Social Minister Donatas Jankauskas stressed that reduced pensions will reach the levels of 2009 as of Jan. 1, 2012, and that a special law on the compensation method will be submitted to the Seimas by mid-October next year, reports ELTA. It is planned to start compensating the pensions, which were cut for two years by 5 percent on average according to the transitional law in the face of hard times, as soon as the stability of public finances is reached. “There are no easy solutions on this matter. Each of us has parents, grandparents, and we understand how difficult the situation of older people is. I can promise you that the reductions will be compensated and pensioners will be the first to feel that the crisis is over. They should not need to worry about it as we will start compensation on the reduced pensions immediately after the recession ends,” the social minister said.
President Dalia Grybauskaite had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, the presidential press service reports. The president thanked the Holy See for the policy of non-acceptance of Lithuania’s annexation in the years of Soviet occupation and reiterated Lithuania’s previous invitation for the Holy Father to visit her country. The president and Pope Benedict XVI talked about the role of the Catholic Church in public life, the need to strengthen common human values in politics, and current international policy concerns such as migration, the fight against corruption, economic and social policy, and cooperation in promoting inter-civilization dialogue. “Lithuania supports efforts by the Holy See to foster inter-civilization dialogue and promote tolerance among different religious confessions. Vilnius, which for a long time has been home to different religious communities living in peace side by side, is an ideal place for an ecumenical dialogue between leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church,” President Grybauskaite said.