THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA
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I have just read the latest edition of VilNews, thank you for another good job. I agree with your editorial comments. In particular: "Being a Norwegian, I believe Norway and the other Scandinavian countries would have been willing to stretch to great lengths to provide help and advice for the crisis–hit Lithuania and the two other Baltic States. But they had to be asked. Our Lithuanian leaders should refrain from arrogance and avoid ignorance by seeking advice where good help and advice is to be found, domestically and internationally. Can they do that, there is every reason to foresee a bright future for this nation."
I have two comments to make on that. First, I believe that even now it's not too late to ask the Scandinavian countries for help. But you are exactly right: the Scandinavian countries would want in return a guarantee that whatever help they give will be used wisely, listen to Scandinavian advice, not arrogantly assuming that we the Lithuanians know best. Closely linked to this is the second thing: no one wants to give help if they think it's going to be wasted corruptly. Lithuanians need to be able to give the Scandinavian aid-givers a chance to supervise what is going on, the right to inspect and audit, to make sure that the aid is being used as agreed, and not to build the villas of mafiozai and corrupt politicians and public servants on land that they have misappropriated from public forests and lakefronts.
Which brings me back to my key theme (sorry if I'm repetitious): Lithuania will not make much serious progress until bigger efforts are made to stamp out bribery and corruption.
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