The European Commission published its assessment of budgetary plans submitted to it by eurozone countries. Commenting on Lithuania's 2016 national budget draft, the EC says it strays too much from fiscal discipline targets and that Lithuania might fail to keep structural deficit below 1 percent of GDP. Lithuania's prime minister has responded that the government is not planning to revise the budget.
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The EC's opinion for Lithuania reads:

"The Commission is of the opinion that the Draft Budgetary Plan of Lithuania... is at risk of non-compliance with the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact. According to the Commission 2015 autumn forecast, the required adjustment towards the MTO (medium-term objective) is not projected to be delivered and a significant deviation from the MTO is to be expected in 2016. The Commission therefore invites the authorities to take the necessary measures within the national budgetary process to ensure that the 2016 budget will be compliant with the Stability and Growth Pact. The Commission therefore invites the authorities to take the necessary measures within the national budgetary process to ensure that the 2016 budget will be compliant with the Stability and Growth Pact.

"The Commission is also of the opinion that Lithuania has made limited progress with regard to the country-specific recommendations issued by the Council in the context of the 2015 European Semester relating to fiscal governance and thus invites the authorities to accelerate progress."

The EC warns that the Lithuanian government is too optimistic about GDP growth and budget revenue projections.

The EC's opinions are not obligatory and do not have the power to force national governments to revise their budgets.

Commenting on the EC's opinion, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has said the government will not be revising the budget.

"I think there won't be any risks (about deviating from deficit targets). We are not making any adjustment just yet. I will inform EC President (Jean-Claude) Juncker about it, I'm meeting him on Thursday," Butkevičius told reporters on Tuesday.

He added that the EC did not take into account additional budget revenue of about EUR 250 million the government expected from improved tax administration.

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