bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Sunday 20.08.2017 | Name days: Bernhards, Boriss
LithuaniaLithuania

MP lashes out at Lithuanians over shopping in Poland on national day

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

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

Former Speaker of the Seimas Irena Degutienė

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

Is it blasphemous on March 11, the day of the restoration of Lithuanian Independence, deluge Polish supermarkets on the other side of the border for cheaper groceries instead of celebrating the holiday?

As hundreds of Lithuanians, living from hand to mouth, swarmed Polish stores that day, Irena Degutienė, one of the signatories of the Independence Act and a stalwart of the Lithuanian Conservative Party (TS-LKD) lashed out at the shoppers.

MP remarks drew hostile reactions

«I left extremely excited and bewildered that so many our people –in full busses and shuttle buses- went on that day to Suwalki (the Polish region bordering Lithuania-L.J.) for groceries. The people «celebrated» March 11 that way. Here’s the main question: why? Don’t they love Lithuania? Don’t they want to celebrate the great holiday? Or is too hard for them to live in a free Lithuania? Is not the incumbent Government to blame for what is happening?» Degutienė lashed out at the shoppers and the Social Democratic Government in the sitting of the Council of TS-LKD last Saturday.

The exasperation by the signatory of the Independence Act has reverberated through social media and in online comments for the most of the week. But the reactions were overwhelmingly hostile to the MP.

In Delfi.lt, the most popular website in Lithuania, the article with the Degutienė remarks has amassed a whopping 4426 comments and 256 of them came from registered users, i.e. identifiable comment posters.

Online commentators thumbed down influential Conservative

Nijolė Senkuvienė, one of the commentators, a teacher by profession, said: «We can go on with the politicizing endlessly. But I do justify Lithuanians who take care of their families and look for ways how to make ends meet. No one can be given nice posters for food…What kind of dignity and respect can we talk about when the separate caste of «Politicians» lives at the expense of others, as if a republic in the republic of Lithuania? They teach and scold us although they do not accept criticism and live under protection. I do not respect those who live off the other people out there, who are hard-working, honest, but still struggling to get through.»

Her post has garnered 55 «likes» and a single «dislike».

Other commentators also thumbed down the prominent Lithuanian Conservative.

«It feels so sad that I even do not want to comment anything. Those who sit with their hands on power do not usually read comments. They are not interested in what the nation thinks and how it lives. They have their own agenda, now they are showcasing some hocus-focus how to trick voters again and clinch the parliamentary seat anew. I won’t vote for any party that receives state subsidies,» Regina Jasilionienė, another article reader vented out her anger online.

Did TS-LKD learn mockery from Donald Trump?

In the TS-LKD Council sitting, Council members, many of whom are the signatories of the Independence Restoration Act, have unleashed a slew of mockery against the ruling Social Democrats that could surpass that of Donald Trump in the US presidential primary.

Andrius Kubilius, the former head of Government and ex-chairman of the Homeland Union- Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) was calling the opponents «retarders» throughout the sitting, but quipped that «those handicapped» should be viewed with mercy.

«I am tired of the retarders’ government. I want to remind all that the word is a term used in engineering. In the bus, the retarder is a mechanism that helps to orderly stop the bus,» explained Kubilius. Meanwhile, Gabrielius Landsbergis, the TS-LKD chairman and the grandson of Vytautas Landsbergis, the architect of the modern state of Lithuania, was calling some prominent Social Democrats «peoples’ commissars», a reference to the Stalin-era high-level state officials.

Known for his propensity to highlight the country’s education issues, the Conservatives honcho excoriated the Social Democrats, too: «Are we tackling social issues that many Lithuanians deal with? I think that not. Are we moving towards better education? I don’t think so. But the ruling coalition thinks otherwise perhaps. I think what it does could be depicted by the English term «white washing»- making dirty things (they do) look clean.»

Who is to blame?

Landsbergis junior also lambasted the ruling Social Democrats for unrelenting emigration and record-high suicide rates in the country.

«The statistics is more than telling. Each day, 1000 people get on the planes and leave Lithuania…Imagine those three compatriots who, every day, end their life with their own hands. Imagine the teenager who, every week, departs from the world by committing suicide…There are nearly 80,000 people who killed themselves in alcohol abuse-related incidents,» the Conservatives leader depicted the dire plight in the country before adding: «The 80,000 are as many as all those killed during the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Can we afford to allow the Government to continue being in power another four years?»

The TS-LKD leader lamented that the time has come when Lithuania has to think of catching up not with Estonia, but with neighbouring Latvia, which has been showing stable economic results lately.

