Semeta to face no-confidence vote

  • 2009-04-22
  • By TBT staff
VILNIUS -  The Social Democratic parliamentary group has signaled its intentions to initiate a vote of no-confidence in Finance Minister Algirdas Semeta. The prime minister has blasted the vote, saying they are just "playing games."
Social Democratic Parliamentarian Vytenis Andriukaitis said the first draft has already been prepared and will be presented to other parties for consideration.

He expects support on the vote from the Order and Justice and Labor Parties. The four non-party members of Parliament are also expected to support the vote after receiving the material.
Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius has thrown his support behind his minister, his aide told The Baltic Times.
"The prime minister has expressed his full confidence in the finance minister and said that it is a question of elections. The opposition have such ideas and proposals about [their] ruling the state finances and economy and are playing games," said Ridas Jasiulionis, the prime minister's media spokesperson.

"Not only [does] the prime minister support Minister Semeta, but also the Conservative Party and there are no signs in the coalition that they would support the vote."

Semeta has said calling the vote of no-confidence is the right of the opposition, but that he has the support of the coalition and he has come to work as a finance minister to stabilize the finance system together with his colleagues and the best specialists.
He underlined that he was not "clinging firmly to his chair."
"I understand that in such conditions the finance minister is the worst minister. I often discuss this with my colleagues in the EU and unfortunately we are similar in many ways and we are the worst due to the circumstances," he said.

He said no financial reforms would be popular at the moment.
"In reality the reduction of expenditures and the optimization of management functions are not such easy things that everyone would easily agree with them," Semeta said.
According to him, the things that are currently done in the finance system have to be done and he personally is ready for "everything."

The minister would not comment on the possible outcomes of the vote.
Andriukaitis said the document would contain calculations as well as facts and compared figures for consideration in the vote.
According to the MP, raising panic was the main factor that affected the entire economic situation and brought a lot of financial losses to Lithuania.

The mentioned losses, however, come at the same time as a 330 million litas (95.65 million euros) windfall from the government's tax reforms (see story page 12).
Andriukaitis criticized the "night" tax reform.

"If the "night" tax reform was not implemented, it is likely according to our estimations that Lithuania's slump would not be so significant and that retail trade would be about 25 percent higher," Andriukaitis said.
In his opinion, the Finance Ministry did not analyze the economic recession at all.
"Our document of no-confidence will cover legal, tax, budget and social parts of the economy," Andriukaitis said.