After about 100 employees of forestry companies and representatives of trade unions gathered outside the Lithuanian parliament on Wednesday in protest of the planned reform, Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis announced that the approval of the reform would be postponed until fall. On Wednesday morning, he had said the amendments would be adopted during the parliament's spring session.
In a forest
© Justinas Vanagas

"After I said in an interview (to Žinių Radijas news radio) earlier this morning that they would be passed, I learned that the procedures had been procrastinated. I still have to look at this closer. I am convinced that our coalition will have to settle the issue," Pranckietis told journalists after meeting with the protesters.

The parliamentary speaker made a pledge to Inga Ruginienė, the head of the federation of forestry trade unions, to meet with her and discuss the reform.

Ruginienė told BNS that the government had failed to specify in the past six months the benefits the planned reform would bring to Lithuania and foresters. She was highly indignant over the fact that they were not included into the drafting of the reform. Ruginienė expressed hope that the amendments envisaging the reform would not be discussed in a hurry.

Under the forestry restructuring plan, the current 42 forestry companies will be replaced by a single municipal company. The trade union of foresters fears that the reform would lead to sacking of at least 1,000 of the existing 4,000 employees, not the 400 pledged by the Environment Ministry.

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