Perhaps because of the gloomy picture the Conservatives described the situation in the country, media hurried to dub the TS-LKD sitting as «black».

Degutienė softened her position on March 11 shoppers

But not for the first time, the Social Democrats have seemingly brushed off all the accusations unscathed. Meanwhile, amid the deluge of anti-Degutienė and anti-TS-LKD comments on social media and in comment sections, Degutienė, who is also the deputy of the TS-LKD chairman, hastened to defuse the heated online atmosphere issuing a «clarification» of her remarks on the March 11 Lithuanian Suwalki shoppers.

«Not the people but the authority that has not lived up to its promises is to be blamed (for shopping in the Polish region). I was not criticizing people who, in a free Lithuania, can go wherever and whenever they want, but the problems which make them act so even during the period of national holidays,» Degutienė explained in a statement.

She, however, reiterated the idea that the economic wellbeing of most Lithuanians is deteriorating and, again, accused the Government of inactiveness.

«I clearly see how the Government’s electoral promised and the reality differs. A whopping 40 percent of the pensioners receive 258 euro pension which is only 17 euro more than the official level of poverty. And the unemployment rate has not still reached the pre-crisis level, meanwhile, the threat of poverty has risen for many social groups, not only for our pensioners,» the deputy chairman of Lithuanian Conservatives Party emphasized.

Conservatives need to face aftermaths of their decisions

But in the realm of internet, readers did not buy her arguments, chastising the Conservatives for curtailed pensions in 2009.

«If we were to speak of Latvia, it has not cut pensions, even during the downturn of 2008-2010, although the country was seemingly in a direr plight than Lithuania. So, Conservatives, get your life and cough up some new ideas if you want to secure some support in the coming elections,» a man going by the name «Jonas» said in a comment online.

Perhaps thinking of the election, Loreta Graužinienė, the speaker of Lithuanian Parliament, has also come in defence of March 11grocery buyers.

«We cannot blame our people for something that we, politicians, may have not done. The Conservatives are angry now, although, during the term of their governance, they passed such decisions which have drastically boosted food prices and hiked the value added tax for key food products. They oughtn’t to be angry now, but ought to try to correct the aftermaths of the ruling,» the speaker emphasized.

TS-LKD «bites» will not do harm to Social Democrats

Asked to weigh in on the Conservatives’ criticism towards the Social Democrats, Tomas Janeliūnas, a political analyst and lecturer at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University, told BNN that the critique is insufficient to crack up the Social Democrats’ solid credibility in the public’s eyes.

«All the snarky remarks are tantamount to small bites but that’s it. They will hardly dent the big trust the Social Democrats enjoy. Lithuanian Conservatives need to find new ideas and come up with a very strong electoral strategy if they want to turn things around. The rejuvenation of the TS-LKD leadership and attraction of younger faces on the electoral list have not produced big wonders for the party,» Janeliūnas told.

Ref: 020/111.111.103.3316


Leave a reply

  1. VAT RATES says:

    Why do Lithuania have one of the highest VAT in EU on food, only Denmark has higher with 25%. VAT on food in Lithuania is 21% and in Poland 5%, Holland has 6%, Germany 7% and Sweden 12%. Only VAT makes food 16% more expensive in Lituania than Poland!!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. John says:

    Lithuania needs to learn from Estonia and now, apparently, from Latvia, too. Lithuania seems to be a big cry-baby in the Baltics. Many of my foreign friends say so.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Kirsis asks police to assess possible forging of votes at Riga City Council

Riga City Council’s Unity faction chairman Vilnis Kirsis has asked State Police to check if the city council’s electronic voting system was used without another deputy’s knowledge or consent, said the politician.

Expert: attack in Spain shows how terrorists switched to more easily reachable targets

Terrorist attacks that transpired in Spain this week shows how terrorists have switched to more easily reachable targets, where security requirements are not as strict, says Latvian National Defence Academy’s Security and Strategic Research Centre researcher Martins Hirss.

New mandatory tests in schools to be introduced four years from now

In four years’ time – 2021/2022 school year – it is planned to introduce completely new mandatory tests in schools, as reported by State Education Content Centre Director Guntars Catlaks.

Nearly 9,000 children and their parents got homes thanks to state support programme

In the first half-year of 2017, state support helped 1,527 families in Latvia to buy homes. Compared with last year, families’ demand for state support has grown 6%, as reported by Altum finance institute.

Prediction: Aseradens will likely take control over Unity

Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens will become the head of Unity, Betsafe bookmakers predict. The possibility of Aseradens becoming the head of the party is given 45% probability by Betsafe.

