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Lithuanian Railways' long-tolerated behavior harms whole state

VILNIUS - Irresponsible practices by Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, or LG), tolerated by previous governments for years, have caused damaged to the whole state, President Dalia Grybauskaite said on Monday, commenting on the European Commission's decision to fine the state railway company almost 28 million euros for dismantling a rail track linking Lithuania to Latvia.

"The new managements of the Transport Ministry and Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai are haunted by the negligence and mistakes of their predecessors. Tolerated for years by several governments, 'the state within the state' and its irresponsible behavior has caused financial and reputation harm to the entire country," she said in a comment to BNS.

The Commission on Monday slapped LG with a 27.87-million-euro fine for breaching the EU's competition rules, saying that the company "failed to show any objective justification for the removal of the track".

Lithuania can appeal the fine to the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice.

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