Latviski English По-русски
Saturday 24.03.2018 | Name days: Kazimirs, Izidors

Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian parliament passes Magnitsky act

(No Ratings Yet)

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


The Lithuanian parliament adopted on Thursday, November 16, the so-called Magnitsky legislation banning entry to foreigners involved in large-scale corruption, money laundering or human rights violations.

The bill was unanimously passed with 91 votes in favour, making Lithuania the fourth country in the world after United States, Estonia and Canada to adopt the Magnitsky legislation.

The amendments to the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens are to come into force next January, which means that a blacklist of such individuals will be compiled and become effective next year.

Under the amendments to the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens, a foreigner will be banned from coming to Lithuania for up to five years if there are serious grounds to believe that he or she has committed a serious or very serious crime against a person in a foreign country and human rights and freedoms have been violated as a result of this, has committed a corruption offense or has been involved money laundering, or is on the national list of foreigners denied entry to a EU, EFTA and NATO member state.

A decision on banning entry to such a foreigner will be made by the interior minister at the foreign minister’s proposal.

The law also allows not informing a foreigner about the decision to blacklist him or her if that would undermine the interests of state security, defence and public security and of prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences.

Government to discuss 3 alternatives for raising doctors’ wages

Lithuania’s government will discuss three alternatives of raising wages for doctors, Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said on Thursday after negotiations with representatives of doctors. In his words, the finance minister should provide calculations within two weeks on the cost of the ministry-proposed option of increasing salaries by 20 percent starting May, as well as the costs of the proposals made by the Union of Lithuanian Doctors and the newly-established Lithuanian Medical Movement. The minister says the government will consider the third alternative proposed by the Lithuanian Medical Movement – increasing salaries for all doctors by 30 percent starting January 1. This would require at least 204 million euros.

ESO plans to invest EUR 219 mn

Lithuania’s Energijos Skirstymo Operatorius (Energy Distribution Operator, or ESO) plans to invest around 219 million euros in installing some 2 million smart electricity and gas meters within five years. Ignas Pranskevičius, director of the Service Division at the state-owned electricity and natural gas distribution company, says that smart meters will help households save at least 7 perc ent of electricity per year. According to the director, a pilot project that involved installing nearly 3,000 smart meters in Lithuania has shown that smart metering allows households to control their energy consumption and save money.

 Court opens MP Pukas’ impeachment case in his absence

The Lithuanian Constitutional Court decided on Thursday, November 16, to open MP Kęstutis Pukas’ sexual harassment impeachment case in his absence. Pukas has presented a medical certificate to the court to justify his absence and is represented by his lawyers, Giedre Maksimaityte, the Constitutional Court’s spokeswoman, said. Also present in the court are MP Dovile Šakalienė, the head of a special parliamentary commission that has concluded that there are grounds for launching impeachment proceedings against Pukas, as well as the commission’s office staff and witnesses. The hearing is being held behind closed doors.

The Seimas back in May asked the court to give its opinion on whether Pukas violated the Constitution, but the process was not opened due to the lawmaker’s illness, which also stalled the parliament’s hearing of Prosecutor General Evaldas Pašilis’ request to strip the parliamentarian of his immunity in a case in which he is suspected of sexual harassment and violation of the rules for keeping firearms.

Seimas votes to award Freedom Prize to nun, dissident

The Lithuanian parliament decided on Thursday, November 16, to award the Freedom Prize to Nijole Sadunaitė, a Roman Catholic nun and former Soviet-time dissident. The motion was unanimously passed with 113 votes in favour. Sadunaitė, 79, was convicted by the Soviet regime in 1975 for making copies of and spreading the underground Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania. The woman, who chose to become a nun after school, was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in a maximum security labour camp and then to another three years of exile. Upon her return to Lithuania, Sadunaitė  involved herself in the publishing of the Chronicle and faced further persecution by Soviet security officials.

