Lithuania's state-owned companies operate inefficiently, pay no dividends to the state, their funds are used to purchase media outlets, and they serve as "havens for unemployed party members", President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Thursday.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

According to the president, state forestry enterprises operate chaotically and the state railway operator, Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways), has become "a state within a state." The bankruptcy of Lietuvos Juru Laivininkyste (Lithuanian Shipping Company), she says, has brought international shame to the country.

"Thirty nine state-owned companies do not pay a single euro in dividends to the budget. Under the guise of national economic importance, they only seek privileges and benefits. Their funds are used to purchase media outlets and they serve as long-term havens for unemployed party members, their wives and in-laws," the head of state said in her annual State of the Nation Address to the Seimas.

According to Grybauskaite, state-owned companies' contributions to Lithuania's GDP are meager and the government's failure to reduce the number of forestry enterprises shows that they are "unshakable."

"Every year we receive comments about the ineffective governance of state-owned enterprises. Public assets worth €9 billion and a 40,000-strong labor force contribute only 3% of GDP to the national economy," the president said.

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