Provisional estimate for next year’s fiscal space in Latvia is EUR 60 million

Next year’s fiscal space has been estimated at EUR 60 million, as noted by Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola, adding that a more precise estimate will be available at the end of August.

Reconstruction of Vilnius airport runway concludes; aircraft return to Vilnius

On Thursday, 17 August, Vilnius airport’s runway was festively opened. This was the most massive reconstruction for the airport in the past 20 years. It was a unique project for Lithuania and all of Europe, airport representatives say.

Islamic State terrorist group takes responsibility for Barcelona attack

The recent terrorist attack in Barcelona, in which a shuttle bus rammed a crowd of people on La Rambla, killing 13 and injuring at least 100, has become this week’s topic.

Weather in Latvia to be warm but rainy on weekends

The sun will appear every now and then between clouds on Friday, 18 August. Still, some rain is expected, especially in the afternoon in Latvia’s eastern regions, where thunderstorms may appear. Rain is expected to reach the capital in the afternoon. Wind will draw in from the south. Air temperature will reach +21° C… +26° C, according to State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Latvia’s export growth was moderately rapid in the first six months of 2017

Compared with the same period of 2016, Latvia experienced a moderately rapid export growth in the first six months of 2017, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 August.

Latvia’s annual inflation in July was one of the highest in Europe

Inflation indexes in Latvia and the UK both reached 2.6% in July, which is one of the highest indexes in the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 August.

Kirsis withdraws his candidacy in favour of Aseradens

Riga City Council member Vilnis Kirsis has decided to withdraw his candidacy from the race to become chairman of Unity in favour of a different candidate – Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens.

Rinkevics expresses Latvia’s interest in maintaining political consultations with Palestine

On Thursday, 17 August, Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics met with the leader of Palestine’s diplomatic mission in Latvia, ambassador Taissir Al Adjouri, to discuss mutual relations between Latvia and Palestine and the peace process in the Middle East.

Putin grins to the world’s seven billionth baby, Lithuania wary of border incidents

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit this Wednesday to Kaliningrad, the westernmost point of Russia, but the reports about his trip in the Russian enclave and over the border in Lithuania were strikingly different.

Survey: red considered the safest colour for a car

Most Latvian drivers consider red to be the safest colour for a car. The most popular, however, is black, according to results of a survey by Virši-A fuel trader.

airBaltic’s number of carried passengers reaches a record in second consecutive month

Latvian airBaltic airline carried 393,312 passengers in July 2017, which is 21% more than the same period last year. The number of passengers carried by airBaltic remains the highest it has ever been in the airline’s history, BNN was informed by the company.

Brivais vilnis: nearly all fish processing companies are experiencing losses

Currently nearly all fish processing companies in Latvia are experiencing major or minor losses, says Brivais vilnis chairman Arnols Babris.

American helicopters to perform low-altitude flights within Latvia’s airspace

U.S. Air Force Brigade’s Task Force Phoenix helicopters, which are stationed in Latvia as part of Atlantic Resolve operation, will be performing low-altitude flights from 16:00 to 18:00 from Lielvarde to Dobele on Friday, 18 August.

Healthcare Ministry’s state secretary Karlis Ketners may be replaced

Latvian Healthcare Ministry may replace its state secretary Karlis Ketners. It is possible he will be transferred to work at Finance Ministry, as reported by LTV.

Suspects in Europe's insecticide egg scandal before Dutch court

In the Netherlands, two men have been in court in relation to the scandal of eggs containing banned insecticide that has caused an EU-wide health scare and cost millions of euros of damages.

Indian national with fake documents apprehended on Latvian border

An Indian citizen travelling from Moscow on a bus was caught at Terehovo border control point in Latvia for presenting officers a fake EU family member’s resident card. No criminal process was launched. The person returned to the country he was travelling from.

Latvijas dzelzceļš will not have to pay dividends from last year’s profits

The government decided on Wednesday, 16 August, that Latvijas dzelzceļš will not have to pay dividends from last year’s profits, which were EUR 880,998.

Latvian citizenship provided to 103 people

The Cabinet of Ministers has issued an order to provide Latvian citizenship to 103 people through naturalization.

Estonian Inbank's profits reach EUR 5.7 million in six months

Estonian financial services' provided Inbank made a profit of 5.7 million euros in the first half of 2017, which is a 429.4% increase compared to the respective period in 2016.

Agriculture Ministry invites residents to sign up for measures to support fisheries

From 21 August onward, Rural Support Service plans to start accepting applications for projects to receive support from European Maritime and Fisheries Fund’s action plan for development of fisheries in 2014-2020 as part of projects Innovation, Productive Investments in Aquaculture and Fishing and Aquaculture project processing.

Newest comments