bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 21.02.2018 | Name days: Eleonora, Ariadne
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Election watchdog’s decision puts budget grants for Liberals in question

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

A total of 45,336 euros in the costs of the training organised by an Institute of Applied Politics owned by Sarunas Gustainis, a former MP and former member of the Liberal Movement, for the party should be recognised as non-monetary contribution, says a task force established by the Lithuanian Central Electoral Commission.

The commission explained that parties would otherwise get a green light to conceal some of their financing sources.

The task force wants the commission to find the Liberal Movement of having violated the law by taking an unacceptable donation during the campaign for the 2016 parliamentary elections, i.e., a contribution from the Institute of Applied Politics, a legal entity.

The ban on donations by legal entities to political parties was banned a few years ago, with only donations from physical entities allowed.

Meanwhile, Gustainis said in his response to the election watchdog that he was not linked in any way with the organization and financing of this or other projects of the Institute of Applied Politics he is the founder of.

If the Central Electoral Commission decides to support the group’s position, the Liberal Movement will risk losing nearly 300,000 euros in a budget grant. Grants from the state budget are the main source of funding of political parties in Lithuania.

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, the leader of the embattled Lithuanian Liberal Movement, is considering his future in the party post after MEP Petras Auštrevičius, MP Vitalijus Gailius and Marcijonas Urmonas resigned from his deputies earlier on Thursday, October 19.

Broader dual citizenship sees hurdles

Granting dual Lithuanian citizenship to a broader circle of individual sis only possible after changing the Constitution by way of a referendum, the Constitutional Court ruled on Friday, October 20. The parliament had asked the court to establish whether dual citizenship should be allowed for citizens who left Lithuania for EU and NATO countries after the country regained independence in 1990. According to the Organic Law, nobody can be a citizen of Lithuania and another country at the same time, except for individual cases stipulated by law.

Vilnius SocDems set to stay in coalition

The council of the Vilnius unit of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Council decided to continue their participation in the new ruling coalition formed by the Liberal Movement, saying they would see whether their proposals are reflected in the 2018 budget draft.

Lithuanians see trio in presidential race

Lithuanian residents mainly want to vote for Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis in the 2019 presidential race, followed by economist Gitanas Nausėda and Kaunas Mayor Visvaldas Matijošaitis, shows the latest poll conducted by RAIT. In the survey, more than 1,000 Lithuanian residents were asked to specify a person they will vote for in the presidential elections in 18 months, however, they were not given a list of candidates.

Inquiry into unlawful influence

The parliament on Thursday, October 19, authorised the National Security and Defence Committee to conduct an inquiry into possibly unlawful influence upon politicians, political processes and state institutions. The bid to assign the probe to the committee was supported by 80 of Lithuania’s 141 parliamentarians, while two were against and nine abstained. The committee is to present its conclusion by May 1.

Amendments for in-absentia trial of ex-bankers

The parliament on Thursday, October 19, passed amendments initiated by President Dalia Grybauskaitė that enable the country’s law-enforcement to put financial offenders who have fled the country on trial. Supported by 78 parliamentarians and one abstention, the adopted changes to the Criminal Code allow prosecution of persons for large-scale damage to the state. The amendments would theoretically make it possible to judicial proceedings of former bankers Raimundas Baranauskas, Vladimir Antonov and Vladimir Romanov who are in hiding from Lithuanian law-enforcement. Russia has granted political asylum to Baranauskas and Romanov, former shareholders of Snoras and Ūkio Bankas whom Lithuanian prosecutors want on trial for large-scale plundering.

Nine months’ revenues well above target

Lithuania’s central government and local authorities collected a total of 6.089 billion euros in budget revenue in January through September, which is 2.6 percent above the projected level and 7.3 per cent rise year-on-year. The central government’s budget revenue for the nine months came in at 4.898 billion euros, 1 percent above target and 6.8 percent more than expected, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday. Revenue from taxes totalled 4.535 billion euros, which is a respective increase by 0.3 per cent and 8.2 percent. Value-added tax (VAT) brought 2.587 billion euros into the state’s coffers, 1.6 percent above the projected level, while excise duties contributed 997.4 million euros, which is 11.7 percent above target.

