bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 24.11.2017 | Name days: Velta, Velda
LithuaniaLithuania

Skvernelis invites Polish supermarkets to Lithuania, seeks to overcome Polish differences

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

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

Prime minister Saulius Skvernelis of Lithuania

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

It seems that Lithuania’s Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, who paid this week a visit in Poland, wanted to catch up with – and cheer up – his Polish counterpart, Beata Szydlo, and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the ruling party Law and Justice, on all hot mutual issues.

Chalking some of them up to «wrong stereotypes», the Lithuanian premier expressed confidence that both neighbours can improve the relations and work in lockstep.

Latvia’s PM, Maris Kučinskis, also attended the meeting, meanwhile Estonia’s PM Juris Ratas did not make it to the Polish capital due to a crisis stemming from a glitch in the country’s e-ID cards.

For now, however, the tensions between Lithuania and Poland seem to be a little eased. Summing up his meeting with Kaczynski, Skvernelis emphasized that the Poland’s ruling coalition leader sees Lithuania as «a strategically friendly country.»

«Some stereotypes probably keep us from emotional reloading today. He (Kaczynski) was provided first-hand information about the situation of the Polish ethnic minority. Now there is a huge opportunity to solve the problems,» Skvernelis underscored after the meeting.

He brought Kaszynski’s attention to the fact that Lithuania has the biggest network of Polish-language schools in Lithuania outside Poland.

«Lithuania is the only country providing Polish-language education from pre-school to university, with financing of ethnic minority schools about 20 percent higher than that of Lithuanian schools,» the Lithuanian PM noted.

He also presented the Lithuanian government’s decision to broadcast Polish television in southeastern districts with large Polish population and the Vilnius administration’s decisions on the status of Polish schools.

In Skvernelis’ words, the spelling of Polish first and last names in Lithuanian identification documents remains a sensitive issue in Poland. A few projects are currently discussed at the Lithuanian parliament on permission to use the letters w, q and x in passports, as the letters do not exist in the Lithuanian alphabet. The Prime Minister supports the decision, however, it is unclear whether the bill will secure sufficient support at the parliament.

Skvernelis said he briefed Kaczynski on the concerns of Poland’s Lithuanian community about the situation in Lithuanian-language education there, as the local communities in Sejny and Punsk are short of Lithuanian-language textbooks, Lithuanian schools are being closed and Lithuanian-language examinations are held below standards.

The three prime ministers agreed on the detrimental impact of the enhanced flows of Russian propaganda, as well as a stream of Russian fake news about the Baltic states.

Among the key issues discussed by the heads of the Baltic governments was the looming synchronisation of the states’ electric grids with the Western European network. Until now, they are intertwined with the Moscow-controlled circuit system, BRELL. However, the heads of the Baltic governments departed not having found a common ground on the hot-button issue.

Although Skvernelis said he has secured «firm Polish support» to synchronise the grid via the existing power link, LitPol, Latvia and Estonia, however, frown at the proposal. The Latvian PM reiterated his country’s stance that the synchronisation has to be carried out through a second power link between Lithuania and Poland to be built until 2025. Meanwhile, Estonia has said it favours aligning of the Baltic networks with European through a Baltic Sea cable to Sweden.

According to Skvernelis, Lithuania and Poland are to «shortly sign the political agreement» on the synchronisation project.

«Poland’s political approval to the synchronisation of the Baltic electricity system with continental Europe via Poland is very important. We cannot postpone the project – it is a joint issue of national and energy security of the Baltic States. The Latvian and Estonian calls to proceed with the synchronisation only when a second electricity link is in place is unacceptable and could procrastinate the process and leave the Baltic states dependent on the Moscow-controlled electricity ring,» Skvernelis said at a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart.

Counter arguing, Latvia’s Prime Minister Maris Kučinskis reiterated that Latvia supports the synchronisation by two lines, as an analysis by a research centre suggests it would be the best solution cost-wise.

Skvernelis does not rule out that Lithuania could synchronise via Poland alone, if Latvia and Estonia do not support the solution.

The Latvian Prime Minister stressed the need for the Baltic states to cooperate among themselves and for extending this cooperation to include also Poland.

«We have to think about joint action to secure financing for large regional infrastructure projects, in particular Rail Baltica,» he said.