Gentvilas to run for Lithuanian Liberal Movement leader

MP Eugenijus Gentvilas, the caretaker chairman of the Lithuanian Liberal Movement, has confirmed that he will run for the post of the opposition party’s leader in next month’s election. Gentvilas informed his party about the decision on Wednesday, November 15, the Liberal Movement’s spokeswoman Dovilė Tuskenytė said. MP Vitalijus Gailius, chairman of the parliament’s Anticorruption Commission, earlier this week became the first to announce his intention to run in the Dec. 9 election. The Liberal Movement has been hit by infighting recently amid an ongoing corruption investigation by law-enforcement bodies and the Central Electoral Commission’s decision to deprive the party of a six-month grant from the state budget.

Government to proceed with the demolishing on the Curonian Spit

The Lithuanian government decided on Wednesday, November 15, to put an end to efforts to approve adjustments to the Curonian Spit National Park’s maintenance plan, which means that illegal buildings on the sand dune peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will be pulled down. According to the prime minister, the owners of buildings to be demolished for not complying with the Curonian Spit environmental requirements should be compensated for the damage by the authorities that gave the green light for the construction of these buildings.

Lithuania wants Via Baltica turned into smart road

Lithuanian Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis plans to discuss the idea of turning the Via Baltica international highway into a smart road with his Latvian and Estonian colleagues. Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said in early September that the Via Baltica between Kaunas and Warsaw would likely be fully renovated by 2023. Road accidents are frequent on the Lithuanian part of the highway where goods vehicles account for about a third of the traffic.


Leave a reply

MEP: operations of certain banks in Latvia ruin the country’s reputation

Money laundering is a problem in Latvia, because the activities performed by certain banks ruin the country’s reputation, said member of the European Parliament Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview to Rietumu Radio.

Harmony believes education only in Latvian language is discrimination

Members of Harmony’s Saeima faction have turned to President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis with a request to halt the parliament’s newly approved amendments to the General Education Law and Education Law regarding education only in Latvian language.

Opinion: UFG and For Latvia and Ventspils were in favour of Vejonis congratulating Putin

Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis sent his congratulation to the newly-elected President of Russia Vladimir Putin in order to secure political capital for himself during next year’s presidential elections, says Assoc. Prof. Ojārs Skudra from Social Sciences Faculty of the University of Latvia.

Commissioner: Latvia should provide a clear response to situation in its financial sector

The scandal in Latvia’s financial sector has been reported far and wide in the European Union. This is why it is highly important for Latvia to provide a clear reaction to all this, said Vice-President of the European Commission for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Market Union Valdis Dombrovskis.

Don't joke about bombs at Tallinn Airport, they take it seriously

Estonia's largest airport in Tallinn has from early 2017 received 14 threats of the presence of explosives in the air-travel hub, most of which have been discovered to be just jokes said at the wrong place.

Minister: learning in a single education system using state language is only obvious

Education using state language is our way of ensuring sustainable development of our nation, says Latvia’s Education and Science Minister Kārlis Šadurskis.

Estonian banks close foreigner accounts in wake of ABLV closure

In the wake of the closure of ABLV Bank in Latvia and alleged money laundering via the Estonian branch of Danske Bank, lenders in Estonia are closing the accounts of foreigners, but this threatens the country's successful e-Residency programme aimed at attracting foreign investors.

Latvian Saeima conceptually supports limiting the Bank of Latvia governor’s authority

The Saeima has supported amendments to the Law on the Bank of Latvia in the first reading. Amendments provide that the term of the bank’s governor, his deputy and council members will be five years, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Baltic shareholders agree to keep Baiba Rubesa in charge of RB Rail

RB Rail CEO and board chairperson Baiba Rubesa will keep her post. This was decided by shareholders during the 22 March meeting. «The supervisory council had previously mentioned the CEO’s contribution to the company’s development. Still, we intend to find solutions and continue realizing Rail Baltica project,» said RB Rail Supervisory Council chairperson Riia Sillave.

Syrian rebel groups in eastern Ghouta announce ceasefire

In the besieged eastern Ghouta territory in Syria, which has been under heavy air strikes and artillery fire for about a month, several opposition rebel groups have agreed to ceasefire.

