VILNIUS 's President Valdas Adamkus impugned the nation's politicians in his state of the republic address on Tuesday, saying that leaders had placed private interests over public duty and hypocrisy had become the norm.
"We can only watch how the lines separating decent and immoral behavior of politicians and officials are gradually disappearing. This is a dangerous situation," Adamkus said.
"Those who declare love for the homeland in words but in deeds degrade Lithuania's name undermine confidence in our country," he added.
The president said that the sheer level of self-interest of Lithuanian politicians has become so appallingly flagrant that the country's true enemy lies within.
Adamkus, who recently had to fire two of his closest advisers after they became entangled in a housing scandal, called for a new evaluation of recent scandals that have rocked the country and for imbuing a new morality in the nation's political affairs.
The president, who has not hidden his disappointment in the current ruling coalition, called for the transparent use of EU funds.
"The funding should go to the fields of strategic significance to the whole society, not to individual interest groups," he said.
The president also urged the nation to use its new-found clout in NATO and the European Union to help foster democracy and pro-Western forces among other former republics of the Soviet Union.
"Only by following this path Lithuania will remain a reliable, responsible and solid partner in the world and the Baltic and Black Sea region," he said.