VILNIUS - EU Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget Dalia Grybauskaite has urged Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus to reject the 2009 budget in its current form.
"No way [it should be signed]," the commissioner told the Baltic News Service after a meeting with Adamkus.
"I gained solid experience during the critical situation in 1999 and 2000when all public expenditures were trimmed. By more than 10 percent, and notjust 5 percent. Such reserves do exist. The authorities should buy lesslimousines and should rather think and balance the appetites of individualdepartments with the economic and fiscal policy, financial resources. Theyshould start there instead of doing harm to people," Grybauskaite said.
President Adamkus ostensibly agrees with the minister, and believes that the government has failed to pay dueattention to the calls to reduce expenditures and eliminate tax breaks inthe context of economic slowdown, President's spokeswoman Rita Grumadaitesaid.
In line with the 2009 draft national budget, which was submitted to theparliament on Friday, the expenditures will exceed the revenues by 2.64billion litas (0.76 million euros) next year while the fiscal deficit will reachalmost 3 percent of gross domestic product.
n Grybauskaite's opinion, the new authorities should review the draftline by line. The commissioner is ready to help as long as herrecommendations are considered: "It would be very useful and worthwhile toreview each line as soon as new government is formed."