Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda on Wednesday hit back at criticism over EU budget talks, saying it reminds him of a Soviet-era joke where one man is working and another five are watching and giving him useless advice.
Nausėda made the comment when asked what he thought about indirect criticism from his predecessor, Dalia Grybauskaitė. She said last week that because the talks in Brussels had failed, no one could speak about interim achievements.
During the negotiations on the next EU budget in Brussels, Nausėda praised Lithuania's "achievement" on securing a 200-million-euro compensation for emigration.
Read more: EU to compensate Lithuania for emigration
"I could remind [the critics] that there are different stages in the negotiations, and when both sides – in this case, net payers and net recipients – want to obtain more in the talks, these talks are sometimes deliberately ended, but that doesn't mean the talks are a failure," the president told reporters on Wednesday.
"Perhaps there was a lack of information; we could provide all of it."
"I'd ask various commentators to refrain, at least during the negotiations, so as not to give the impression of that Soviet construction site, where one is digging a trench and five are watching and telling him how to dig," he added.
Read more: After EU talks fail, Nausėda vows to fight for Lithuanian farmers