Navickienė, who is stepping down, gives three reasons why she decided to resign: 'I made a human mistake'

Late Wednesday evening, Monika Navickienė, Minister of Social Security and Labour and Acting Minister of Education, Science and Sport, announced her resignation and summoned journalists to the Seimas on Thursday morning to explain her decision.

M. Navickienė.<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
M. Navickienė.<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)

Jun 13, 2024, 3:57 PM, atnaujinta Jun 13, 2024, 4:01 PM

The Minister announced on Facebook that she had submitted her resignation to Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė.

The Minister, who is involved in a scandal regarding the financial technology company Foxpay, did so almost immediately after portal 15min found out that a little more than a year ago, Navickienė had flown on a private plane to Dubai for a holiday with the formerly imprisoned entrepreneur Vilhelms Germanas and his spouse, the shareholder of Foxpay, Ieva Trinkūnaite. The Minister did not pay for the trip.

For some time now, there has been a scandal that Navickienė has confused public and private interests, and questions have been raised about her husband Mindaugas Navickas' links with the persons mentioned above.

Three reasons were identified

Ms Navickienė gave three reasons for resigning but stressed that she remained convinced of her legality and saw no conflict of interest.

„You see me at a tough time in my life and emotionally. Although I am convinced, I have not violated the public interest, I admit I have made a human error.

At the time I made the spontaneous decision to join a trip that was offered to my children, it seemed to me to be a risk-free private affair unrelated to my official position.

Especially at that time, I had no information from the media or from the institutions that would raise any reputational doubts“, Navickienė told the gathering at the Seimas.

The Minister said that she was sure that she had not damaged the State or created any conflicts of interest.

„However, seeing all the circumstances, I admit today that it was a human error, which I would never repeat,“ Navickienė said.

The Minister assured that she had spoken with Prime Minister Šimonytė on Wednesday evening.

„I told her that I was going to resign, and the Prime Minister agreed,“ Navickienė said, adding that she did not know whether the Head of Government would approve her request to resign but that she very much hoped so.

She also gave three main reasons why she took the fateful decision to resign on Wednesday evening.

„Recent events are creating a substantial negative emotional burden on my loved ones – my daughters, my mother and the people I have worked with over the last four years.

Secondly, what is now of legitimate interest to the political community, the media, and the public at large, and the energy I have to devote to explaining circumstances beyond my control, take away any possibility of being productive in the areas of social protection and education, science, and sport that I am responsible for.

Thirdly, for colleagues whom I love and respect, my position now imposes a political burden that they, who have worked hard and honourably over a long period, certainly do not deserve,“ said Ms Navickienė.

The politician did not dare assess what her political future would look like now—according to the Minister, the people will decide that.

„I fully trust the public's judgement,“ Navickienė assured.

If her party comrades agree, the resigning minister said, she would like to stay in the ranks of the Conservatives.

„There are no irreplaceable people – soon I will no longer be a minister, but I will continue to be an active party community member and just a mother,“ said Ms Navickienė.

She remains convinced that her connection with Trinkūnaitė's family is not significant.

„Communication is sporadic. The holiday was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and our communication was never more than two or three times a year. Since my children were invited to spend the holidays together, I accompanied them because an adult was needed. I made that decision, and I probably made it recklessly.

I wouldn't do it today, but, as I said, I didn't know of any reputational risks at the time, nor was I alerted by the services. (...) And I don't have some scanner to decide whether people have done something wrong in the past or not. I tend to trust people, and I had no other indications,“ Navickienė said.

What happened?

We want to remind you that the Bank of Lithuania inspects the financial technology company Foxpay. For her part, Prosecutor General Nida Grunskienė instructed the Special Investigation Service (STT) to clarify the facts due to questions raised in the public domain about the company's activities.

More suspicions about the company were raised after the news portal reported that Foxpay, which is involved in the scandal, is linked to another group of companies, iSun. The founder and chairwoman of the group's board of directors is Ieva Trinkūnaitė, the sole owner of Foxpay. However, in the past, Ieva Trinkūnaitė's cohabitant Vilhelmas Germanas, who has been imprisoned for financial crimes, has also been actively involved in iSun's activities.

According to the portal's publication, Mindaugas Navickas, the spouse of Minister Monika Navickienė and a former member of Foxpay's board, together with Germanas, hosted the core employees of the iSun group and the heads of the units. In the past, Navickas has also managed other companies linked to Trinkūnaitė and Germanas.

On Wednesday, new details were added to the story, as it was revealed that the government's Coordination Commission for the Protection of Objects of Importance for National Security had prevented Trinkūnaitė from acquiring the company LITLAB, whose sole shareholder is the spouse of Minister Navickas.

Although Foxpay's owner changed her plans while the deal was still under consideration, the Commission assessed the company on its own initiative and found that the investor did not comply with the requirements of the Law on the Protection of Objects of National Interest.

Navickas has served on Foxpay's board since 2022 and was a director from the end of 2023 to the beginning of 2024. However, following investigations by the Bank of Lithuania, Mr Navickas resigned from Foxpay's Board.

From 2012 to 2016, Ms Navickienė was also a shareholder in her husband's company LITLAB. The Minister has said that Trinkūnaitė is a distant relative of hers – the sister of her husband's brother's wife – but she did not know anything about her partner's past with law enforcement.

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