© DELFI (A.Sarcevičiaus nuotr.)

The recommendations submitted to Lithuania by the European Commission are largely the same as they've been over the last few years, pointed out Swedbank economist Nerijus Mačiulis. According to him, this shows that Lithuania's reforms are coming along very slowly.

DNB Bank's chief economist Jekaterina Rojaka said that some reforms, though implemented, have been implemented unsuitably, like pension growth linked to political activity rather than economic activity.

“It's very important to emphasize those fields in which we can change something. The EC's recommendations are essentially a wonderful gift for a politician, who can copy them for his election campaign. Many of the recommendations require a lot of effort, determination and time to implement them. Perhaps that's why they aren't that popular,” Rojaka told LRT Radijas. She also said that many other European countries were facing similar demographic challenges.

Mačiulis, however, said that Lithuania's situation was unique: “Yes, this is a trend among developed states since life expectancies are rising, but Lithuania's problem is unique. If we analyse Eurostat's projections, Lithuania is the most rapidly ageing state in the EU. This is related to the very low birth rate after the restoration of independence and with the high rate of emigration of young, working-age people. The problem is becoming larger and will be especially acute in the middle of the next decade or even during the next two decades.”

Both economists criticised the government's VAT cuts, which they said were ineffective and were part of the reason why the reforms were moving so slowly. “They've missed the point, that's totally unrelated to increasing the purchasing power of the people who receive the lowest incomes. It's essentially a subsidy for businesses. This sort of distraction and lack of a long-term strategy is why the reforms are essentially not happening,” said Mačiulis.

LRT

Planes were too close during Marijampole incident but there was no real threat

Several planes got too close over Lithuania's southern city of Marijampole in April but there was no...

President: Lithuania is lucky to have 'worthy' candidates in runoff (1)

Lithuania is fortunate to have two "worthy" candidates competing with each other to be elected...

Presidential candidates' teams trade accusations over campaign funding

The staffs of Ingrida Simonyte and Gitanas Nauseda , the two candidates vying to be elected...

Baltic countries and US agrees on cooperation format for energy security

President Dalia Grybauskaitė together with the Presidents of Latvia and Estonia met with the U.S....

Lithuanian experts: Zelensky calls snap election to avoid "sticks in his wheels"

Ukraine 's new President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday called a snap parliamentary election to give...