Lithuania's new president sworn in
12 Jul 2019, 22:19 ( 3 Months ago)
Lithuania's new President Gitanas Nauseda started on Friday his term following his inauguration ceremony, pledging to tackle income and regional inequality, strengthen education and maintain the Euroatlantic integration.
Nauseda, 55, formerly an economist at one of the country's largest banks, started his swearing-in ceremony at the country's parliament where he made his first speech as the Lithuanian president.
In his address, Nauseda emphasized that even though Lithuania has become more successful and prosperous than ever before, social inequality is prevalent in the country's society.
"We haven't noticed that we have built a two-speed Lithuania," said Nauseda at the parliament highlighting five key indicators that he had promised to improve as the president during the election campaign.
Nauseda pledged to work to lower income and regional inequality, improve the state budget's tax income from 30 percent to 35 percent of GDP, reduce regional exclusion and use effectively EU funds.
"The fifth, and I think the most important indicator, is the improvement of education quality," Nauseda told the audience.
Nauseda who is not a member of any political party vowed to cooperate with all institutions to achieve these tasks, seeking decisions "and not confrontation".
On foreign policy, Nauseda emphasized the deeper Euroatlantic integration and close relationship with the European Union as well as with the US.
The president highlighted efforts to increase energy independence, securing national interests in the EU and NATO when talking about bilateral cooperation with neighboring Latvia, Estonia and Poland.
He also told Chinese media after the inauguration ceremony that he hoped to have very friendly and stable relations with China and continue the economic cooperation between two countries.
Nauseda also promised the country would stick to its commitments to maintain defense spending and to step up defense capabilities.