News2019.06.26 13:00

Scandinavian banks ‘caused’ financial crisis in Lithuania, Seimas investigation finds

Jonas Deveikis, 2019.06.26 13:00

“Swedish banks caused the crisis, the Lithuanian central bank did not control them,” was the verdict issued by Seimas Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Stasys Jakeliūnas.

On Wednesday, the committee presented their findings about the causes of the 2009 financial crisis in Lithuania that swept across Europe, the US and much of the world from 2008-09.

MP Kęstutis Glaveckas demanded that those responsible for the crisis should face legal responsibility, while Jakeliūnas said the only potential legal case could be brought about the Vilnius Interbank Offered Rate (VILIBOR), which he said was arbitrarily inflated and caused unreasonably high interest rates for borrowers.

“Visibly, there could have been manipulations instead of objective assessments of the financial situation,” said Jakeliūnas.

MP Rasa Budbergytė said the committee’s recommendations should be moderated, since they seem to be trying to “almost change the state structure”.

“We have everything, all the tools, and we simply need to use them,” she added.

Some committee members criticized the report, saying it put too much blame on Scandinavian banks and looked too little at decisions made by politicians at the time.

Jakeliūnas expressed his conviction that Lithuania did not turn to international institutions for support due to President Dalia Grybauskaitė’s negative opinion. According to Jakeliūnas, the president insisted that “only the impotent look for support”.

The committee accepted “in principal” the conclusions presented on Wednesday, but “can decide later what to do” further, said Jakeliūnas. 

LRT has been certified according to the Journalism Trust Initiative Programme

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