Lithuanian state's extra spending on papal visit cut to EUR 1.45 mln
The maximum amount of the state's additional spending on organizing Pope Francis' visit to Lithuania later this month goes down from 1.75 million euros to 1.45 million euros, Government Vice-Chancellor Alminas Mačiulis said on Tuesday.
A group headed by Mačiulis completed its work on Monday, approving preliminary estimates of additional recipients of budget appropriations.
"The current proposal is to put 1.45 million euros into the government resolution. This is down by around 300,000 euros," the vice-chancellor told BNS.
He expects the Finance Ministry to submit the draft resolution to the Cabinet during Tuesday's meeting.
Most of the money will likely go to the Roman Catholic Church of Lithuania via the Foreign Ministry. Additional funding will also be provided to the VIP Protection Department, local authorities in Vilnius and Kaunas, and the Health Ministry.
The government resolution will set the upper limit of funding and exact amounts will be paid after the recipients provide documents supporting their expenditure, Mačiulis said.
"The 1.45 million euros is the upper limit," he said.
According to the official, the maximum amount was cut given that some of the planned costs of some institutions are not directly related to the papal visit.
Francis is scheduled to visit Lithuania on September 22 through 23 on the first leg of his tour of three Baltic countries.
The official program of his two-day trip to Lithuania includes meetings with President Dalia Grybauskaitė, government officials and members of the public and diplomats.
The pontiff is also to visit the Gate of Dawn chapel, the Cathedral of Vilnius and the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, and to meet with young people in the capital's Cathedral Square.
The Holy Father will also go to Kaunas to celebrate Mass in the city's Santaka Park, to have lunch with bishops and to meet with members of the clergy at the Cathedral of Kaunas