From the TUC

Lithuania: “If the IMF lived here, they’d vote for the PM!”

14 Oct 2012, by in International, Politics

But as Kestutis Girnius, a teacher in Vilnius, told Reuters, the IMF don’t, and “they could not live on a Lithuanian salary.” Lithuanians, if exit polls are to be believed, today voted their centre-right Prime Minister out, in favour of a left-of-centre coalition who pledged a higher minimum wage, higher taxes on the rich, and job creation measures.

Kestutis was expressing the widely held view that the Homeland Union government of Andrius Kubilius was a poster boy for IMF-inspired austerity (the kind the IMF now accepts harms the economy, although Lithuania grew by 5.8% last year, bouncing back from one of the deepest recessions in northern Europe: GDP plunged by 15.7% in the first nine months of 2009.) He took office from the left of centre Social Democrats in 2008, and they appear to have bounced back into government – although as junior partners with the Labour Party – after sharp cuts in public spending, wages and pensions.