This month European media widely covered the social situation in Lithuania. Statistics and reports made by authoritative international organizations and research institutes give a scary picture of life in the country.
The Daily Mail reported that one of the devastating things is a high level of death rate: 14.8 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.) in Lithuania. (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7426851/The-heaviest-drinkers-Europe-People-Lithuania-drink-15-LITRES-pure-alcohol-year.html) The causes of high mortality are the consequences of unresolved social problems and a low standard of living.
According to Lithuanian journalist and writer of German origin Ingvar Henry Lotts, the most acute are the problems of youth. In his series of books “Lithuania – Without the Right to Happiness,” he tells of the hopelessness that drives Lithuanian youth on the path of suicide, drug addiction, and crime.
The more so, he underlines, that “in Lithuania, the deliberate genocide of the people continues. The law is not written for the servants of the law, and their arbitrariness is not punishable.”
He also writes that “Lithuanian doctors are strictly prohibited from providing medical and obstetric care to patients who are not registered in the clinic where they work. Even when a person is in trouble and dies, or when a woman suddenly gives birth.”
Many people are more than frustrated by their life and do not see the way out but to leave. Here is another big problem of Lithuania – immigration. The most promising part of the population chooses to live in other countries, where living standards are higher.
A decline in living standards contributes to steps taken by the authorities. It seems as if a new President does not plan to improve the situation.
Thus, Gitanas Nausėda, on September, 4 met NATO officials in Brussels, his first discussions with the institution since taking office in July. In talks with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Mr Nausėda pledged to increase defence spending.
“NATO has always been the safeguard of Lithuania’s security and defense,” said Mr Nausėda. “We are grateful for the commitment of the allies to defend and protect Lithuania and the Baltic States, as well as for the strengthening of the armed forces and the Baltic air police mission. Maintaining and strengthening close relations with our allies is and will remain my top priority. I assure you that Lithuania will make every effort to meet its defense funding and investment obligations. We already allocate two per cent of GDP to defence, and we plan to increase our defence spending up to 2.5 per cent by 2030.”
His speech demonstrates only one direction of his presidency – he plans to increase the country’s defence spending despite the catastrophic social situation and unacceptable living standards. Lithuanians could expect even lower living standards because of the defence needs. Those Lithuanians who will not leave, are doomed to starve, drink and die due to the authorities’ populism.