Latviski English По-русски
Friday 23.03.2018 | Name days: Mirdza, Žanete, Žanna

How chebureki in Palanga resort became reflection of Lithuania‘s euro economy

(+2 rating, 2 votes)

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

Linas Jegelevicius for the BNN

Lithuania‘s adoption of the euro has jerked prices steeply upward and chit-chats of what-costs-what is one of the most daily topics across in Lithuania and in the Palanga resort, rightly dubbed Lithuania’s summer capital, too.

A visit to Palanga, price-wise, nowadays can be dumbfounding: many of the prices after the adoption are the same as they were in the Lithuanian currency, litas, before it.

Prices depend on weather and people traffic

If you were this summer to quench your hunger on the beach with a cheburek, a deep-fried dough turnover with a filling of minced meat and onions, you will have to depart with two euros from your pocket. Well, the greasy thing cost only two litas in the summer of 2014!

If those slim twinks and ripped dudes carrying on the beach heavy bags filled with chebureki and shouting out incessantly the same phrase «who wants hot chebureki?» can be the reflection of the average Lithuanian’s purchasing power, it has obviously become a lot weaker with the euro in Lithuania.

«People would rather bring some food from a local grocery store and eat it right in the dunes than buy chebureki,» complained a young chebureki seller.

Thank God, the correlation of the prices after the changeover is not always the same as that in case of chebureki.

A tumbler of Lithuanian beer on the busy Jonas Basanavičius promenade, the resort’s main pedestrian artery, will thin your wallet by 2-2,5 euros and zeppelins, the Lithuanian traditional dish made of boiled coating of grated potatoes and stuffed with seasoned minced meat, will ease your pocket by another 3,5-4,5 euros.

Just a month ago, a portion of zeppelins cost only 3 euros on the bustling and hustling street! You have to trust me, the dweller of Palanga! And I don’t mean to wrench your guts, but the price for the dish two years ago hovered in the range of 4-6 litas!

«Well, prices on the promenade and Palanga in general are subject to a constant fluctuation as they reflect the pedestrian traffic,» Gintaras Sičiūnas, the owner of Diemedis Hotel, situated a few steps away from the bustling promenade, explained to BNN.

According to him, local hoteliers and restaurateurs tweak local prices «looking» at the busy avenue.

«It does not make sense to keep prices on a higher end when there are few people on it,” says the businessman, adding, “So during the course of day, one change the prices depending on the weather and traffic. We do the same: due to the slowdown following the Solstice feast last weekend, the prices went down at our hotel. A luxury room now costs only 56 euros and the rest of the rooms can be afforded for 49 euros.»

The euro adoption did not have affect on the Diemedis room fares, he insisted.

«What I always say is that Palanga prices are defined by a single factor: the weather. I am sure the rest agrees with me on that,» Sičiūnas claimed.

That local business wants to get most of a summer season should be «understandable» to all, and to the visitors of Palanga, too, he underlined.

«We are not in Turkey which basks in the sun most of the time. Here in Palanga we’ve got only a couple months of sunny days, hence the up-looking prices,» he said.

Fewer Russians, more Westerners

The adoption of euro has been a factor on local economy, however. Especially affecting the tourist flows from Russian.

«Because of the geopolitical tensions, fallen value of the ruble and the expensive euro in Lithuania many Russians cannot afford Palanga trips anymore» says the hotel owner.

But the void, in his words, has been patched up with higher influx of Western tourists.

«Now we see a lot more Germans and Scandinavians coming here,» Sičiūnas pointed out.

According to him, Russians’ reservations on were «very sizeable» before the standoff with the West.

«I sometimes think that Russians’ prevalence on it would deter others from making them. With fewer Russians there now, it is Westerners who are replacing them on the booking site,» the hotelier noted.

As high season has just commenced, it is too early to strike far-reaching conclusions, insists Alma Slaboševičienė a manager at Palanga’s Tourism and Information Centre (PTIC).

«But speaking in general, we are off to a good start. Here’s definitely more buzz about the new direct flights to London and Kiev, as well as the new venues that Palanga built recently. I mean the brand new Concert Hall first of all,» she told BNN.

Asked to break down the crowds in terms of nationalities, the PTIC official could not point to a single one as the most prevalent.

«Before, there were many Russians; now they have become a whole lot scarcer here. But we started hearing a lot more of the Belarusian language and Ukrainian, too,» Slaboševičienė noted.

Beside the direct air connection with Kiev, Palanga in summer also offers one-hour direct flight to Minsk, too.

According to her observation, here are more Latvians and Estonians in Palanga this season, too.

«For now, visitors, speaking illustratively, are trickling into our Centre, but soon, with July around the corner, we will certainly see a deluge of walk-ins. As always in July,» she said.

Russian money-bags are gone

Speaking of the Palanga prices, Slaboševičienė noted that they are on the tip of tongue of many holidaymakers.

