Markauskas can't stay as agriculture minister - president

Bronius Markauskas and Dalia Grybauskaitė

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė says that Agriculture Minister Bronius Markauskas, who has recently come under criticism over his family's farming practices, can no longer remain in office.

"I think such a minister has neither the political nor moral right to stay in his post. He has lost it," she said in an interview aired by LRT Radio on Thursday.

According to Grybauskaitė, the minister's reputation would harm Lithuania's image in EU negotiations on agriculture financing after 2020.

"I can't imagine how such a person could look or pretend to be transparent, morally and politically responsible," the president said.

"If the head of government and the ruling majority think that such a minister is suitable for them, then I'm very sorry that we have such a ruling majority," she added.

The 15min.lt news website has reported recently that Markauskas' mother, Sofija Markauskienė, has been using several plots of land in the district of Klaipėda without the landowners' permission for five to six years and that she has been receiving payments from the National Paying Agency for that land.

Markauskas is currently on a leave.

Source: BNS
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