VILNIUS - Lithuanian politicians’ understanding of the economy could be compared with the “childish belief that storks bring babies,” said European Parliament member from Lithuania Viktors Uspaskihs, as quoted by Baltic News Network, reports news agency LETA. The EP member expressed sharp criticism at the Lithuanian government and the ruling coalition for not being able to find the necessary resources to return pensions to their previous level while drafting next year’s budget.
The parliamentarian claims that Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius repeats that the crisis is over and the economy is recovering at a fast pace. However, when coming to the adoption of practical decisions, he changes his mind again, saying the crisis is not over after all.
According to Uspaskihs, Lithuania will not be able to recover from the debt crisis in this manner. He says a business-friendly environment is needed, which is currently pressed by the huge debt burden.
On Dec. 9, the Seimas approved the financial numbers of the state and municipal budget for next year by a narrow margin. For the first time, the national budget was submitted with a preamble, which stated that reduced wages and old-age pensions could not be compensated from national funds due to the prevailing difficult economic situation.
The draft national budget, which includes state and municipal budgets, projected budget revenues of 19.08 billion litas (5.5 billion euros) in 2011, without EU funds or other support. The national budget revenues are to total 26.8 billion litas with European Union and other international financial resources.
The expected expenditures, excluding EU funds, will stand at 22.4 billion litas. The 2010 national budget allocations will amount to 29.3 billion litas next year.
The state budget deficit runs at about 2.5 billion litas, and the total public finance deficit is expected to account for 5.8 percent of GDP. In 2011, over 1.9 billion litas will be allocated for public debt service costs. Contributions to the EU budget will stand at 1.8 billion litas next year.