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Wednesday 23.05.2018 | Name days: Leontīne, Ligija, Lonija, Leokādija
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Week in Lithuania. Foreign minister against images of Gate of Dawn in Polish passports

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Gate of Dawn church in Vilnius

Images of the Gate of Dawn, a church in Vilnius, should not be used in the new Polish passports, says Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.

«It is not normal to use images of a foreign country, especially knowing that our history features different pages. It is even more sensitive, when it comes to Vilnius and the fate of the region. Therefore, the circumstances should be taken into consideration,» he said. Following reports about the Poles’ initiative for the Polish passports, the charge d’affaires of Poland has been summoned to the ministry.

New aircraft platform planned at Lithuania’s Siauliai airport

A new 5-million-euro aircraft platform is projected at the Siauliai airport, northern Lithuania, if the construction plans get a green light from the city’s administration. Andrius Daujotas, CEO of the airport, says that Lithuania’s only cargo airport in Siauliai handles an average of about 1,500-2,000 tons of cargo per year.

FEZ planned near Lithuanian capital

Plans are coordinated with the Lithuanian government to set up a free economic zone (FEZ) next to Vilnius, capital’s Mayor Remigijus Šimašius says. FEZ would be established in Pagiriai, in central part of the city that currently accommodates the Vilnius Logistics Park and an intermodal terminal. The idea was discussed by the mayor and Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis on Wednesday, August 2.

New Caledonia’s law-enforcement detains Lithuanians

Law-enforcement of New Caledonia, a country in south-western Pacific Ocean, has detained three citizens of Lithuania on suspicion of drugs smuggling. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry informed that New Caledonia’s institutions had officially notified the Lithuanian Embassy to France on Wednesday, August 2, about the Tuesday detention of the three Lithuanian citizens on the suspicion of large-scale smuggling of narcotic substances.

According to reports in the French media, four citizens of Lithuania and Latvia are suspected of carrying 1.4 tons of cocaine on a yacht. Sailing under the flag of Gibraltar, the vessel was detained in a joint operation by the customs and police. The authorities believe the 100-million-euro shipment was intended for the Australian market.

Livonia Partners, LHV, Skype founders want clearance to invest

Baltic private equity fund Livonia Partners jointly with the Estonian bank LHV’s pension fund and Skype’s founders have applied for an approval to invest in Lithuania’s second-largest television and Internet provider Cgates.

The Lithuanian Competition Council said it had received an indirect application from Latvia’s EuVECA Livonia and Est onia’s LHV Varahaldus, filed via a newly-founded Lithuanian company, Silver Screen Holdings, to acquire a 34.8 -percent stake in Cgates Group.

Animal rights activists urge for tighter control

About 50 protesters gathered outside the office of the Lithuanian State Food and Veterinary Service on Thursday, August 3, calling for more attention to animal rights. One of the organizers of the picket action, activist Gabija Enčiūtė of the organization Empty Cages, told journalists that the campaign was mainly aimed at bringing to public attention the conditions on the country’s laying hens. In her words, 97 percent of egg hens are held in cages in Lithuania. Representatives of the food watchdog aimed to incite the protesters for a meeting, pledging to look into the claims earlier received from the activists.

President disapproves proposed tax reform

President Dalia Grybauskaitė says that the government-proposed tax changes should ensure more social justice, while the current proposals will raise heating prices and the new ceiling on social insurance payments will further increase the income of those making the highest salaries. Meanwhile, the central Bank of Lithuania says that the government’s course of tax changes is mainly correct, however, the proposed revisions are not enough to solve the most relevant problems of taxes and the social system.

Klaipeda district resident, Britons to stand trial

Law-enforcement officers of the Lithuanian port city of Klaipėda have completed an investigation into forced labour in the United Kingdom, filing suspicions against a resident of the Klaipėda district and two British citizens with human trafficking. Suspicions of human trafficking and enslavement were brought against Lithuanian Edikas Mankevičius, 53, and owners of a UK-registered company DJ Houghton Chicken Catching Services, Darell Houghton and his wife Jacqueline Judge, senior Klaipėda prosecutor Ruslanas Ušinskas said Thursday, August 3. Mankevičius was detained in Lithuania last year and remains in custody after courts repeatedly rejected his pleas to release him. The British spouses are not in Lithuania.

Russian FSB spying convict files appeal against verdict

Russian citizen Nikolai Filipchenko sentenced in Vilnius in early July on charges of spying has filed an appeal against the verdict. Lithuanian prosecutors say the 40-year-old man who was detained in 2015 was an officer of the Kaliningrad branch of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).

The Vilnius court ruled in early July had used forged documents in an effort to conceal his identity and unlawfully cross the state border on multiple occasions, sentencing him to ten years in prison. The law-enforcement earlier said he had aimed to recruit officers of the VIP Protection Department to plant bugs in the office and residence of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

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