bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 27.07.2017 | Name days: Marta, Dita
LithuaniaLithuania

Better liaisons with Latvia and Poland among Lithuanian analyst’s hopes for 2016

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

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULinas Jegelevičius for the BNN

What kind of a year the elapsing year of 2015 was to Lithuania? Well, the answer depends on who you are talking to, but the majority of respondents agree the year has been turmoil and shake ups-free.

Get on Rail Baltica train and enjoy Riga

«One of the most vivid moments in the country’s life in 2015 was the further strengthening of Lithuania’s energy infrastructure, which, energy security-wise, has made us a whole lot more independent. I mean the LNG facilities in Klaipėda and the grid interconnectors with Sweden and Poland,» Lauras Bielinis, a political analyst and scholar, told BNN.

The inauguration of a leg of the Rail Baltica project, which saw a European-gauge rail track laid to Kaunas, the country’s second-largest city, also deserves salutes, believes Bielinis.

«Next year, hopefully, we will be able to reach Riga from Kaunas via Rail Baltica. And Warsaw will be reachable through it already in the beginning of 2016. That’s big,» the analyst says. «With the projects, Lithuania has ramped up its positions internationally and, importantly, it has become less vulnerable to any adverse affects.»

Internally, the analyst asserts, the year of 2015 for Lithuania has been enviably stable and shake ups-free.

«We’ve had, as always, a share of all kind of ruckus this year, but, overall, the scandals have neither scathed the state nor hurt the parties and state structures,» Bielinis says. «Institutional stability was very characteristic to Lithuania in 2015. The relative solace allowed us tackle other important issues.»

The analyst predicts that in 2016 Lithuania not only will step up its collaboration with the European Union, but will manage to bend the fences with the closest neighbours- Latvia and Poland.

«It’s my strong intuition, note it, but I do believe we will see it happening,» Bielinis emphasized.

Lithuania was tedious in 2015?

«I really do not think there has been anything in Lithuania’s life that would catch the world’s attention,» says Rimvydas Valatka, a well-known Lithuanian analyst and editor-in-chief of Veidas, a weekly magazine.

He adds: «As the website you write for (BNN) caters to Latvian readership, I am puzzled to come up anything worth mentioning to it. I doubt whether Latvians would be much interested, for example, in the news that the Lithuanian President, speaking figuratively, has gotten twice slapped in her face with the appointment of Prosecutor General? Or that the finally (this week-L.J) appointed one is a black sheep in the herd?»

Similarly, foreigners, the analyst insists, would not be much keen on the news about the soaring lately support for Lithuania’s Interior Minister Saulius Skvernelis, who rose to a record approval in the polls in a sequence of twisted circumstances.

Skvernelis first resigned amid criticism after a convict broke out from a police car in Vilnius with an officer’s rifle in the handcuffed hands. After the massive 3,000 officers-involving manhunt the escapee was nabbed and, although the police were mocked, Skvernelis has come out the winner of the brouhaha.

«At least for now, he has cosily snuggled behind the President and Prime Minister in the polls. So, who knows, maybe Saulius Skvernelis will be Lithuania’s new premier or president in the future?» Valatka pondered. «But, again, I do doubt whether it is big news to the world and Latvia, too,» he quipped.

Wackoes will continue to thrive in 2016?

Asked what Lithuania could expect from the upcoming year of 2016, he insisted it spells «anything good» neither to Lithuania nor the world.

«The geopolitics will remain severely roughed up. Thanks to the technologies, madmen have gained a huge destructive power today. Three decades ago, a bunch of wackoes had to assemble somewhere, I mean physically, to plot insanity. Today, they do not need even to talk much when planning an attack and can carry out it remotely. The dangers to the world – and Lithuania, too – won’t go anywhere away in 2016,» Valatka summed up for BNN.

As the neext year marks a year of parliamentary elections in Lithuania, the event, again, raises interest only to some Lithuanians, not the world, he reiterates.

«Whatever party will win the coveted prize –majority of the votes, I doubt whether we will see a lot of change in the country’s life following the election. In Lithuania, we do not have a Syriza – like party like in Greece, so whoever comes to power is way more predictable than unpredictable. By the way, Syriza Party had to show a lot of flexibility, too, when entrusted with the reigns of authority,» the analyst told.

Lithuania will need to take on Paris Climate Summit commitments

For Kęstutis Trečiokas, the Lithuanian minister of Environment, the year’s main event was the world climate summit in Paris.

«It has set out pretty ambitious goals and Lithuania will need to redraw its policies when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions and waste management,» the minister told BNN.

In 2016, Lithuania, as all the other countries that signed the Paris meeting agreements, will have to draw up a plan of action and set out targets aimed to reduce a carbon footprint on the environment.

«It will not be easy, however, as it requires a political will and has a long-term impact on the country’s industrial activities,» Trečiokas emphasized.

