bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 26.07.2017 | Name days: Ance, Anna, Annija
LithuaniaLithuania

Donald Trump’s stunning win tops Lithuania’s most memorable events in 2016

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

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

Central Vilnius at Christmas

Linas Jegelevicius for the BNN

The rise of Donald Trump to power of the mightiest country in the world, United States, as well as the  surge of populists in the European Union, including Lithuania, stirred the pot most in 2016, agree all Lithuanian analysts that BNN spoke to before the end of the year.

«Undoubtedly, the election results in the United Sates have caught many people off guard in the world and the fallout is yet to unravel, with the year of 2017 being a year to watch,» says Lauras Bielinis, associate professor at Kaunas Magnus University. «Eastern Europe, including our region, will have to reaffirm its alliance with the U.S., proving it that Eastern Europe can be trusted as a trustworthy partner.»

Meanwhile, in Lithuania, the landslide victory of the Peasants and Greens Union in the parliamentary election in early October, stood out among all the other events in Lithuania this year, believes the analyst.

«The new make-up of Lithuanian Seimas (Parliament) raises many doubts and unease as to what to expect from it. I believe Lithuanians will feel tangible aftermaths from the «Peasants’» ruling for long,» predicted Bielinis.

Asked whether he sees in the behaviour of the new ruling Coalition any signs that make him anxious, the analyst admitted there are quite a few of them that he finds disturbing.

«Some of the first decisions, like the vote on law on artificial insemination, far-reaching initiatives on curbing booze consumption and even the idea of giving the national costume to every primary school child, as well as some others non-essential decisions, signal that the Coalition is reluctant to discuss things in a broader context, leave alone, the parliamentary opposition,» Bielinis underlined.

With some cautioning that Lithuania may be politically drifting to a hard-hand ruling similar to that in Poland, where the people have hit the streets this year in protest of the authority, Bielinis, however, believes the apprehensions are too premature.

«The moods that are lingering here are quite different from those over the border, let’s admit it clearly. Besides, the so-called protest culture in embedded deeply in the Polish society and it is very weak in Lithuania,» he noted. «However, I’d not be surprised if we start seeing a flare-up of sporadic protests in our urban cities at some point next year. Especially, if there’re attempts to foist clericalism in the civil and social life. If it happened, the resemblance would be clear.»

Asked to predict what 2017 will bring to all, Bielinis dismissed the popular belief that the new year will be tumultuous.

«I really do not think that we will see any significant changes in Lithuanian in 2017. Sure, we are part of the global processes, but I believe we will manage sail through the rifts safely,» the analyst said.

Speaking to BNN, Dainius Radzevičius, chairman of Lithuanian journalists union, summed up the elapsing year tersely: «The triumph of Trump and collapse of Putin have been distinctive and, sure, the most memorable events in 2016.»

Asked to explain, he reasoned that, with the U.S. presidency, Trump has become an invincible «trump card» in the global politics.

«For the past four or so years, Putin has been pretty close to it for his role internationally, especially because of his involvement in Syria. But now his card is beaten,» argued Radzevičius. «With Trump awaiting inauguration, the majority of analysts try to downplay his pre-election rhetoric, but I am sure the world will see the ferocity of his words-turned-into-actions very soon. I reckon Putin will look like a fuzz compared to Trump.»

In Radzevičius’ opinion, the U.S. president-elect is kind of a leader that no one ever, including Putin, dreamt of.

«Whether you love or hate him, Putin embodies what the so-called realpolitics is all about: pragmatism and prognostication. That kind of leader detects others’ weaknesses very well and takes advantage of them. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, whom I call Terminator 5, is yet an unseen character in politics – very unpredictable, to say the least,» the chief journalist said.

The situation now is such that, in 2017, Russia can be more predictable than the United States with Donald Trump at the helm and the European Union, which in 2016 was swept by a wave of political populists with the political uncertainties rolling into the New Year.

Yet a more predictable Putin is to encounter a very tricky situation in 2017, believes the chairman of Lithuanian journalists: an off-kilter Trump in the United States and a shaken-up European Union past UK’s Brexit and other populist votes.

«The European Union will be particularly hard to predict, I believe. But I reckon this is good in some way, as Putin cannot foresee what to expect from the new leaders, who may not necessarily embrace him,» Radzevičius contemplated.

He did not rule out a possibility that Russia, sooner or later, will come to an understanding that it needs to find a new leader, too.

«In any way, the next presidential election in Russia (to be held in 2018) will mean the inception of Putin’s political demise,» Radzevičius is convinced. «Grasping its importance, Putin will do whatever he can to stave off the worst scenario he can potentially face.»