Sending brigade to East Ukraine not right time

Lithuanian officials say it is still too early to discuss whether troops of the tri-national Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian brigade could be sent to a possible United Nations (UN) operation in Eastern Ukraine. The issue has been raised by the Ukrainian side, the Lithuanian Defence Ministry said. In early September, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin suggested that the UN forces in Eastern Ukraine could operate at the contact line. Kiev says the peace-keeping mission in Eastern Ukraine should ensure safety of the Ukrainian-Russian border, adding that Russians should not be involved in the mission.

Competition watchdog okays Rimi-Iki takeover deal

On Wednesday, October 18, Lithuania’s Competition Council gave a green light to buy a 100-percent stake in Iki’s operator Palink from Germany’s Rewe Group and other shareholders. The sanction envisages an obligation for Rimi Lietuva to sell 17 Rimi and Iki stores in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Panevėžys to third parties.

Ref: 020/111.111.103.5107


Leave a reply

Bank of Latvia governor: I have received death threats

«This situation is incredibly complicated. This situation is quite possibly the most complicated one I have ever been in. I feel a great deal of support from people I don’t know, as well as my friends and family members. I have decided to not back down – I am innocent. The the people attacking my reputation have only one goal in mind – to have me step down,» said the governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs during a press conference on Tuesday, 20 February.

Proportion of people working in Latvia’s culture sector is larger than the average in EU

The number of people working in Latvia’s culture sector is equal to 4.5% of the total number of employed people in the country. This proportion is also larger than the average one across the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat.

Ministry: idea for compulsory secondary education should be put on hold for now

Considering that Latvia’s Education and Science Ministry has several ongoing industry reforms, it would be best to put the proposal for compulsory secondary education on hold, said Education and Science Minister Kārlis Šadurskis during a meeting of Saeima’s Education, Culture and Science Committee.

Association: ECB should become more involved in resolving Latvia’s financial scandal

Association of Latvian Commercial Banks sees a need for the European Central Bank (ECB) to become more involved in the discussion and help resolve the situation, considering evaluation of ABLV Bank’s business model is in direct competence of ECB.

Hesburger to invest 11.5 million euros in Baltics this year

The largest fast food catering restaurant network in Finland and Baltic States – Hesburger – plans to invest approximately EUR 11.5 million in business development this year. EUR 5.5 million are planned to be invested in Latvia’s market, says Hesburger Development Director Ieva Salmela.

Air temperature drops below -30° C in certain parts of Northern Europe

On Tuesday, 20 February, air temperature in central and northern parts of Finland dropped to -27° C… -31° C in morning hours. In Norway, close to the Finnish border, air temperature has dropped as far as -34° C, according to data from meteorological stations.

FCMC suspects someone may want to undermine Latvia’s financial sector

It is not impossible that someone may want to undermine Latvia’s financial sector, said chairman of Latvian Finance and Capital Market Commission Pēters Putniņš in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme on Tuesday, 20 February.

European exchange indexes decline; Wall Street enjoys a holiday

European exchange indexes declined on Monday, 19 February. No trading was performed at American stock markets, because the country was celebrating President’s Day.

Party: Latvian banking system’s crisis threatens Skanste neighbourhood's development

There are serious risks associated with European Union’s co-financed project for the revitalization of Skanste neighbourhood, including construction of Skanste tramway line, says member of Riga City Council and For Latvia’s Development party Viesturs Zeps.

Public opinion: KGB documents should be made publicly accessible immediately

Latvia’s society believes the KGB documents should be made publicly accessible immediately. In addition, residents say they are confident in their ability to discuss those documents without the country’s supervision, which takes the form of expert opinions prevailing over society’s moral views, as stated by guest researcher of History Institute of the University of Latvia M. His. Marta Starostina.

