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There were mixed reactions to the decision by Lithuania’s president to veto the government proposed new Labour Code with some broadly supportive of her amendments and action and other political leaders and businesses highly critical.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

Leader of the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union Ramunas Karbauskis said: "I want to call on members of the Seimas to hear and listen to the president's message that they failed in their work and now should leave it to those parliamentarians who will be elected by people in the fall."

Andrius Kubilius, leader of the Seimas opposition was also supportive:
"I will propose that the (Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrat political) group (in the Seimas) back (the amendments proposed by the president). They (these amendments) are quite sensitive, but at the same time, they keep in place certain key provisions of the new code. They do not change these provisions and the code can start functioning with them."

However, the Liberals and Labour Party were highly critical of the move.

"The president's veto basically holds back more favourable conditions in Lithuania for creating new jobs and allowing people not only to work, but also to earn money. The veto is disappointing and does not reflect the reality of more flexible 21st century labour relations," said Gintaras Steponavicius, a member of the Liberals Movement political group said:

Kestutis Dauksys, leader of the Labor Party political group said: "These are more political proposals than realistic proposals. There is more politics, because the elections are approaching."
Investors and businesses were unsurprisingly against the veto.

"If we do not want to create more new jobs, then let's continue with the old (Labor Code). It is a very short-sighted approach on the part of the president's office," said Ruta Skyriene, executive director of the Investors' Forum, an association of foreign investors in Lithuania.

Zilvinas Silenas, president of the Lithuanian Free Market Institute said
"The veto is undeserved. All these issues could be resolved by passing additional legislation. Sadly, rhetoric, not facts, won after a lot of money and time was spent discussing (the package)."

But unions welcomed the move, Arturas Cerniauskas, chairman of the Lithuanian Trade Unions' Confederation said: "We do welcome (the veto). The statement that employees' social guarantees must be maintained is a very positive approach".

"If the Seimas had approved of the committee's position after the debates, there would have been much fewer comments from the president,” saidSocial Democratic MP Kristina Miskiniene, head of the parliament's Committee for Social Affairs and Labour.

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