«Some of the commitments, like reducing greenhouse gases’ effect on environment by 40 percent until 2030 is a really tough task for Lithuania, because a significant part of our energy resources, those excavated, to be precise, pollution-wise, are hazardous. Our public transport network is also prone to emit a lot of pollution. The same could be said of our entire agricultural sector. So the sectors will need to rethink their activities and come up with a plan addressing the situation will have to be drawn up, » Trečiokas said.

Hydrocarbons mining idea died in 2015

The year of 2015, the minister says, marked the further languishing of the idea of hydrocarbons exploration and mining in Lithuania.

«If the bid has not yet vanished from the Lithuanian agenda, it, however, has been put off for years. From today’s perspective, considering the fall in oil and gas prices, as well as the availability of our liquefied natural gas terminal in the seaport of Klaipėda and, especially, heeding the Paris climate summit targets, the idea of shale gas exploration in Lithuania is not viable anymore,» the minister pointed out.

He does hope that, next year, Lithuania will focus a whole lot more on waste management.

«We have completed some major projects as far as waste management is concerned this year. I mean we have opened several major waste recycling plants in the country, but we have to step up the efforts in 2016 and see more waste recycling facilities installed,» the minister shared his concern. «In addition, there needs much to be done improving what I call waste legislation. There are too many loopholes in it.»

Athletes eye Rio Olympics in 2016

Nijolė Medvedeva, vice-president of Lithuania’s track-and-field federation, says the elapsing year has played out very well for Lithuanian youth’ track-and-field squad.

«In the world youth championship in Cali, Colombia, Lithuania has won one gold medal and three bronze medals. Quite an impressive result,» the once long-jump world holder told BNN.

But the adult athletes’ starts in the sport’s world championship in China were «satisfactory», the vice-president says.

«But we’ve seen some great results there, too. For the first time, in a world championship, a Lithuanian athlete scrambled to a very high 7th place in race walking. This is a great achievement,» Medvedeva told.

Speaking about the next year, she hopes Lithuania will be able to send a «good team» to the Olympics Games in Rio, Brazil.

«We believe around 20 athletes in the Lithuanian Olympic team will be representing track and field. By the way, that is how many participated in the last Olympic Games in London. The main thing now is to avoid any traumas and get prepared for the event as good as possible,» she told.

Ref: 111.111.103.3029


Leave a reply

Farmers Saeima: beef industry in Latvia is not sufficiently developed

Farmers Saeima believes Latvia’s beef industry is not sufficiently developed, and existing farms have not sufficiently stabilized – many farms have major debt. Because of that any kind of support for the industry is welcome.

Puce: Latvia should ratify Istanbul Convention without reservations

For Latvia’s Development political party has turned to Welfare Ministry with a request to ratify Istanbul Convention without any corrections as soon as possible, BNN was informed by the party’s representatives.

More than half of Latvian businessmen work on weekend; study shows

Businessmen normally spend eight hours and five minutes on work every day. More than 58% of Latvian businessmen also work on weekends, according to data from the latest Citadele Index study.

Farmers: crop yield this year will be positive thanks to weather

In Zemgale, crop harvest began a week ago. Harvest of winter crops is almost over. Harvests elsewhere in Latvia will commence no sooner than August, farmers say.

Murniece offers UGF to consider replacing Duklavs

«The policy is that, considering Duklavs’ involvement in Ridzene talks, the Union of Greens and Farmers should consider ways of resolving the situation,» says Saeima speaker Inara Murniece.

Chinese-Russian navy drill takes place in Baltic Sea

Russian and Chinese navies have launched their first joint military drill in the Baltic Sea raising concern to NATO member states Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, cautious of Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine.

Tax loss forecast by Estonian food producers dismissed by Finance Minister

Estonian Finance Minister Toomas Tõniste has rejected the grim forecast published by the Estonian Food Industry Association this week that the state budget would lose 170 million euros in tax revenue in 2018 due to excise tax hikes.

Antane: excise tax for diesel fuel should be reduced, not increased

«Unfortunately, when making the decision to increase excise tax rate for diesel fuel, the government did not consider all possible risks this decision could bring to the transport and logistics industry and the country’s economy as a whole,» BNN was told by President of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics Inga Antane.

Association: rapid increase of excise tax would cause dramatic rise of smuggling activity

National Association for Tobacco Product Manufacturers is confused about Finance Ministry’s submitted proposals for tax reform that provide for raising excise tax on cigarettes by 11% instead of previously planned 5.5%.

UK plans to ban petrol and diesel vehicles

In an attempt to curb air pollution the UK plans to set the goal to ban from 2040 new diesel and petrol engine cars and vans.

Members of Saeima delegated to the investigative committee in charge of Oligarch case

Andrejs Judins from Unity, Martins Sics from Latvian Association of Regions, Igors Pimetovs from Harmnony, Ritvars Jansons from VL-TB/LNNK, Inguna Sudraba from To Latvia from the Heart and Ainars Mezulis from the Union of Greens and Farmers have been delegated to the parliamentary committee for the investigation of Oligarch case.

U.S. legislators back additional sanctions on Russia

The House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress has adopted imposing additional sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran, even though U.S. President Donald Trump has opposed fresh sanctions on Russia.

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.