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Tuesday 19.11.2019 | Name days: Liza, Līze, Elizabete, Betija
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Lithuanian government found to spend tens of millions on public relations, LRT reports

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Lithuanian PM Saulius Skvernelis

The central government of Lithuania has since 2017 used close to 50 million euros on informative campaigns in media, LRT’s investigative journalists have found.

Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT reports that public money is spent on campaigns whose results are virtually impossible to measure and that are oftentimes used for politicians’ self-promotion.

Government ministries and agencies regularly purchase air time to inform the public about reforms and initiatives they undertake, especially if they are funded by the European Union and normally include a line for publicity in the budget.

Yet, it is often difficult to tell when public funds are used for legitimate ends as opposed to personal promotion of the sitting ministers.

«Publicity projects are often linked to political seasons, elections cycles,» says Diana Vilytė, the director of the Public Procurement Office. Spending on communication noticeably increases before each election.

«Politicians readily make use of that, even though the instrument is intended for completely other purposes,» she says.

For example, this summer, the office of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis bought public relations services from three agencies worth 25,000 euros. The stated purpose of the spending is to inform the public about «the benefits and goals of six structural reforms».

The articled originally appeared on LRT English https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1094742/millions-of-public-funds-used-for-politicians-pr-lrt-investigation


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