Although Europe has been through some rough and tough times in 2016, the 27-member bloc will cope with the challenges and will rise as the winner in a course of five or so years, the analyst believes.

Meanwhile, Russia will hardly go through any change in the next couple of years, he predicts.

«And this is a bad omen for it. Look, the United States has changed and the European Union is changing,» Radzevičius said.

Asked what Lithuanian journalists can expect from the new, «Peasants» and Greens-led ruling Coalition, which has already passed some ambiguous decisions since the swear-in in early December, Radzevičius maintained that Lithuania’s democratic principles have been so deep that any attempt to undermine them will trigger a severe backlash from the public and NGOs.

«The best example for that is the initiative to amend the Civil Codex. If passed, the amendments would have put in jeopardy journalists’ possibilities to criticize politicians. But the Coalition’s attempt to proceed with them has met big resistance and the contentious proposals were crossed out swiftly. I believe that in 2017 we will be hearing a new term – countries of new democracy – and Lithuania is part of the group,» Radzevičius said.

Just five years ago, he paid attention, Lithuania was ridiculed by many for its caveats on Russia’s informational warfare, but now all want to hear from Lithuania how to deal with it.

«In that sense, we are a flagship,» Radzevičius summed up.

Approached Ignas Zokas, director of Spinter Tyrimai, a market research and polling company, predicted that the year of 2017 will mark a year of fallout from Brexit and the Donald Trump presidency.

«This year has been a year of the rise of untraditional politicians, both in the United States and Europe, and the trend is likely to continue in 2017. It can mean both good and bad, but the liberal ideas have suffered a blow already,» Zokas told BNN.

Disagreeing with the wide-spread notion that Trump means sinister things for Europe, the pollster noted that the tensions in Eastern Europe have not gone anywhere with Barrack Obama as the president of the United States, too.

«The veneer was nice from the first glance but the tensions did not go away during the Obama presidency,» Zokas underlined. He predicted that, in 2017, populists and traditionalists will be making more gains throughout the European Union.

Meanwhile, Lithuania’s Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis sees the October parliamentary elections, which changed the country’s political map, as the most important 2016 event in the country, noting that the terrorist attacks in Europe were the most important worldwide.

«In my opinion, the election to the Seimas was one of the major events, as it led to certain changes, rather radical ones, some parties did not win mandates. One of the memorable events is the cases of political corruption, which showed that our country’s law-enforcement has the potential and the determination to bring more transparency to our political life, that it has a spine and the potential to show who really has the power in the country – first of all the people and the society,» Skvernelis told Žinių Radijas news radio.

Speaking about the key events worldwide, Skvernelis listed the terrorist attacks in Europe and the U.S. presidential elections that were victorious for Donald Trump.

«The challenge we faced in connection to terrorism, the painful events that shocked Europe, the world and the public, showing that the 21st century includes a major and, in a sense, invisible enemy, therefore, our attitudes must change. We used to absolutise certain human rights, which is very important, and stated that any possible restrictions and storage of information was an infringement of personal privacy, the events that occurred across Europe forced us to open our eyes and gave push to some highly needed legal acts in connection to international cooperation and efforts against potential threats and challenges,» the prime minister said about global events.

Ref: 111.111.111.4488


Leave a reply

Government allows Bite Lietuva to become the owner of TV3, LNT and Star FM

On Tuesday, 25 July, the Cabinet of Ministers permitted Lithuanian company UAB BITE Lietuva to acquire decisive influence in Latvian media companies TV 3 Latvia, LNT and Star FM.

Latvia put on 34th place in global pension index

Latvia is on the 34th place of Natixis Global Asset Management global pension index. It is two places lower than last year, according to the index report for 2017.

Experts predict nearly half of beer consumed in Estonia will be procured in Latvia

Estimates of Estonian alcohol producers and retail traders show that nearly half of all beer and one-third of vodka that will be consumed in the country next year will be procured in Latvia. According to experts, this way Estonia will lose up to EUR 170 million in tax revenue, Postimees reports.

Latvia had the sixth smallest new vehicles registration index in Europe

Compared with the same period of 2016, Latvia has had the sixth lowest registration index for new commercial vehicles in Europe in January-June period, according to data published by European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

LAR proposes reducing micro-enterprise tax to 12%

Latvian Association of Regions proposes establishing micro-enterprise tax rate at 12% instead of 15%, as well as state that calendar year turnover for micro-enterprises is not to be reduced to EUR 40,000, as it is proposed by the government, but to be kept at the current restriction – under EUR 100,000.

