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2019.11.12 09:30

Lithuanian Post board disbands after ordered to halt sale of buildings

Independent members Lietuvos Paštas (Lithuanian Post) management board have refused to stay on after defying Transport and Communications Minister Jaroslav Narkevič' instruction to halt the sale of three postal buildings and dismiss the company's CEO.

Independent members of Lietuvos Paštas (Lithuanian Post) management board have refused to stay on after defying Transport and Communications Minister Jaroslav Narkevič' instruction to suspend the auctions to sell three key postal buildings in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda, as well as dismiss the CEO.

In a statement issued after Monday's meeting with Narkevič, Nerijus Datkūnas, the board's chairman, said that the ministry's demands would be detrimental to the company's operations and its 5,000 employees.

Datkūnas replied that the issues had to be decided by Lietuvos Paštas' board and there had to be clear grounds to sack the CEO. On the evening of the same day, all board members received letters informing them about the board's dismissal as of October 31.

The minister revised his order last week to extend the board's powers until December 31, but its independent members do not agree to stay on.

"In our legal assessment, the board of Lietuvos Paštas was dismissed on October 31. For the sake of transparency, we emphasize that the management board is no longer functioning," Datkūnassaid in the statement.

According to Mazeika, the ministry wanted the board to "listen more into the public's interests".

"The post is a state enterprise that carries a certain political burden, too," the vice-minister told BNS after Monday's meeting with the board members.

The dismissed board had four independent members – Datkūnas, Jūratė Stanišauskienė, Danielius Merkinas and Gražvydas Jukna – and a member representing the ministry, Janina Laskauskienė.

Lietuvos Paštas has decided to sell the three buildings, saying they are too large for the company and too costly to maintain.

The communications minister believes, however, that the company should look again at possibilities to continue using the buildings for public needs.

"We have launched a process to re-examine all possible options, [including] attracting municipal authorities and other social partners in an effort to preserve the buildings for public use," Narkevič told BNS after the meeting.

The National Commission for Cultural Heritage, the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO and the Lithuanian Restorers' Union have voiced concerns over the planned sale of these buildings.