To those Lithuanians who dislike politics and care about more mundane things – how to make ends meet with the Lithuanian prices being so exorbitant – Skvernelis may have a cheerful message: a Polish grocery retailer is welcome in the Lithuanian grocery market. The PM has called on Polish food retailers to «explore» possibilities of doing business in Lithuania.

Some Lithuanian experts believe Lithuania has chances of attracting a Polish retail chain into its retail market, but the process would require effort from authorities and would probably take at least two years.

«I think it’s realistic to attract one of the Polish retail trade companies. I don’t see why our region should be taboo for Polish retailers, but some effort is required to convince them that the Lithuanian market can be attractive to them,» SEB Lithuania’s chief analyst Tadas Povilauskas said.«When the state wants to increase competition, this is a good sign for any investor. This may encourage Polish companies to enter the Lithuanian market,» he added.

Laurynas Vilimas, head of the Association of Lithuanian Trade Companies, thinks that the arrival of a new retail chain would benefit Lithuania, but would pose new challenges for existing market players.

«This is advantageous for customers, but it would make it more difficult for market participants to work and compete. Growing competition will force them to look for new ways of attracting and keeping buyers,» he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Swedbank Lithuania’s chief economist Nerijus Mačiulis is sceptical about the possibility of a Polish retail chain gaining a foothold in Lithuania.

«I’m somewhat more sceptical about the possibility of a new retail player emerging in Lithuania and trying to find some niches here. A more likely scenario would be for a Polish chain to try and purchase an existing retail chain in Lithuania and then reinforce it,» he said.

Ref: 111.111.111.4928


Leave a reply

  1. Zerry says:

    First and foremost Polish manufacturers could little bit increase the overall quality of “Made in Poland” products. Now Poland is like Europe’s China with light versions of good products.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Saeima approves next year’s budget; more funding for health and defence

On Thursday, 23 November, the Saeima approved Latvia’s budget for 2018. Next year’s budget revenue is planned at EUR 8.75 billion, whereas expenditures are planned at EUR 8.95 billion. The largest increase of funding is planned for healthcare. Latvia’s defence budget is set to reach 2% of GDP

Ķuzis: 94% of sex crimes against children are committed by people they know

Approximately half of sex crimes committed against minors take place on the internet, said Chief of State Police Ints Ķuzis at a press-conference on protection of children against sexual violence.

European Parliament approves use of EU Solidarity Fund’s advance payments

European Parliament’s Budget Committee has approved MEP Inese Vaidere’s submitted report on the use of advance payments from the EU Solidarity Fund in 2018, as reported by European People’s Party group Latvian press and communication advisor Ģirts Salmgriezis.

Authorities unmask illegal trade of products made from protected animals

Nature Protection Office and State Police have stepped up their efforts to increase control over trade of products made from endangered and protected species in the past month. Authorities have already confiscated different goods made from animals protected in Latvia and the world.

Swedbank survey: youngsters want stability; belief in Latvian labour market grows

Stability and income predictability are two of the most important values for Latvian youngsters when planning their future jobs. According to a survey performed by Swedbank, 53% of youngsters would gladly start working in an existing company.

Myanmar and Bangladesh to sigh refugee return agreement

In South-Eastern Asia, Myanmar plans to sign an agreement with neighbouring Bangladesh on the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, who have fled to the latter, while rights organisations point to atrocities committed by Myanmar's military.

Polish shipbuilder accused of bribing Port of Tallinn management

A senior executive of Remontowa Shipbuilding, a Polish shipbuilding company, is facing accusations of handing large bribes to former senior figures Port of Tallinn, the Estonian state-owned port operator.

Lībiņa-Egnere may be appointed head of Saeima’s National Security Committee

Unity member Inese Lībiņa-Egnere may be appointed as the new head of Saeima’s National Security Committee, as reported by Latvijas Avīze.

Expert: real estate transaction volume this year may reach 100 million euros

The volume of commercial real estate transactions in Baltic States may exceed EUR 1 billion. Latvia, meanwhile, remains behind its neighbouring countries because the volume of transactions in the country may reach EUR 100 million, says CEO of Colliers International Deniss Kairāns.