Court dismisses Krums from the last of his supervised insolvency process

On Monday, 24 July, Riga Pardaugava Court dismissed the currently arrested insolvency administrator Ilmars Krums from the last one of the insolvency processes currently under his supervision, as confirmed by Insolvency Administration’s representative.

49 «quota refugees» away from Estonia for over 90 days

49 people of the refugees accepted by Estonia as part of the European Union's refugee relocation programme have exceeded the 90-day period of being allowed be away from the country.

Opinion: EU agricultural policy is not equal to all member states

Latvian Association of Agricultural Cooperatives organized a meeting with Agriculture Ministry’s and State Plant Protection Service’s specialists to discuss and search for solutions for opportunities to sow fermented summer rapeseed.

In pictures: Corsica hit by widespread forest fires

Fire-fighters in the French Mediterranean island of Corsica continued on the night to July 25 to battle forest fires covering an area of some 900 hectares.

Can Latvia expect a more rapid rise of excise tax for alcohol and cigarettes?

Finance Ministry has plans to raise excise tax on alcoholic beverages and cigarettes even more rapidly, according to proposals prepared by the ministry to the Excise Tax Law. These proposals have been submitted to the Saeima for approval in the final reading.

LCCI: e-health system will help reduce the number of dishonest patients

«Healthcare Ministry has to secure full integration of e-health system and form a policy for healthcare specialists that is aimed at returning labourers back to work as soon as possible, not issuing countless sick leave certificates,» as noted by representatives of Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry.

Swedish government admits «disastrous» data leak

The government of Sweden has stated that one of its agencies has committed a massive leak of sensitive data in 2015, when it organised an information technology outsourcing procedure.

Vucans: there are plenty of proposals for tax reform laws

Around 350 proposals have been received by the Latvian parliament in relation to tax reform laws. Last week, the Saeima supported tax reform laws in the first reading. This week, on the other hand, it is planned to review them in the final reading.

Greece to return to financial markets after three-year pause

Greece, which has been suffering from severe and prolonged financial problems, is expected to return to international financial markets to borrow funds.

Duda to veto Polish judicial reforms

President of Poland Andrzej Duda has stated he would not announce the controversial reforms of the Polish Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary passed in the Polish Sejm that have also sparked mass protests in the country.

Dairy product prices not expected to decline in Latvia soon

Prices of dairy products in Latvia will either remain on the current level or increase even more in the next couple of months. With that, there is no reason to expect price decline in the near future, predicts head of Agriculture Market Promotion Centre Inguna Gulbe.

Five insolvency administrators suspended due to criminal processes in Latvia

Five insolvency administrators have been suspended because of several criminal processes, said Director of Insolvency Administration Inese Steina in an interview to LNT 900 seconds.

Family doctors may change the form of strike if need be

Latvian Family Doctors Association could change the form of its strike of need be, as confirmed by the association’s representative Solvita Olsena.

Baltic animal rights organisations turn attention to fur farming ban in Czech Republic

Following the fur farming ban passed by the parliament of the Czech Republic, Latvian and Estonian animal rights organisations turn the attention of communities in Latvia and Estonia to the increasingly the ethical attitude of European countries to animal rights.

Toyota sales in Latvia up 25%

5,735 new Toyota cars were sold in Baltic States in the first six months of 2017, which is 33% more than last year. Toyota’s total market share in Baltics is 14.2%, BNN was informed by the company.

Number of accidents caused by tractors and size of claims on a rise

Over the course of the past several years, the number of traffic accidents caused by specialized agricultural vehicles and the size of insurance claims has grown in Latvia, as reported by Motor Insurers' Bureau of Latvia.

Businessmen offer to help fund railway works in Estonia rejected by minister

Entrepreneurs in Lääne County, Estonia, have offered the state to help with funding the reconstruction of a railway section, by attracting private money, but the offer has been rejected by Estonian Economic Affairs Minister Kadri Simson.

International Baltic Bikini military exercises to be organized in Latvia

Baltic Bikini 2017 military exercises will be taking place in Liepaja, Latvia, throughout 24 – 28 July. More than 100 Baltic and American troops will be participating together with State Border Guard and Emergency Health Service to practice survival skills, as reported by Defence Ministry.

SRS: envelope wages will be a priority this year

More than half of Latvian employers pay their employees wages below the minimal monthly amount, said Director of the State Revenue Service Tax Control Office Sandra Karklina Admine in an interview to Rīta panorama on Monday, 24 July.

Latvians hesitant to use electronic means to request benefits

So far, Latvia residents have been rather slow in the use of electronic tools to request benefits from the State Social Insurance Agency.