bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 15.12.2017 | Name days: Jana, Johanna, Hanna
LithuaniaLithuania

Lithuanian ruling coalition set to hold grip on power until the end

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Inside the Lithanian Seimas

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

Will they stick together until the end or break apart with little to go? And if they stay in the bundle until the new Seimas election next year, will they rub the elbows in the new coalition again?

The answer to the first question is clearer, believe Lithuanian political analysts: power and personal well-being, the adhesive holding the four parties together, will keep the often shaky foundation of the coalition until the very end.

Power is parties’ sweet honey

«Indeed, power, hands on the resources and personal gain are too strong to resist for the most politicians,» says Laurynas Kasčiūnas, a Lithuanian political analyst.

Among the road blocks the coalition of Social Democrats, Order and Justice Party, Labor Party and Electoral Action of Poles has to remove from the road are the newly stitched-up Labor Code, upcoming deliberations of a new budget and even the polarizing issue of illegal migrants, perhaps stomping on the country’s threshold.

The talks that Labour will be the first to slam the door have been most distinct, but they just are not fleshing up yet. Meanwhile, rumours that the ousted-President-turned-MEP Rolandas Paksas-led Order and Justice Party (OJP) will say sayonara to the rest are in the air as long, but, with the parliamentarians, overwhelmingly from the ruling coalition, paving way to having Paksas name on the ballots in Seimas election in 2016 and, possibly, presidential election in 2019, the party seems to go nowhere from the trough of power.

Paksas had been impeached and eventually stripped of his presidential powers back in 2004, following the indictment on perjury and abuse of power.

Much talk, too little action

«You are saying they will slam the door? No one could boot them out, even forcibly,» believes Gediminas Kirkilas, once the Social Democratic Prime Minister and MP now.

The time to shut the door now is just not good, he says.

«Having left the coalition now, they would be devoid of opportunities to boost their ratings ahead of the election. It is always easier to get them growing while in power,» says Kirkilas.

And those, who understand they cannot make it to the Seimas again, won’t tempt their fate, as the grip on power secures a certain status on the social ladder and, well, a decent living.

The last issue sparking sparkles among the four parties is the migrant crisis.

Migrant crisis a divisive issue, but that’s it

Although the parties’ take on it is starkly different- from the embrace by most Social Democrats to ethnical and religious prejudices-fuelled hostility from the Labour Party-the issue, still, will not apparently derail the train of the Coalition.

The Labour, in fact, snub at the notion they are picking political brownies from the stance.

«We raise our party ratings showing the voters what we’ve done in the Coalition. This is a lot more effective way, though, frankly, there are some issues, like that regarding refugees, which we disagree upon. We were against that Interior minister Saulius Skvernelis would speak in Brussels on behalf of Lithuania and give the green light for over a thousand refugees,» Mazuronis was quoted as saying by Lithuanian media.

Lithuania has agreed with the European Commission’s proposal to accept 1105 refugees.

Good-looking women like to pick on?

After the heated exchange in summer with Skvernelis, the Order and Justice Party-delegated minister, Loreta Graužinienė, the Labour Parliament Speaker, has bristled this week against the Prime Minister, Algirdas Butkevičius, who is also the chairman of Social Democrat Party.

Unhappy with the new Labour Codex, which has been praised by PM, Graužinienė accused Butkevičius of «power abuse» after he, following the sitting of the Coalition’s Political Council, told unilaterally that the draft will be put for MPs’ voting until mid-December.

A pebble in the Coalition’s wheels, not a boulder on the road, obviously.

Asked what if the Speaker continues scintillating sparks between the Labour and OJP ranks, vying essentially for the same electorate, Kestutis Daukšys, a Labour member, dismissed the fear, noting ironically that Graužinienė is «a good-looking woman.»

«So you know, no wonder she likes to prick,» the MP bantered.

Two ballots ahead will be litmus paper

Paksas, the OJP leader, also poses a major try-out for the Coalition, analysts agree. But, again, hardly the disagreements, if any, will derail the squeaking cart.

As the Parliament, mostly with the votes from the four-party Coalition, voted for Constitutional amendments, paving way to Paksas’ comeback to national politics, another two ballots lying ahead will be the litmus paper on the strength of the Coalition.

Rumours, however, now abound the Labour might turn their back to Paksas in the next ballots.

«We will vote again for the amendments. Why are we portrayed as some evil and unreliable people? What if the Social Democrats will vote against?» wonders Daukšys.

