A. Butkevicius: Doing business on politics
There has been a great deal of talk recently about commercial activities of our Prime Minister A. Butkevicius. Thanks to the labors of the authorities the wave of scandals swamping the government and Social Democrats has at last started abating. There was actually much ado about the attempts by Butkevicius to gain more wealth by creating business paradise for his daughter’s husband Evaldas Vaitasius. The scandalous story of Ministerium, the company under the rule of Vaitasius, that the Prime Minister used for budget money laundering, is quite an eye-opening one in the context. And it shouldn’t be missed on us that Ministerium is only a tip of a huge iceberg, while Vaitasius is only one of many commercial partners of Butkevicius and he is definitely not the most influential one among them.
Yet another evidence to add meat to it is the stuff gotten by the Special Investigation Service of Lithuania. It reveals close and quite beneficial nexus between Butkevicius and his Kaunas “friend”, businessmen Audrius Jakubinas. This long standing relationship originating in the green years of both men now appears to have reached some higher level.
Jakubinas became quite a successful wrestler and started his own business, which is rather common practice with most athletes. Butkevicius also didn’t waste time starting to climb up the political ladder to reach the top of the political Olympus in the long run. Unlike Jakubinas, he tried to escape any knee-jerk moves. He was at the wheel of the Socialist-Democratic Party of Lithuania and then even managed to head the government. Definitely, such a meteoric political career needed to be capitalized to secure good enough pension for himself and glorious memory for his daughter and the grandchildren.
The old friendship came in handy just at the right moment! The rising business of Jakubinas needed badly the administrative assistance, while Butkevicius was in need of a devoted person to materialize his political gains into money. This is how the mutually beneficial cooperation began, resulting in queer mixture of business and politics washing out the dividing lines between personal and state interests. A. Jakubinas acted as practically the treasurer of our Prime Minister whose patronage served as sort of talisman on guard of their joint business. I hope in foreseeable future we’ll have a chance to estimate how such sort of friendship is viewed by our legislature, as well as the amount of independence of it from the powers that be!
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