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Week in Lithuania. Convention of Lithuanian Honorary Consuls in U.S.

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The Embassy of Lithuania in Washington, D.C., held a convention of Honorary Consuls of Lithuania in the United States of America and Mexico on Tuesday, February 23. It was attended by 20 Honorary Consuls.

The Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Mantvydas Bekešius, the Vice-Minister of Economy Rasa Noreikienė, and the Ambassador of Lithuania to the United States of America Rolandas Kriščiūnas welcomed the participants.

Kriščiūnas underlined the Honorary Consuls’ significant role in representing Lithuania in the United States. Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister Bekešius, Ambassador Kriščiūnas, Lithuanian Consuls General in the USA Julius Pranevičius, Marijus Gudynas and Darius Gaidys along with representatives of the United States Department of State and the Honorary Consuls discussed trends in bilateral relations between Lithuanian and the United States, current issues, legal guidelines for activities of the Honorary Consuls.

Foreign Minister and French Minister of State for European Affairs meet

The French Minister of State for European Affairs Harlem Désir visited Vilnius. In the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius stressed that Lithuania highly appreciated its good bilateral relationship with the strategic partner – France – and was interested in further strengthening cooperation, particularly in the fields of security and defence, economy, energy, education and science.

The French fighters have fulfilled NATO’s Air Policing mission in the Baltic States already five times. France is invited to continue to further actively contribute to ensuring the implementation of security measures in our region.In the meeting, the Ministers discussed the achievement of objectives of the Action Plan to implement the Lithuania-France Strategic Partnership to further strengthen bilateral cooperation.

Lithuanian hotels saw more tourists

According to the Statistics Lithuania, in the fourth quarter of 2015, accommodation establishments received 524.9 thousand guests, which is by 4.7% more than in the same quarter in 2014.

Lithuanian court to take on a high-profile case

The Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Šiauliai City handed over to Panevėžys Regional Court a high-profile case related to Lithuania’s preparations to host the EuroBasket 2011. The defendants in the case include the Lithuanian Basketball Federation and eight people, including former Panevėžys Mayor Vitalijus Satkevičius. According to the material of the pre-trial investigation, Panevėžys City Municipality’s funds could have been fraudulently used for the reconstruction of a local hotel.

Lithuanian public opposes bank accounts’ checking

Almost every third Lithuanian claims to know someone who has recently received illegal income. However, two thirds of Lithuanians believe that the State Tax Inspectorate (VMI) should not have access to people’s bank account balances in order to fight tax evasion, a survey by Spinter Tyrimai shows.

Voice of America legendary journalist passes away

Prominent Lithuanian journalist Romas Sakadolskis, who had a lengthy career at the US radio station Voice of America, passed away at 68.

New proposal on assets’ sezure

A legislative proposal introduced to the Parliament would allow detention or restriction of freedom for socially dangerous individuals and legalize asset seizure and other restrictions without declaring any allegations.

Passenger numbers go up at Lithuania’s airports

The number of passengers flying out of Lithuania’s airports rose by nearly 17% in January according to the latest figures from Statistics Lithuania.

Unique surgery on a rare tumour

Medics at Santariškės Hospital for the first time identified and performed surgery on a very rare tumour which was found in a 25 year-old patient. There have been only a few such cases in the world.

President wants EU to address issue of Astrav NPP

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Government supports another set of restrictions on alcohol

The Lithuanian government has endorsed a package of measures aimed at cutting alcohol consumption on Monday, February 22. It includes alcohol-free zones, and further restrictions on selling hours and on alcohol advertising.

Second attempt to hold extraordinary Seimas session fails

The Seimas of Lithuania assembled for an extraordinary session on Thursday, February 28, but it ended shortly after the agenda, proposed by the opposition, was voted down. The opposition says it will turn to the Constitutional Court. Parliamentary procedures were violated when an extraordinary plenary session, initiated by the opposition, was ended abruptly last week, the Seimas Commission for Ethics and Procedures said on Wednesday, February 24. By blocking the opposition’s attempts to hold an extraordinary parliamentary session, the ruling coalition is trying to shift the focus away from problems faced by the incumbent government, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said.

Instant credit companies fined

Three Lithuanian instant credit companies have been sanctioned by the Bank of Lithuania for failing to properly vet their clients’ credit worthiness.

Supermarkets take Mars products off shelves

Two major Lithuanian supermarket chains have decided to remove all Mars production from their shelves after reports of possibly unsafe products of the US chocolate maker.

Energy holding CEO faces investigation

2016 Lithuania’s ethics commission announced it is to open a probe into Lietuvos Energija CEO and chairman Dalius Misiūnas over an alleged conflict of interest.

Average wage goes up in Lithuania

The average Lithuanian’s monthly wage grew by 5.9% in the final quarter of 2015, with a 4.6% rise in the public sector but a larger 6.7% rise in wages in the private sector.

Teachers refuse to end strikes

Government negotiators have failed to convince teachers’ unions to call off a strike on Wednesday, February 24, as talks about higher pay continues. PM Algirdas Butkevičius has offered a new plan to meet teachers’ demands. Lithuania’s ruling parties have agreed on a three-year plan for incrementally raising teachers’ wages as unions continue to strike.

Teachers’ unions and the government should find an agreement by means of a dialogue, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė says.

Lithuanian Red Cross starts collecting funds for refugees

The Lithuanian Red Cross has begun fundraising to support refugees living in Lithuania following government decisions to reduce both the level and duration of support for refugees in the country.

Hanner invests in new Vilnius office block

Lithuania’s Hanner Real Estate is to invest 30 million euro building a new 20,000 sq metre business centre in Vilnius’ financial district. Hanner Real Estate is one of the biggest Lithuanian developers.

Vilnius to pave way for crematorium in centre

Vilnius authorities are deciding whether to approve the building of a crematorium in central Vilnius.

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