A special working group tasked with looking at the rationale of moving the Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture from the capital to the second city, Kaunas, finalised its report on Friday. While the group's conclusions are yet to be made public, LRT sources say that the report contains 14 points, all of which argue against the move.
The idea to move the ministry to Kaunas was part of the platform of the ruling party, the Farmers and Greens Union, for the 2016 election and was intended as part of an effort to bridge the wealth gap between the capital city, Vilnius, and the rest of the country.
However, recently appointed Agriculture Minister Andrius Palionis has expressed public doubts about the reasonableness of the move. President Gitanas Nausėda, too, has voiced scepticism.
The working group, appointed by Minister Palionis in late August, included the ministry's employee representatives and specialists from the Public Procurement Office. It will first submit the report to the minister of agriculture, who will discuss it with Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis before making any further steps.
The ministry had already picked premises in Kaunas, but the owner, BEI Capital, withdrew the bid due to uncertainty surrounding the move.
Vitalija Zumerienė, who managed the relocation, has also recently quit the job, saying the project involved “much uncertainty and many interests”.