry. I am not prepared to answer,” she insisted.  

In an attempt to rectify the situation and lighten up the tone of the interview, Reders asked Grybauskaite who she thought were the five best Lithuanian basketball players of all time.
The question was not agreeable to Grybauskaite.
“I cannot finish with such questions the interview,” she concluded. “If you don’t want to ask the questions agreed, we are finished. That’s it.”