«But the talk of the kind always evolves to a broader conversation on the euro prices in Lithuania,» she noted.

Despite fewer Russian tourists, Basanavičius promenade keeps exuding Russian culture in various ways on it.

If you were to take a stroll on it, do not be surprised to hear Russian music blaring loudly from the cafes’ loudspeakers, although the waiters might stammer or resort to the ubiquitous language of gesture if asked in Russian.

«Russians have not vanished yet, although their numbers are on a steep decline. And those coming here now tend to be penny-pinching, not like the Russians before the 2008-2010 economic downturn, who were true money bags,» Romas Tuminas, a former hotel manager, noted to BNN. He added: «And many of today’s Russians are less sincere and a lot more demanding.»

Concurring, Audronius Macius, owner of Lietuvos Rytas hotel and restaurant on Basanavičius promenade, remembered a recent row with a young Muscovites.

«They checked out well before the time they were supposed to and did not pay for the stay, explaining they could not sleep at all at night because of the music on the street. Formally, they were right, but who will remunerate me the losses that I incurred? Russians were not so picky before,» the businessman says.

«Indeed, Russians nowadays have become a lot more demanding and spending-conscious, similarly to the Lithuanians,» noted Jolanta Kazlauskienė, a renter of rooms in the centre of Palanga.

But, well, one should be careful with conclusions.

«I’d say that many of the Russians are still generous and sincere like before,» believes Brigita Bružaitė, the front desk clerk at Senoji Hanza hotel.

And the Russian language heard in Palanga does not necessarily come from the lips of Russia’s citizens.

«You have to carefully listen to the twang as it can come the mouth of Belarusian, Latvian, Estonian or Ukrainian,» the Palangians say.

Although there’s a wide understanding that the euro prices make many potential Palanga visitors to double-think whether to head here now, those who make it here do discover that Palanga offers a good variety of activities as well as the range of prices.

So then next thing you may want to do is get on the plane, bus or in the car and get on the Baltic coast to check out things how they stand indeed.
Ref: 020/

Leave a reply

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.

Riga City Council committee supports increasing municipalities’ expenditures by 42.38 mln euro

Following an initiative from the Financial Department, the outlook for the municipality’s base budget revenue has been increased by EUR 1.66 million for 2018. The expenditures portion of the budget is planned to be increased by EUR 42.377 million, as reported by Riga City Council.

French ex-President named suspect in Libya funding case

In France, its ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been named as a suspect in the formal investigation for alleged illicit campaign financing, misappropriation of public funds of Libya and passive corruption.

Finance sector’s development council supports prohibition of shell companies

On Wednesday, 21 March, Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis’ managed Finance Sector’s Development Council supported initiative on prohibiting shell companies, as confirmed by the prime minister.

Level of producer prices in Latvia’s industry is up 3.4%

Compared to January, level of producer prices in the Latvian industry rose by 0.5 % in February 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market grew by 0.7 %, but prices of exported products went up by 0.3 %.

Minister: Latvia is far behind its neighbours in terms of digitization and e-skills

In terms of digitization and e-skills, Latvia is far behind its neighbouring countries and the rest of Europe, said Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

OECD: Latvian employees work longest hours in Baltics

In a comparison of Baltic countries per average annual hours worked, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has found earlier this year that the average Latvian worker spends 1,910 hours at work, followed by the Lithuanian employee with 1,885 hours and the average Estonian worker with 1,855 hours.

12th Saeima failed to complete half of its pre-election promises in field of justice

In 2014, Delna – society for openness and Providus think tank received support from all parties represented in the 12th Saeima in regards to an action plan to help strengthen the rule of law in the country.

Russia carries out military drills in Gulf of Finland

Russian Defence Ministry has stated that in the Baltic Sea Gulf of Finland, which has Finland, Russia and Estonia in its coastline, the Russian military has performed drills for its tactical special operations units.

Prime minister doubts Anti-Money Laundering Service head’s competence

«The work performed by the service requires drastic changes. Whether or not it can be done by its current head [Viesturs Burkāns], I am not sure,» said Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis in an interview to LNT, commenting on the work performed by Latvian Anti-Money Laundering Service.

Vilnius chosen for office of game developer Lockwood Publishing from UK

UK's mobile game developer Lockwood Publishing has unveiled plans to open its first overseas office in Vilnius, pointing to the industry's talent in Lithuania and the wider region.

Association: municipalities should organize their work on their own

On 6 March, Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments reviewed the letter sent to Riga City Council by Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry, in which the institution ordered the municipality to review their internal order and lift restrictions on the length of debates and the number of questions deputies are allowed to ask.

Canada moves to increase gun control

Canada's federal federal government has proposed new gun control measures, but they could reduce support to the ruling Liberal Party in rural areas, where guns are widely owned and used.