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Tuesday 25.10.2016 | Name days: Beāte, Beatrise

Week in Lithuania. Unexpected decision: Lithuania’s Bank Snoras property put on sale on eBay

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Bankruptcy administrator of bank Snoras has decided, unexpectedly to many, to start selling movable property of the bankrupt bank on eBay. Selling the property as effectively as possible is administrator’s striving, it says.

Used electronic devices and computer equipment will be sold on the globally popular website. Already on the first day, banknote counter Glory GFB-800 was sold for nearly 350 euro.

Lithuanian President: UK’s proposal is discriminatory

This week, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė has met with British Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of the European Council in Brussels. According to the president, Lithuania is ready to seek solutions in order to strengthen the European Union (EU). «We support Britain’s proposals to enhance the competitiveness of the entire Union and reduce regulatory burdens on business,» the president said. «However, the free movement of people and non-discrimination against EU citizens – the founding principles of the EU – cannot be questioned».

Lithuania will accept additional refugee quotas

Attending the European Council on Thursday, December 17, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said that Lithuania would not participate in the newly suggested refugee resettlement from Turkey scheme until the earlier quota of 1,105 asylum seekers for Lithuania is completed. According to the president, the 1,105 refugee quota also includes 70 people from third countries, including Turkey. The European Commission presented a recommendation to resettle refugees from Turkey directly on December 15.

President: Nord Stream 2 should not go ahead

The planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea should not be built, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė says. «Lithuania and six other countries addressed the European Commission, asking to look into whether this pipeline does not contradict the Energy Union … and the EU’s interests in areas of transparency and solidarity, whether it meets the Third Energy Package requirements. So I believe there are many questions to ask and before they are answered, this project should not move forward,» Grybauskaitė told.

Financial investigators raid Lithuanian Football Federation offices

Lithuania’s Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS) carried out searches of the headquarters of the Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF) and of the home of the LFF’s president, Julius Kvedaras, on Thursday, December 17. The FCIS indicated that searches were also carried out at related private companies, but did not reveal what companies were being investigated. FCIS director Kęstutis Jucevičius told that the pre-trial investigation for embezzlement at the Lithuanian Football Federation had been going on for a month and that the case supposedly involved millions of euros. No one has been charged in the investigation yet. Kvedaras denies any wrongful activities.

Parliament nods to military conscription extension

Lithuanian parliament has endorsed a proposal on reinstating military conscription beyond 2020, although prime minister and defence minister remain unsure about the necessity. One bill, put forward by the Labour Party’s Artūras Paulauskas, called for military draft in 2020-2021 and was supported by 74 MPs, while three voted against and 15 abstained. National Defence Minister Juozas Olekas was among the three detractors. A second bill on drafting men between 19-26 in 2021 was endorsed by 62 MPs, with one vote against and 30 abstentions, including by the defence minister.

A discussion behind closed doors

In a closed sitting with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, members of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs discussed the current situation and outlook in the European Union’s relations with Russia and Lithuania’s stance on those relations. It was agreed that Lithuania’s position would remain clear and consistent: any positive changes in EU-Russian relations will have to start with Russian domestic and foreign policy changes, the country’s efforts to strengthen democracy and respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms, and support for the principles of international law both in Russia and in its relationships with other countries.

Vilnius wants to be data storage leader

As Lithuania attracts more and more international service centres, its capital city, Vilnius, may also take a regional leadership role in the storage of European companies’ data.

According to Slušnys,the CEO of Rackray UAB, what makes Vilnius unique is its combination of a favourable geographical location, excellent communication networks and highly qualified specialists.

The quantity of digital information in the world is forecast to grow to 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020, from 4.4 trillion in 2013. Experts say the market for data centres in Central and Eastern Europe will grow by about 70 percent in coming years.

Five Lithuanian ballers win dubious acclamation

A Russian sports website has given five Lithuanian basketball players the questionable honor of playing on that website’s modern-day USSR fantasy dream team. The imaginary modern USSR national team would have featured Jonas Mačiulis, Jonas Valančiūnas, Mantas Kalnietis, Donatas Motiejūnas and Mindaugas Kuzminskas.

PM given more power to amend SD electoral list

The Council of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania has granted party leader Algirdas Butkevičius more powers in compiling the party list for the 2016 general elections. Butkevičius, who is the prime minister of Lithuania, will have the possibility to modify the candidates’ ranking in the electoral list or include up to 10 new candidates. Butkevičius will be able to modify the ranking within «100 ranking spots», which means that he can either move 100 candidates up or down one spot each or, for example, move five candidates up or down 20 spots.

Prices are falling in December

Lithuania’s average monthly inflation, calculated based on the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP), is projected to be negative and stand at minus 0.2%, compared with prices recorded in November. According to Statistics Lithuania, annual inflation is also expected to be negative in December and stand at minus 0.1%. The average annual inflation will be minus 0.7% in December.

Lithuania’s improved economic growth outlook

Lithuania’s economy should grow 2.9% next year, almost double this year’s rate of 1.7%, according to the director of Economics and Financial Stability Service of the central Bank of Lithuania. The main engines of growth next year will be expanding domestic consumption and economic recovery of Lithuania’s trading partners. Another factor favourable to Lithuania’s economic growth is the expected recovery in the eurozone, presenting more opportunities for export to Western Europe.

Lithuanian President to sign 2016 budget

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė says that she is going to sign the 2016 budget into law, although it has been criticised by the European Commission and the National Audit Office. Although the budgetary plan for 2016 contains risks that Lithuania might fail to live up to its deficit commitments, the president said she would sign the law because it provides for bigger funding for national defence and welfare. Presidential advisor Mindaugas Lingė has said the budget was drafted amateurishly and compared it to a work of over-eager and over-optimistic students.

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