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“It is difficult to be an optimist when listening to news coming from the euro zone but Lithuania is ready for challenges,” Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius announced after the US ratings agency Standard & Poors slashed ratings of some European states.

“The news coming from the euro zone do not let us be more optimistic about the year 2012 for the meantime. However, I would also like to remind that we have approved the 2012 budget with the deficit of less than 3% of GDP and we are ready for all challenges adequately,” he told reporters.

“The problems are really big, longstanding. It seems that we will discuss the same problems for another year but the nature of those discussions is changing in that we only spoke about Greece in the beginning, then it was Portugal and Ireland, and now we are also speaking about Italy, Spain, finally about France. Obviously, such an assessment by the rating agencies implies that the cost of borrowing for those countries on the international markets will increase somewhat. It may affect economic development of those countries,” Kubilius adds.

He points out that, unfortunately, the problems affecting the eurozone may hit also Lithuania, reports The Lithuania Tribune.

“Of course we, as an open and export-oriented economy, may also come across certain additional challenges and difficulties due to the economic problems potentially faced by those countries. I would like to remind that 60% of our GDP is produced for exports. Some 65% are exported to the EU and euro zone states,” Kubilius says.