Majority of local governments to take Lithuanian government to court

  • 2000-08-10
VILNIUS (BNS) - More than half of Lithuanian city and regional local governments are planning to take the central government to court for instructing local governments to carry out certain functions without providing any additional funding.

The president of the Association of Lithuanian Local Governments, Bronius Rope, told journalists on Tuesday that 37 of 60 local governments have appealed to the association asking it to represent them at court hearings on causing damage and violating the rights of local governments.

Rope said that the action against the central government would be brought in presently.

He said that the joint claim to the central government comprises about 80 million litas ($20 million).

Rope said that this year the government has increased social security contributions and excise duties on fuel oil, thermal energy consumers allowance and benefits to orphans were also increased which inevitably increased the local governments' expenditure.

However, he said, the central government did not allot additional funds from the state budget to local governments to enable them to carry out these decisions.

Rope said the association was planning to appeal to relevant institutions of the Council of Europe asking to examine whether the government's decisions effectively attributing additional functions to local governments without adequate funding to carry them out did not run counter to the European local governments' charter.