"I did not hear a report [on the situation of the country] from the president this time. What I heard was criticism of the government and I regard this as [...] a bid to make the public believe something that is untrue and cause voters to have a negative opinion about the ruling majority," Butkevičius told reporters in comment of President Dalia Grybauskaitė's address at the Lithuanian parliament.
Butkevičius insists that some points of criticism - like spending too much on expert groups and insufficient focus on social issues - should be directed at the previous conservative-led government.
"The money allocated for experts is the money spent on the arbitration proceedings in Stockholm, started during the time of the Conservatives, and the money that continues to be paid to lawyers up to this day," the Social Democrat prime minister said.
"As to social sensitivity, perhaps the president herself should take responsibility, because pensions and wages were cut during her tenure. The current government this year finishes compensating for the social insurance pension cuts by the Conservative-Liberal government of that time. This month, we are starting to compensate working pensioners for pension cuts. So, I think that (criticism) regarding social sensitivity should be redirected at others," he said.
The prime minister said that Lithuania's economic growth rate is currently among the highest in the Baltic countries.
"Apparently, the [president's] advisers did not provide her with information that the gross domestic product grew 2.5% in the first quarter and is higher than in Estonia and Latvia," he said.
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