PM sees Seimas probe into public broadcaster LRT as 'last resort'
Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says that a proposed parliamentary investigation into Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT) would be a measure of last resort, adding that the public broadcaster's financial and economic activities should be probed by the appropriate authorities.
"I think such a Seimas commission would be a measure of last resort. If other authorities failed to perform their functions, which is impossible because they must be able to do their job, then perhaps this could be done," he told the Žinių Radijas radio station on Thursday morning.
On the other hand, Skvernelis underlined that the questions raised by lawmakers had to be answered, adding that there were other ways to get these answers.
"These are really very sensitive issues. We can pretend not to see it, but there is a problem. This is about really impressive amounts of state budget funds that the public broadcaster uses. Naturally, both the public and politicians want to receive these answers," he said.
According to the prime minister, the current situation would not have come up if the LRT Council would have immediately provided all the requested information to the Seimas.
The LRT Council initially refused to submit specific data to the parliament for confidentiality reasons, but later, with the consent of TV and radio program producers, it provided some of the requested data.
The council last November received a set of questions regarding salaries, public procurement processes and relations with production companies from 66 members of the 141-seat Seimas, followed by a set of additional questions from 80 lawmakers in December.
Lawmakers say that they are solely interested in the financial and administrative situation at LRT and the transparency of the state-funded public broadcaster's operations. Critics, however, describe the questions as pressure on LRT.