VILNIUS – The Lithuanian government and the parliament have taken the "right" decisions to help people and businesses in the face of sharp energy price hikes, President Gitanas Nauseda said on Wednesday.
"Before the adoption of these measures, there was such a nervous situation in society, with threats of general strikes and so on and so forth," the president told LRT Radio. "Businesses were really unhappy because they saw (...) no support measures for them."
"After (the measures) were approved, things calmed down quite quickly and this is the best proof for me that the right decisions were taken," he added.
Nauseda said he has "no problem praising the government and the Seimas when there are grounds to do so".
According to the president, the package of aid measures "cost a lot of budget money", but is "adequate to the situation".
"Today we are talking about a budget deficit of almost 5 percent of GDP, which is quite a lot, but, believe me, many EU countries have adopted packages of measures that are fully equivalent and, I'd say, comparable," he said.
The Lithuanian government's 2023 budget provides a total of 1.848 billion euros for subsiding electricity and gas prices, and for investments in renewable energy. This includes 812 million euros for gas and electricity price subsidies to households, and over 200 million euros to businesses.
Also, businesses whose energy costs account for more than 10 percent of their total costs will be eligible for a tax holiday until the end of April. Some 30 million euros will be distributed to companies whose core business is on the list of heavily affected sectors.