Lithua­nian PM says backs ben­e­fits for Lands­ber­gis

The Baltic Times - - ESTONIAN COMMENTARY - LETA/TBT Staff

Prime Min­is­ter Saulius Skver­nelis thinks that Lithua­nia's first post-soviet leader Vy­tau­tas Lands­ber­gis should be granted ben­e­fits that a for­mer head of state is en­ti­tled to by law, but not the sta­tus of a pres­i­dent.

"If we speak about grant­ing a cer­tain ti­tle, I think this is not what mat­ters and that we can­not call him what he was not, even retroac­tively," he said on LRT Ra­dio on Tues­day, Au­gust 29.

Ac­cord­ing to Skver­nelis, Lands­ber­gis was the head of state when he served as the speaker of the Supreme Coun­cil–re­con­stituent Seimas and, there­fore, should be en­ti­tled to pro­tec­tion and staff and of­fice ex­penses.

The prime min­is­ter added that it was re­gret­table that pub­lic dis­cus­sion about grant­ing Lands­ber­gis the sta­tus of a for­mer head of state started be­fore politi­cians agreed a po­si­tion.

Vik­toras Pranck­i­etis, the cur­rent speaker of the Seimas, has raised the is­sue of grant­ing Lands­ber­gis the sta­tus of a for­mer head of state and as­so­ci­ated ben­e­fits. He said that he was watch­ing the sit­u­a­tion to see if such a pro­posal would re­ceive enough sup­port in the par­lia­ment.

Ra­mu­nas Kar­bauskis, chair­man of the Lithua­nian Farm­ers and Greens Union (LFGU), has said re­cently that he doubts that the ma­jor­ity of the rul­ing party's law­mak­ers would sup­port the ini­tia­tive.

Ear­lier at­tempts to for­mally recog­nise the sta­tus for Lands­ber­gis fell through.

Lands­ber­gis presided over the Supreme Coun­cil when it adopted the Act of the Reestab­lish­ment of the State of Lithua­nia on March 11, 1990. Un­der his lead­er­ship, Lithua­nia man­aged to with­stand the Soviet Unions' eco­nomic block­ade and gained in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion.

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