Grybauskaite starts serving as president of Lithuania

11:47, 14 July 2009
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President-elect Dalia Grybauskaite swore to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania and the Constitution at the Sunday solemn meeting at the Seimas, which took place in the historical March 11th hall on July 12, according to The Baltic Course.

After taking the oath accepted by Constitutional Court chairman Kestutis Lapinskas, President Grybauskaite started serving in her new post.

 Having sang the Lithuanian anthem, all participants of the solemn sitting congratulated President Grybauskaite with applause. The Constitutional Court chairman extending his congratulations to the president wished Grybauskaite endurance in serving in the most honorable post of the head of state. He announced that the ceremony of accepting the oath of President Dalia Grybauskaite is over.

 Seimas Speaker Arunas Valinskas, who said a congratulations speech after the oath-taking ceremony, underlined that fir the first time in the history of Lithuania the post of the head of state is entrusted to a woman.

 In the end of the solemn sitting, President Grybauskaite will deliver a speech to the Lithuanian Seimas and the nation.

 After that Dalia Grybauskaite delivered an inaugural address at the Seimas after her oath-taking ceremony. ELTA/LETA transmits the full text of her inaugural address:

 Mr. Speaker, the Honorable Seimas, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Dear People of Lithuania!

 I would like to personally thank the First Head of the Restored State of Lithuania, Vytautas Landsbergis, President Algirdas Brazauskas and President Valdas Adamkus for their work and service to our country.

 For me, the will of the citizens of Lithuania and my presidential oath signify the ultimate responsibility to the Nation and Homeland.

 I have solemnly promised to be equally just to all.

 I understand it also as a reasonable and fair relationship between the three powers: the President, the Seimas and the Government.

 I will be an active president. I will use all the powers afforded to me by the Constitution.

 I will resolutely protect the interests of the citizens by virtue of my word and authority as President.

 I feel honored and humbled by the trust and confidence extended to me by the people of Lithuania and the expectations they have placed upon me. However, I would like to encourage you, and especially those who think that change is impossible, to be active citizens of your state!

 Do criticize the government and me as part of political power when needed!

But do not forget: there is but a fine line between criticizing the government and undermining the state itself. Empty criticism will not solve a single problem.

 Therefore, I will consult with all political parties, non-governmental organizations and civil movements. I will strengthen and expand the circle of public presidential advisers and the weight of their importance.

 As I travelled across Lithuania, I saw that people are strongly disappointed with courts. I heard them say: "We have courts, but not enough justice." I saw a lot of indignation over double standards: one type of justice for ordinary people and a different one for influential figures.

 When I appoint judges, I will focus special attention on their integrity, honesty and good repute. People will only respect the courts when the courts start respecting themselves.

In these times of difficulty, we hear the word "crisis" all the time. When putting out the fire today, let us think about tomorrow. Let us bring our efforts together and make changes that will lay the groundwork for future decades.

 Let us live without oligarchic monopolies and non-transparent transactions.

Let us release the potential of family and small businesses.

 Let us complete the never-ending process of reforms in health care, education and welfare, vitally important to us all.

 Let us place the individual and his rights in the center of politics and make them the core of political commitment. In this way we will find an answer to the question: Why is it that the majority of those who leave Lithuania for other countries find more respectful human relations, more security and more freedom there than in their Homeland?

 Good relations with our neighbors have always been and will always be a top foreign policy priority.

 But let us strike a balance in the foreign policy pendulum:

 Let strong and consistent protection of Lithuania`s interests replace our imaginary leadership in the Euro-Atlantic space.

 Having established our authority, based on one thousand-year-old wisdom, in Western Europe, we will feel much stronger in the East and we will be more respected by those nations that follow the example of Lithuanian Freedom.

 There is nothing more valuable than a man seeking his calling in life and a state that is being built by organized effort.

 For the first one thousand years, Lithuania has travelled a rough road: it had been both the largest country in Europe and a country wiped out from the European map.

 I firmly believe that our efforts here and now will determine whether or not the name of Lithuania will be still mentioned after another thousand years among the names of countries with thriving democracy, well-being and respect for each and every citizen.

 Let us all come together! For the sake of Lithuania!

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