"The morning session on Tuesday next week will be devoted entirely tothe presentation of the draft budget and accompanying legal amendments,"Ceslovas Jursenas, the speaker of the Seimas (Lithuania's parliament), told lawmakers on Monday.
The budget, which will include a nearly 3 percent deficit,has received harsh from both local and EU officials.
"No way [it should be signed]," EU Commissionerfor Financial Programming and Budget Dalia Grybauskaite told the Baltic NewsService after a meeting with President Valdas 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.
The government last Friday sent to the parliament a draft 2009 nationalbudget which envisages that next year's expenditures will exceed revenues by2.64 billion litas (0.87 billion euros) and targets a fiscal deficit of almost 3percent of GDP.
As to the draft, the revenues of the national budget (the central governmentplus municipal budgets), including the EU funds, will total 30.199 billionlitas in 2009, up 2.7 percent from the revenue amount envisaged for 2008.Budget appropriations are seen growing by 2.43 billion litas, to 32.838 billionlitas.
The Finance Ministry projects that the country's economy will grow by 1.5percent next year.