Attention is focused on the national level economic crisis

Lithuania
Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University
 
The issue of the financial crisis is widely discussed in Lithuania, both by the politicians and the public. Nevertheless, most of the discussions concentrate on the national level. The central issue in these discussions is the response of the new Lithuanian government to the crisis while the role of the EU in responding to the financial crisis is not widely deliberated.
 
There are only some remarks made publicly by the Lithuanian officials concerning the EU response to the financial crisis. In a press release published by the Lithuanian government, is it claimed that the Lithuanian government positively evaluates the European Council conclusion to form a group to coordinate the member states actions while dealing with the financial crisis.[1]
 
European actions are congratulated, but individual measures should also be applied
 
Lithuania supports the European Commission objective to foster the recovery of the European economy and at the same time holds a position that it is important to coordinate the actions taken to fight the financial crisis among the countries, but every state should take in to account its own situation before choosing concrete actions for fighting the financial crisis.[2]
 
An aspect which attracted most of Lithuanian officials’ attention, speaking about the European Economic Recovery Plan, was a proposition in the following two years to give an additional fivebillion Euros from the EU budget to the priority projects of electricity interconnections and high speed internet, because it is expected that Lithuania would get a share of these money. Lithuanian President, Valdas Adamkus, claimed that “the adoption of the European Economic Recovery Plan, which foresees to mobilise five billion additional Euros for the development of the energy infrastructure, would be important to Lithuania. This money would be used for the strategic Lithuanian projects – electricity interconnections between Lithuania and Sweden and between Lithuanian and Poland.[3] The biggest Lithuanian daily, “Lietuvos rytas”, wrote a similar remark that “it is the electricity connections in the Baltic region which are treated as the priority of EU projects, therefore it can be expected that a part of this money would go to these countries”[4].
 
Expected shifts in the international power
 
Speaking about the issue of the shifts of international power due to the financial crisis, it should be noted that the Lithuanian media tends to publish the articles and the comments of the foreign experts and there are little comments on the issue made by the Lithuanian officials or political scientists in the media. According to the member of the European Parliament from Lithuania, Justas Paleckis neither the USA, nor the rest of the world can fight separately with threats to the world. The only way for the USA and the EU to fight with these threats is to cooperate with China, Russia, India and the states of Latin America and Africa.[5]
 
According to a Lithuanian political scientist, only two scenarios are possible due to the crisis
 
Speaking about the consequences of the financial crisis for the EU, an interesting remark has been made by one of the popular Lithuanian political scientists, Kęstutis Grinius. According to him, there are practically only two ways for the EU governments to deal with the crisis. One way would be a total nationalisation of all the economy, but Europe is not yet ready for that. Such actions could appear in the end of 2013. The other way would be a total monetisation of financial assets – any financial assets should be bought from the banks, corporations and inhabitants for the cash according to their par value.[6]




[1] Lithuanian government: Lietuva išsakys savo poziciją finansų krizės ir klimato kaitos klausimais (Lithuanian will deliver its position on the financial crisis and climate change), press release, 29 October 2008, available at: http://www.lrvk.lt/main.php?id=aktualijos_su_video/p.php&n=6753 (last access: 25 January 2009).


[2] Lithuanian government: Premjeras A. Kubilius pristatys Lietuvos pozicijas Europos Vadovų Taryboje (Prime Minister A. Kubilius will present the Lithuanian positions in a European Council meeting), press release, 11 December 2008, available at: http://www.lrvk.lt/main.php?id=aktualijos_su_video/p.php&n=6912 (last access: 25 January 2009).


[3] Lithuanian government: Prezidentas aptarė Lietuvos poziciją Europos vadovų tarybos susitikime Briuselyje (President has discussed Lithuanian position for the European Council meeting in Brussels), press release, December 9 2008, available at: http://www.president.lt/lt/news.full/9947 (last access: 25 January 2009).


[4] Lietuvos rytas (newspaper): Derybos Briuselyje – be pralaimėjusių (Negotiations in Brussels – without the loosers), 13 December 2008, available at: http://www.urm.lt/index.php?-2146360448 (last access: 25 January 2009).


[5] Bernardinai (news portal): Justas Paleckis. Naujasis JAV prezidentas gręžiasi į Europą ir pasaulį (Justas Paleckis. the new president of the USA looks back to Europe and the world), 9 December 2008, available at: http://www.bernardinai.lt/index.php?url=articles/88743 (last access: 25 January 2009).


[6] See: Kęstutis Grinius.JAV krizės pasekmės ES:kitų variantų praktiškai nėra, išskyrus karinį komunizmą arba fašistinę diktatūrą (Consequences of the USA crisis to the EU: there are practically no other scenarios except for the military communism or fascist dictatorship), 15 December 2008, available at: http://www.vartotojulyga.lt/lt/news/detail.php?ID=20050 (last access: 25 January 2009).