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Brussels, 27 January 2010

Statement by Commissioner Almunia on Lithuania

" I commend the Lithuanian authorities and people for the remarkable efforts made during this global crisis to limit the deterioration in the budget deficit and to preserve macro-economic stability, which have included many difficult decisions. The government has adopted substantial consolidation measures during 2009, and in the 2010 budget, which have helped improve the economic outlook in Lithuania. However, since general economic conditions deteriorated more than expected in the Spring, the Commission is proposing that the Council extends the existing deadline for correction of the excessive deficit in Lithuania by one year to 2012. The budgetary effort needs to continue for some time, to ensure a stronger and more sustainable economy in the future. We also welcome the authorities' plans to continue with the structural reforms necessary to strengthen and preserve competitiveness . I encourage Lithuania to continue on this path, which is already producing results in terms of increased investor and market confidence and which will bring Lithuania closer to meeting the conditions for introducing the euro within a reasonable timeframe." said Joaquín Almunia, European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner. 

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