For Latvia’s Development: the prime minister is gone, but finance minister claims otherwise

«What we have observed in the past several days is that Latvia’s financial sector has received several heavy strikes as a result of the government’s uncoordinated and chaotic actions. Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis has evidently ‘disappeared’ and offers no clear plans to resolve the crisis, whereas Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola says different things in every interview. Such behaviour will not help resolve the crisis. It could instead pull the country’s financial sector in a much deeper crisis,» says chairman of For Latvia’s Development Juris Pūce.

Bank of Latvia provided ABLV Bank with a loan of 97.5 mln euros in exchange for securities pledge

The Bank of Latvia has provided ABLV Bank with a loan worth EUR 97.5 million in exchange for securities pledge, as confirmed by the financial institution.

Prime Minister: Bank of Latvia governor is not allowed to take official post

As a security measure, the governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs has been applied with a prohibition to take post, said Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis after a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Poland's halt to logging in ancient forest came after irreparable damage

Although Poland has stated logging in the old-growth Bialowieza forest has been stopped, Warsaw has failed to reveal the amount of trees already cut down.

«A good friend» pays 100,000 euro bail for arrested governor of the Bank of Latvia

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (CPCB) has applied a bail of 100,000 euros for the arrested governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs. The bail has already been paid to the State Treasury account, as confirmed by his lawyer Saulvedis Vārpiņš.

NP: ABLV blames Latvian officials for misleading foreign institutions

Last week, the reputation of Latvia’s second largest bank – ABLV – was seriously impacted. It is believed that money laundering was this bank’s main operation, and that it failed to comply with the prohibition on cooperation with North Korea. The bank is also accused of bribery. US Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network rarely speaks so directly of any credit institution, says Nekā personīga programme.

Changes to third-country student residence in Estonia to add more responsibilities to university staff

The Estonian government has backed planned amendments are to the Aliens Law implementing an EU directive into Estonian law, which change how third-country nationals on enter and reside in Estonia if they are study or performing research work.

Russia criticises U.S. charges of Russian meddling in U.S. election

The Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov, has criticised the charges announced by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, against 13 Russian nationals and three companies for election meddling.

Government plans to form four riot prevention units in Latvian regions

The State Police plans to form four riot prevention units in Latvia’s regions, says Chief of State Police Ints Ķuzis.

Syrian Kurdish fighters under attack by Turkey announce deal with Syrian government forces

The mainly Kurdish militia in the north-west of Syria have announced having reached an agreement with the Syrian government for the latter to deploy its soldiers in order to help Kurds repel the current Turkish attack.

NCP: it is highly important to replace management of Bank of Latvia and FCMC

Considering recent events, which have not only impacted the country’s finance sector but also its international reputation, the New Conservative Party (NCP) demands immediate measures to be undertaken to replace the management of the Bank of Latvia and the Finance and Capital Market Commission. On top of that, it is also necessary to perform radical changes in the organization and supervision of those institutions, says NCP chairman Jānis Bordāns.

Air temperature in Latvia to gradually decline this week

On Monday, 19 February, atmospheric pressure will increase slightly in the north. With that, it is expected to snow only around Kurzeme’s south-west. Air temperature in most of Latvia will stay at -1° C… -6° C. In Kurzeme, however, air temperature will be around 0° C… +1° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania celebrating centennial of statehood

Leaders of European countries gathered in Vilnius on Friday, February 16, to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of restored statehood, and festive events were taking place in many cities and towns of Lithuania.

BNN summary of the week: minister threatened with dismissal; ABLV Bank scandal

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Fight; Court; Problem; Decline; Commentary; Future; Proposal

SRS uncovered violations in 169 inspections at catering companies last year

In 2017, the State Revenue Service (SRS) performed a total of 989 inspections at 212 catering companies. This includes 182 thematic inspections for 125 taxpayers. Violations were uncovered in 169 inspections. The most common violation was manipulation with cash registers, according to information published by SRS.