EU member states on Skripal attack: «Highly likely» Russia was responsible

The European Union has stated it would recall its ambassador to Moscow for consultations after heads of member states and their governments agreed it was very likely that Russia was responsible for the attack with a chemical weapon on a Russian-British double agent.

Weather to remain cold in Latvia until Easter; more snowfall expected

Weather in Latvia is expected to become cold again after a brief period of warmth. Air temperature will drop again at the beginning and the middle of next week; some areas may experience frost again, as reported by Latvian State, Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Farmers in Latvia dissatisfied with resolution of electricity-related problems

Two months have passed since farmers in Latvia had received unjustifiably large electricity bills. Countless meetings and discussions have taken place in those two months. Unfortunately, no decisive measures have been undertaken to resolve the problem. Farmers are confused with decision-makers’ incisiveness in a matter important to the national economy, as noted by the Farmers’ Saeima.

Life after 25 May: is this the end for free publication of photo galleries from events?

Many of us like to check out photos from concerts, conferences or sport events on gallery portals and social networks to have a look at guests of those events. However, after 25 May, when General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, the situation will no longer be the same.

Saeima to establish legal framework for Baltic cooperation in disaster prevention

On Thursday, 22 March, Latvian Saeima supported a legislative draft, ratification of which will help create legal framework with other Baltic States in prevention of disasters, as reported by the parliament’s press-service.

Number of complaints with postal services on a rise in Latvia

Public Utilities Commission has compiled information about complaints submitted by residents in regards to postal services in 2017. The number of complaints has increased alongside opposing views about package terminals – the regulator has received 37 complaints in total.

Output of livestock products in Latvia increased in 2017

Compared to 2016, output of meat grew by 4.6 % and output of milk by 1.4 % in 2017. In 2017, in Latvia 91.2 thousand tonnes of meat were produced, which is 4.0 thousand tonnes or 4.6 % more than in 2016. The most significant increase was observed in the output of poultry (of 11.3 %) and pork (4.7 %).

Turkey's offensive in Syria condemned by NATO ally Germany

Angela Merkel, the head of the German federal government has stated that Turkey’s military offensive in the northern Syrian town of Afrin was unacceptable and she blamed Russia for simply watching, while attacks by Syrian government forces on besieged eastern Ghouta continue.

Finance minister still believes tax reform in Latvia has brought results

«The tax reform has given us the results we had expected, especially in regards to combating envelope wages,» said Latvia’s Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Planned hospital reorganisation in Lithuanian regions irks both mayors and patients

If the plan of the Lithuanian Ministry of Health to overhaul treatment services in the provinces does not hit a snag, the rural hospitals will be soon providing only essential care and nursing, the focus will be on out-patient care and treatment will be available only in larger county hospitals.

Ventspils beach high in popularity this week; Lembergs gets spotlight time as well

Ventspils ended up in the spotlight in an unusual way this week: seals washed up on the beach there. Animal Freedom emphasizes that human contact with baby seals would hurt them. Residents are asked to maintain at least 50 m distance from them. However, the suspended Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs decided to take photos with baby seals and publish them on his Facebook profile.

Ombudsman: problems in nursing homes and social care centres are associated with lack of funding

Problems in nursing homes and social care centres are largely associated with lack of funding, because it is not possible to perform high-quality work using currently available resources. This is the responsibility of ministries and the government, as ombudsman Juris Jansons mentioned in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Estonian music authors receive record royalties for 2017

The organisation, which is tasked by collecting royalties for local and foreign music in Estonia, the Estonian Authors' Society, has received six million euros in royalties in 2017, which is its record level.

Facebook sorry for permitting exploitation of 50 million user data in politics

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologised for the social network failing to ensure enough privacy to its users that allowed for data on about 50 million of its users to abused by a political consultancy firm.

Zhdanok’s replacement to promote non-citizen matter in European Parliament

Miroslavs Mitrofanovs, who has taken Tatyana Zhdanok’s place in the European Parliament, plans to promote the matter of non-citizens in the institution.

Newest comments