Adamkus listened to journalists

  • 2000-08-03
VILNIUS (BNS) - The Lithuanian Parliament's education, science and culture committee chairman, Zibartas Jackunas, has said that by refusing to endorse the law on mass media, President Valdas Adamkus has made concessions to influential circles of the mass media in this country. Speaking to journalists July 28, Jackunas maintained that populist tendencies emerging in the work of the president's office of late are also reflected in its relations with influential circles of the mass media.

"It is evident that the president decided to make concessions to influential circles of the mass media, effectively yielding to their pressure," Jackunas said.

On July 27, President Valdas Adamkus vetoed on a new version of the law on the public information and sent it back to Parliament for further deliberation with his own suggestions, saying that he has been "consistently safeguarding the principles of the freedom of the press."

Jackunas thinks that the president's proposal to reconsider the expediency and feasibility of the mass media controller's institution will "essentially weaken the effectiveness of this law and we will once again have the same that we already have today."

The president said he had serious reservations concerning the expediency and feasibility of the new institution of the mass media controller financed by the state budget.

Jackunas said he regretted that as a result of the president's decision, EU membership talks would have to be postponed, as the negotiation position on the chapter regarding culture and audio-visual policy could not be coordinated and approved.

Lithuania started negotiations on this chapter in the first quarter of this year.

He said it would not be worthwhile rejecting the president's veto and thinks that most likely the law on mass media would not be adopted and would be further deliberated upon jointly with the president.