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Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė warned government ministers against indulging in pre-electoral populism over an invitation-only lunch with the prime minister and his cabinet to discuss the government's key objectives for 2016.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

"The year is going to be exceptional because of the elections, and all governments always face the challenge of doing everything that needs to be done, to keep the country on a straight path and not to stray into the quagmire of populism," Grybauskaitė told journalists after the meeting.

The president pointed out three main challenges ahead for the country that the current government would have to tackle before the end of its term this year.

"The slowing economy of China will eventually have an impact on life in Europe and Lithuania," the president said, adding that the effects of the slow-down in China will be felt as early as 2017.

Strengthening Lithuania's national defence was another priority pointed out by the president and finally she said different government institutions must act in concert to work out solutions to the social problems afflicting the country.

"I'd like to suggest that we set a goal for ourselves: a Lithuania without orphanages and foster homes," Grybauskaitė said.

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