Lithuanians react to EC decision denying eurozone membership in 2007

  • 2006-05-17
  • By TBT staff

ADVICE: President Valdas Adamkus reacted to news of the EC's negative report on Lithuania's eurozone aspirations with a letter calling on government self-examination.

In a press release sent out on May 16, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus blamed the country's problems in adopting the euro by 2007 on causes that were beyond control, though he did suggest government officials should analyze whether they had done everything to achieve the country's dream of joining the eurozone.

The European Commission had released a report earlier in the day saying the country was not ready to join the eurozone. The final decision will be made at a European Union summit next June.

"We can only regret that the growing economy, sharp increase in global oil and gas prices and, unfortunately, insufficiently considered administrative decisions led to a fast growth of prices," the press release said.

Still Adamkus asked officials inside and outside the government who were responsible for easing the country's adoption of the euro to examine their own work.

"Only a strict assessment of efforts can lay solid ground for planning our future activities," he said. He suggested an income tax cut. "I am convinced that, in spite of the decision the European Commission made today, we should continue…the rapid economic progress of Lithuania," he said.

Opposition leaders had a much stronger reaction to the European Commission's decision.
"If European leaders take a negative decision regarding the euro, we will be forced to consider raising the issue of government responsibility," parliamentary opposition leader Andrius Kubilius told BNS.
The leader of the opposition Liberal Movement, Petras Austrevicius, concurred.

"The Commission's move is a blow to the trust of the international community and, first of all - business in Lithuania's macroeconomic stability and economic convergence," he said. "The government should acknowledge its failure to do its homework to ensure a different decision of the Commission. The government should assume full responsibility."