President Dalia Grybauskaitė annual press conference appeared more like a speech from an administrator rather than a politician, with a focus on administrative issues like control, inspection and better enforcement, Vilnius University professor Romas Lazutka told LRT Radijas.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

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Kaunas University of Technology professor Algis Krupavičius agreed with this view of the president’s speech, adding that the head of state is expected to provide strategic direction, decisions and ideas instead of discussion of administrative details.

Lazutka emphasized that despite the focus on social issues, there was a lack of a broader approach to social inequality problems in the president‘s speech.

Lazutka’s said the focus on ideas for ​​a better administration and of certain services were minor issues and that the main problem was not the standard of work of social workers but the small number of social workers.

He said that social workers have huge workloads and receive low wages, leading people not to choose this study program in universities anymore because they see that they will not be able to solve any of those problems.

Lazutka put the failure to recruit enough social workers down to the fact that the state does not raise enough revenue to fund solutions to social problems because it fails to collect a high enough level of taxes from successful business people while a massive tax burden is imposed on middle-class citizens.

The topic of corruption plays an important part in the president‘s public speeches and annual reports and was viewed positively by Krupavičius. He said that Lithuania‘s corruption ratings are improving.

“On the other hand, again, there was no breakthrough, no new and different vision in this area from ​​the head of the state. The need to stop shadow support for the municipality and state-owned companies, and the need for a more transparent civil service was repeated. All those things are known and there was nothing new said by the president. Maybe even the same topic of corruption should be moved to the side as it probably is not the most relevant currently,” he said.

“Quality of life, tax policy, social equity together with economic growth – these are much more important and more significant issues,” said Krupavičius.


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