• December 29, 2016
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Is Vilnius Region going to have access to Polish television?

Andrius Kubilius, former prime minister and former leader of the Conservatives, proposed the financing of the retransmission of one of the popular Polish channels in Vilnius region from the the state budget for the following year.

Kubilius requested a budget of 200,000 euros for the Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre. It shall communicate with the Polish broadcaster.

– I do not know if requested money will be granted from the state budget for the year 2017 for the retransmission of Polish television in Vilnius region. I’m working on the project. I carry out negotiations with the Ministry of Communications and the Radio and Television Centre. In this case, the money is not the most important. I hope that the Ministry of Communications or some other institutions will find such a sum. It is not such a big amount of money – said Andrius Kubilius, in an interview with “Kurier.

Last year, the Polish Discussion Club operation in Vilnius asked the government to consider the possibility of broadcasting Polish television programmes in Lithuania, as a counterweight to broadcasted Russian TV channels, popular among Lithuanian Poles.

– I think that today the most important thing is that appropriate institutions have shown interest in that matter. Personally, I wrote requested letters and the institutions promised to answer this week. It is necessary for the realisation of this project. We have to cooperate with relevant Polish institutions – said Kubilius.

The deputies have adopted next year’s budget and the expenditures will exceed the income by 0.5 billion.

– The deputies considered more than 50 applications for the grants, but did not accept any, because they did not receive the approval of the government. The budget for 2017 was adopted during last term. It was a big challenge. We had to find the funds to raise salaries for teachers. Last term we promised people money, but we did not have the funds. We had many requests this year, but we did not accept any. This year, we have no money to implement any additional projects – said Ramūnas Karbauskis, leader of the Peasant and Greens Union.

It is assumed that the public sector deficit will amount to 0.7 % of GDP – 0.1 % less than the government of Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius had planned. The decrease is primarily due to the postponement of introduction of some laws to July next year, abandonment of the Social Security Fund’s limit (SODRA)  and higher excise duty on alcohol.

– While forming a budget for 2018, many proposals will be taken into account and we will be happy to accept them. For this reason, we propose to move up the date of the elections to the Parliament. We do not want anybody to be in our situation. We have to adopt the budget arranged by other parties and we only have a week to make some changes. It is impossible. Now are voters begin to express their dissatisfaction, because we did not do this or that. They blame us, even though we all understand that this is not our budget. Nobody should accuse us that these important purposes were not taken into account in the budget funds – pointed Karbauskis.

Taking into consideration the comments of the European Commission, the structural deficit of the public sector will amount to 1.2 % of GDP – 0.1 % less.

Budget revenues in 2017, including funds from the European Union and all international support, compared with the previous suggestions will increase by 43 million euros to 8.519 billion euros, appropriations – by 10 million euros to 9.07 billion euros.

– I want Poles living in Lithuania to be able to watch Polish television. It is very important. There is no anti-lithuanian propaganda in Polish television. I have nothing against it. This year it was not financed because of the lack of the money, not because it is not needed – said Ramūnas Karbauskis.

Translated by Joanna Jastrzębska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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