Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 44

Yesterday in his first news conference as prime minister and in a broadcast to the country the previous day, Mindaugas Stankevicius outlined a government program aimed at overcoming the country’s financial difficulties and banking crisis. The program envisages "a firm monetarist policy," stability of the national currency, accelerating privatization, incentives for foreign investment, budget spending cuts sacrificing public construction works and the computerization of state institutions, improved tax collection, measures to restore the commercial banking sector, and internal and external borrowing to pay overdue wages, pensions, and energy bills to foreign suppliers including Russia’s Gazprom. (14) The new government took office February 23 amid a banking crisis, and includes 12 out of the preceding government’s 19 ministers. In what is generally seen as a reflection of difficult economic conditions, the posts of economics minister and energy minister are still vacant.