Budget vote shows Lithuania can move forward with reforms - PM

Budget 2018 vote

Tuesday's voting on Lithuania's 2018 state budget shows that there should be enough political support in the Seimas for other reforms, too, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said.

"I thought there would be slightly fewer (votes). This shows we can move forward with the necessary reforms, and it's quite clear that we can reach agreement and obtain support from those political forces that do want progress in the country and vote for progress and for solutions to old problems," he told reporters.

The prime minister spoke after the parliament passed the budget in a vote of 84 to 29 with 15 abstentions.

The ruling coalition has 69 votes in the 141-seat parliament.

Those who voted in favour on Tuesday included four Order and Justice MPs, three Liberal Movement MPs, all eight MPs of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance, and two non-attached members of the Seimas.

However, Naglis Puteikis of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union's political group abstained from voting and Agriculture Minister Bronius Markauskas was not present.

"I'm grateful to those political groups, both in the position and in the opposition, that voted and supported very important decisions," the prime minister said on Tuesday.

Skvernelis added that at the end of the year he would be able to name the government's key projects that would require a majority of votes in the parliament.

Source: BNS
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