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2020.03.04 17:33

Lithuanian PM vows to merge two ministries after president rejects cabinet nominee

Paulius Viluckas, BNS2020.03.04 17:33

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says he will not nominate a new economy minister candidate, opting instead to merge the Ministry of Economy and Innovation with the Ministry of Energy by next autumn.

Skvernelis' recent nominee for the post was rejected by the president last month, with observers interpreting the move as a sign of friction between the two.

Read more: Lithuanian president refuses to appoint PM's adviser as economy minister

“No, there will not be a new nomination, and the president was informed on Monday that the government's programme will be implemented and one ministry will disappear,” Skvernelis told journalists on Wednesday.

The prime minister emphasised that the merger would be completed before the end of his government's term later this year.

“Yes, it will be done by the end of this government's term, but will in fact apply to the 18th [next] government. We plan that it will come into force on October 1,” Skvernelis told journalists.

He added that there might be more reshuffling, as some functions of the Environment Ministry could be handed over to the Energy Ministry.

Skvernelis decided not to nominate a new candidate for economy minister after President Gitanas Nausėda rejected the nomination of the prime minister's adviser Lukas Savickas.

The position of economy and innovation minister has been vacant since December when Virginijus Sinkevičius took up a job in the European Commission.