Finnish medication prescriptions to be valid in Estonia

In Estonia, Finland's digital prescriptions of medications will be valid from summer 2018 and vice versa – from around mid-2019.

Talks commence on restoring ferry traffic between Ventspils and Saaremaa

On Wednesday, 22 November, a delegation from Saaremaa municipality arrived at Vetnspils Freeport to discuss with representatives of Ventspils municipality and freeport the proposal to restore ferry traffic between Saaremaa and Ventspils.

Family of killed Maltese journalist take police to court

The family of the killed Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has sued police believing that it does not perform an impartial investigation.

Saeima reduces VAT for vegetables, berries and fruits typical for Latvia

Starting 2018, a reduced VAT rate will be applied for fresh fruits, berries and vegetables in Latvia. This is provided by amendments approved by the Saeima on 22 November for Law on Value Added Tax.

Georgian anti-terrorist raid ends tragically

In the Georgian capital Tbilisi, security officers have conducted an anti-terrorist raid in an apartment, where a shoot-out has started and three suspected militants and a special forces' soldier have been killed.

Jerošenko: Ušakovs offers unhealthy policy, Harmony is used as Lembergs’ «satellite party»

«Cooperation between Harmony and Aivars Lembergs’ Union of Greens and Farmers has always existed. It existed even before Harmony first appeared in Riga City Council. The situation is the same in the Saeima, even though Concord is in the opposition. Still, in situations when one or the other matter important to Lembergs appears, one does not have to be a great politologist to notice the ties between those parties...

Bosnian Serb commander punished with life imprisonment for Srebrenica

The UN the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia handed a life imprisonment sentence to Ratko Mladić after it found the former commander of Bosnian Serb forces guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in the 1990s during the Bosnian War.

EC positive about Latvia’s 2018 budget project

Based on the conclusion from the European Commission, Latvia’s budget project for 2018 fully fits conditions listed in the Stability and Growth Pact. In accordance with EC’s estimates, the structural balance of Latvia’s general budget is viewed at -1.8% of GDP. Government budget expenditures, on the other hand, are expected to grow by 7.1 percentage points.

Producer price level in Latvia declined 0.2% in October

Compared to September, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry dropped by 0.2 % in October 2017. Prices of products sold on the domestic market decreased by 0.5 %, while prices of exported products went up by 0.1 %.

Vaškevičs feels «harsh but fair» attitude from court justice system in Austria

Former deputy director of Latvia’s State Revenue Service Vladimirs Vaškevičs, who is accused of bribery and whose extradition from Austria has been a priority for Latvian authorities for some time now, says he feels «harsh but, thank God, fair» attitude from the Austrian court justice system.

Antāne: lost Russian cargoes have cost Latvia nearly 50 million in nine months

Latvia’s economy has lost nearly EUR 50 million in nine months because of missed Russian transit cargoes. While Russian Railway had approved 90% of oil and coal cargoes for transit through Ventspils port at the beginning of the year, this amount had declined to a mere 5% by September, says Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics President Inga Antāne.

In pictures: Museum of painter, Holocaust survivor Bak opened in Vilnius

In Vilnius, a museum to Jewish-Polish painter Samuel Bak has been opened. During the occupation of Lithuania by the Nazi Germany, the artist survived the Holocaust in the country.

Ratio of old people and invalids on a rise among unemployed people

The total number of unemployed people has been decreasing in recent years. However, the ratio of old people and invalids continues increasing in the ranks of unemployed people. On top of that, the number of lasting unemployed people remains high and largely unchanged in the country.

Saaremaa looking into possible ferry traffic to Latvia

The local government of the largest Estonian island is looking into possible interest of five shipping companies in opening ferry traffic between Saaremaa and Latvia.

Balta: exhaustion and overload are the most common causes for accidents at work

More than EUR 20,000 has been paid in compensations for injuries acquired at work this year so far, according to information from insurance association Balta. Compared with the same period of last year, the number of accidents has grown 40%.

Estonian town tempts population to reregister with spa in Latvia and 100 euro payment

The town of Keila, located 25 kilometres away from Tallinn, has started a one-and-a-half month campaign to motivate its residents to register back in the town as many of them have registered in the Estonian capital, which grants free public transport to its population.