Lithuania's soldiers eat with golden forks

According to official sources the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence has purchased plates, cutlery and other kitchen items for up to eight times the market price. Lithuanian commentators roll their eyes at the extravagant purchase, which has been dubbed the "golden cutlery" scandal.

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Lrytas (LT) /

Wasteful extravagance wherever you look

The Lithuanian Defence Ministry is throwing money out the window, web portal Lrytas comments angrily:

“This affair is just one more in a series of extravagance scandals. The historians and archaeologists of the future will no doubt describe this chapter in Lithuania's history as the 'golden era'. Think back to the scandal surrounding the 'golden' toilets in Kaunas that cost as much as the sanitary installations for a sultan and his entire harem. … Now we learn that the tableware and cutlery cost almost as much as the army's equipment, and that it was purchased at prices much higher than the going market rates: 180 euros for a chopping board when you can get the same model for 28 euros in a shop. … The figures are shocking; you would think our army was using crystal cutlery and eating out of plates made of precious metals and studded with diamonds.”

Alfa (LT) /

Officials acting like children

Officials responsible for the acquisition of goods often act like small children with long wish lists, the online portal Alfa sighs:

“They're like children who get to choose a mobile telephone before their birthday and write a wish list for their parents beforehand. The parents let the child choose what features it should have, but say it should be reasonably priced. The child is smart: the mobile phone must be no more than a year old, it should have a bitten apple on the back, it has to have 128 gigabytes of memory and be metal-coloured. In the end there's only one option. It's also the cheapest because no other phone covers all these requirements - nevertheless it's one of the most expensive cellphones on the market. Rather than buying their brazen child a mobile phone, the parents should make him use a payphone. Unfortunately no one treats officials like this.”