Adamkus: state needs to return to the people

  • 2004-11-17
  • By The Baltic Times
VILNIUS - Speaking at the opening session of the new Parliament on Nov. 15, President Valdas Adamkus has urged MPs to be more sensitive to social issues and tackle problems faced by ordinary citizens.

"Lithuania needs all of its political forces to rally their efforts for constructive work. Now even more than in earlier years the country is in need of politicians to serve society and state instead of parties' short-term interests," the president said.

In his words, "this Parliament - the ruling majority and the opposition - must prove to its voters that all political forces can work in harmony for the benefit of Lithuania."

He noted the new tasks and challenges arising before the legislature, Lithuania's ninth.

"You came to work to the Lithuanian parliament in an important period when our country, which has already passed several stages of democratic development, is entering a new phase. The world now has a different view to Lithuania as a full-fledged member of the European community. Our country is assessed by highest criteria of a democratic state. New development opportunities also open before our eyes," Adamkus stressed.

Restating that the election campaign focused on social problems, and politicians and parties pledged to immediately get to improving lives of people, Adamkus urged the elected parliamentarians to keep their promises. At the same time, the president stressed that election promises should be translated into reality in keeping with the interests of the state and entire society.

Speaking on national radio on Thursday, Parliamentary Speaker Arturas Paulauskas said the new legislature should focus on creating a middle class.

"The main indicator by which the electorate will assess the Seimas' successful activities in four years will be their pensions, their wages and the money spent on necessary goods and the money left for holidays and travels - in other words, the establishment of a middle class should be the core of Parliament's work," he said.