Too few irritants to detest each other

The odds that the ruling coalition will fall apart is «very little», believes Vladas Gaidys, director of market and opinion research center Vilmorus and a well-known Lithuanian sociologist.

«The time for any drastic decisions is just not good now,» he tells BNN. «For any party,» he stresses.

«If the economy were droopy or edging down, then perhaps it would make sense to «wash hands off» and finger at others as the culprits of the deterioration. This is a classic political scenario. But the economic situation remains stable now, with a whopping 74 percent of the population being satisfied with the life. At the level, it has been record-high,» notes the pollster. The new poll will be released next week.

Parties are not embroiled in scandals

That no party has been embroiled in a major scandal or other wrongdoing also signals that the time, again, is not good for anyone’s departure today.

«Maybe the parties could clash over the refugees? But the issue has not shaken up them,» Gaidys says.

The four-member Coalition, he says, should make it to the new Seimas election and «there is a good possibility» that the four will be forming a new Coalition in late 2016, he believes.

«There is not enough irritants to prevent them from talking to each other,» the pollster says.

He also believes that some «populist political movement», founded on nationalist sentiments amid the migrant crisis, might pop up before the election.

Centre-left forces stand better coalition formation chances

Laurynas Kasčiūnas, a political analyst, says he believes the Coalition will last till the end.

«Obviously, the grip on power and what it provides is a very strong adhesive,» the analyst says.«As far the continuation of the same Coalition after the 2016 election is concerned, is hard to predict how things will turn up,» believes Kasčiūnas.

The Social Democrats, he is convinced, will keep up their popularity until the election and «very likely» will be playing one of the «first fiddles» in the formation of a new ruling coalition, he says.

«Characteristically to Lithuania, left-centre political forces usually have stronger coalition-formation capabilities, and it is easier for them to find a common ground,» Kasčiūnas told BNN.

Whether the issue of refugees will be acute through the electoral campaign, remains to be seen, he says.

«Now we just don’t whether it will stand acutely or not a year from now. But it will definitely play certain significance. I doubt if it will be a major factor in the election, though. It might be a hot issue in the future when the migrants might be instigating some cultural clashes. This is obviously not an issue today,» the analyst said.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.2743


Leave a reply

Citadele Index: businessmen are more optimistic about economic growth

After a four-year gap, optimism has been noticed in all of Latvia’s business sectors. For the third consecutive quarter Citadele Index value exceeds 50 points. Businessmen are also positive about the country’s economy and their own finances, according to the final Citadele Index study for 2017.

Bank of Latvia increases GDP growth outlook to 4.7% for 2017

Bank of Latvia has decided in increase gross domestic product growth outlook from 4.2% to 4.7% for 2017, as reported by the bank’s governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs.

Latvian residents’ opinion of government’s work remains negative

Latvian residents voiced the biggest degree of dissatisfaction about the development of the situation in Latvia and the work performed by the government. Although the previous evaluation of government’s work had increased by four points, it has since declined by two points, according to data from Baltic International Bank’s Latvian Barometer.

Eel fishing to be restricted in Baltic Sea for three months

European Union Fisheries Council has decided to restrict eel fishing for three months in 2018 in all waters, including the Baltic Sea. Although the World Wide Fund for Nature and environmental organization in Europe view it as a notable first step, these efforts are unlikely to have a major impact on the most important problem – eel population continues declining rapidly, as noted by WWF.

LCCI: increase of electricity bills for thousands of companies in unacceptable

Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) categorically opposes increasing electricity bills for the majority of small and medium-sized companies due to mandatory procurement component’s differentiation. The organization believes that this would basically introduce a new additional tax, making them even less competitive.

Head of Latvian Association of Regions to spend Christmas thinking on remaining in the party

Dissatisfied with multiple decisions made by Latvian Association of Regions (LAR), Riga City Council member Mārtiņš Bondars will spend the holiday thinking about his place in this political party, as he mentioned in his interview to Rīta panorama or LTV.

Estonian fund permitted to purchase several Latvia energy production companies

Latvian Competition Council has permitted Estonian fund to purchase several energy production and agricultural companies.

Meat processing giant sees room for growth in ready-to-eat foods

Consumption in the meat market segment of ready-to-eat foods is growing quickly, evaluated Finnish meat processing group HKScan that is planning to invest eight million euros in its factory in Estonia.

To fight for national minority schools, Russian representatives promise to hold a referendum

Defenders of Russian schools in Latvia promise to organize a referendum for autonomy of national minority schools, said co-chairman of Latvian Russians Association Miroslavs Mitrofanovs in regards to the transition to education only in Latvian language.

Tax payment process from capital growth to change in Latvia

As part of the tax reform, changes will be added to the Personal Income Tax Law starting from 1 January 2018. One of the changes is associated with payment and declaration of income from capital growth. The tax rate and the term for submission of declarations on income from capital growth will change next year.

Tusk deems EU migrant quotas ineffective as some states oppose taking in migrants

Donald Tusk, the head of the Council of the European Union and chairman of this week's EU summit, has evaluated that mandatory EU-wide quotas are ineffective and that there is a split between east and west as regards asylum policy.

Riga City Council’s 2018 budget – poorly planned or well-developed?

As the vote for the 2018 budget of Riga City Council draws near, representatives of all opposition parties say they will not support it as long as politicians of the ruling coalition continue viewing the city’s most important financial document as good and aimed at development.

Euro area economy has grown quicker than expected, European Central Bank estimated

Growth has been at a faster pace in the eurozone prompting the European Central Bank to raise its economic growth forecasts.

Weekends in Latvia expected to be snowy

A layer of snow will form in Latvia’s central and western regions that will remain until the middle of next week, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Opinion: Latvia at risk of restricting healthcare to 300,000 people

Kustība Par! political party has sent a letter to Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis, asking him to return to the Saeima the recently approved law on healthcare funding legislative draft. According to the party, the law restricts healthcare for 300,000 people in Latvia.

Lithuania’s 2018 budget focuses on spending cuts, NATO commitment and social security

Lithuania's 2018 budget, approved this week by the Seimas, Lithuanian Parliament, makes history for being the first budget ever with fewer spending for the governmental sector, the commitment to NATO of earmarking 2 per cent of the gross domestic product to defence and bigger allotments for social security. The budget was adopted by 84 MPs, 29 voted against, with 15 abstentions.

EU member states have to strengthen measures against sexual abuse of children

Member states of the European Union have to take more serious measures and cooperate more intensely with Europol and information technology industry to better combat sexual abuse of children, as noted by members of the European Parliament.

Latvian parliament views initiative for changing VAT rate for food product

On Thursday, 14 December, Latvia’s Saeima made its decision on the collective application that proposes reducing VAT on everyday healthy food products and increasing VAT on unhealthy products.

Maxima: residents have become more conservative in their choice of products

In Q2 and Q3, a higher degree of conservatism was noticed in residents’ choice of products. The number of buyers who gladly purchase new products has declined, whereas the number of buyers who do not change anything in their purchasing habits has increased, according to results of a study performed by Maxima.

Civil processes to be sped up and simplified in Latvia

On Thursday, 14 December, Saeima supported amendments to the Civil Process Law in the final reading. Amendments propose several major changes to the process of review of civil processes to make court sessions quicker and more efficient.

State Auditor dissatisfied with parliament’s slow legislative process

Latvian State Auditor Elita Krūmiņa plans to inquire to the Saeima about the delay with the approval of the legislative draft on the expansion of authority of her institution, as she mentioned in an interview to Rīta panorama programme of LTV.

Aldaris commences exports to France, China and Netherlands

Aldaris concludes 2017 with three new export contracts, commencing exports of products to China, France and Netherlands. Until now Aldaris has exported products to eight markets, with the largest one being United Kingdom, taking up 78.71% from Aldaris export volume, as reported by the company.

Estonian budget passed with 0.25 billion-euro deficit

The Estonian Riigikogu with 55 votes against 41 has passed the country’s 2018 state budget bill planning to spend by 0.25 billion more than it is planned to earn.

AFSAL: loan requests in non-banking industry are declined in 69% of all cases

In the first six months of 2017 Alternative Financial Services Association of Latvia (AFSAL) issued a total amount of EUR 84.7 million in consumer loans. No increase is noted in this amount when compared with the same period of 2016. Increase did not exceed 0.2%, as reported by the association.

European Parliament supports changes for combating activities detailed in Panama Papers

Public registries with names of true owners of businesses, effective protection of whistle-blowers and stricter requirements for financial intermediaries are some of the proposals intended to assist with the fight against tax avoidance, as noted by members of the European Parliament.

When do you go shoping for Christmas gifts?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: