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Friday 21.10.2016 | Name days: Severīns, Urzula

Week in Lithuania. Healthcare minister admits giving bribe to doctor, President is unhappy

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Lithuania’s Healthcare Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė

Lithuania’s Healthcare Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė has confessed in a radio interview to have given a bribe to doctors in the past. She admitted she had done being asked by a relative awaiting surgery

The family member thought that it will be more successful if the surgeon’s «palm is greased». The Minister made the revelation while discussing small-scale corruption that is wide-spread in the country’s healthcare system. Lithuanian President urged STT, Lithuania’s special service, to launch an investigation into the minister’s revelation.

Bank of Lithuania: resident payment habits changing

For purchases and services, residents tend to pay in cash less frequently; the amount spent in cash has also decreased, announced Bank of Lithuania. In addition, the number of residents having payment cards grew; a large share of them, however, are still not using a payment card for daily settlements, shows a survey of residents conducted on behalf of the Bank of Lithuania.

In 2015, the number of Lithuanian residents who have a payment card was growing, and, despite the fact that the majority of residents having payment cards still do not have a habit of consistently using them at distribution and service provision locations.

Klaipėdos Nafta loading longest tanker in its history

Almost 281 m in length tanker Hrvatska has moored at the second berth of SC Klaipėdos Nafta. In company’s history this is the longest tanker. So far, the longest tanker ever moored at SC Klaipedos Nafta berths was HS Alcina with the length of 275 meters. She entered Klaipėda port in 2014.The tanker Hrvatska is sailing with the Croatian flag. Her full length is 280.89 m. The ship is able to transport 166 thousand tons of oil products. In December last year, SC Klaipėdos Nafta’s cargo handling grew by almost 9 percent and throughout 2015 annual cargo turnover increased by more than 15 percent. Such results were mainly caused by company’s new transhipment contracts and oil producers’ favourable global margins.

Defence Minister: Lithuania could become logistics hub for US military

Lithuania could become a regional logistics centre for the US military, believes Lithuania’s Defence Minister Juozas Olekas. This was voiced Thursday, January 28, during the meeting of the minister and Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics of the United States Alan F. Estevez. They discussed the host nation support and infrastructure Lithuania provides for allied forces deployed here at a meeting in Lithuania.

Foreign Affairs Ministry marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day

On Wednesday, January 27, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a presentation of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum’s two travelling exhibitions -«Lithuanian Jews behind the Iron Curtain» and the «The Vilna Ghetto Posters».The Vice-Minister Mantvydas Bekešius opened the exhibitions and thanked the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum for cooperation and efforts to increase the public interest in the Holocaust, the Lithuanian Jewish culture and traditions.

The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum’s curators – Aušra Rožankevičiūtė and Neringa Latvytė-Gustaitienė – presented the exhibitions. Later, Vice-Minister Bekešius also visited the Choral Synagogue of Vilnius, where he took part in a commemorative event and read names of the victims of the Holocaust together with members of the Jewish Community of Lithuania

Maltese man fights extradition to Lithuania

A man apprehended in Malta on Lithuania-issued arrest warrant is fighting extradition, arguing that conditions in Lithuanian prisons are inhumane and humiliate his dignity. The Court of Appeals of Malta on Tuesday, January 26, heard arguments for and against the reversal of an extradition judgement against Maltese-Australian Angelo Spiteri, the Malta Independent reported.

Lithuania earmarks 20,000 euro to refugees in Turkey

Lithuania’sMinistry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday, February 28, it had earmarked 20,000 euro in humanitarian aid to refugees in Turkey. The funds will be transferred via the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Office (UNHCR). Lithuania has committed to accept 1105 refugees, but the process has stalled. Lithuania also continues its support to the victims of the conflict in Syria which was launched in 2014 when 48,700 euro was allocated and in 2015 – 90,000 euro for humanitarian assistance.

Credit company fined for giving quick loans to unemployed

Lithuanian banking regulators have slammed a consumer credit company with a penalty of 30,000 euro for issuing loans to jobless applicants. It is the biggest fine of this kind to date.

Omnitel wins Lithuania’s radio frequencies auction

Mobile operator Omnitel has won the auction of radio frequencies important for 4G network development organized by the Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT). The auction commission on January 27th identified the highest bids in the auction of 900 MHz and 1800 MHz radio frequency bands. Omnitel is the first to choose the frequency blocks offered, Tele2 was second and Bite Lietuva was third. In total, the bidders would pay 38.1 million euros for the right to use the frequency bands concerned, the authority said.

ORLEN Lithuania nets 217 million euro profit

Lithuania-based oil refining company Orlen Lietuva generated a net profit of 217 million euro last year, company announced. In the fourth quarter alone, the Lithuanian company turned a net profit of 39 million euro, up from the losses of 62 million euro in the same period of 2014.

Lithuania offers more civil, political freedoms than Latvia

The World Freedom Index published on Wednesday, February 27, shows that Lithuania is doing better in ensuring civil and political liberties than Latvia but is behind the other neighbours, Poland and Estonia.

Funding for Lithuanian filmmakers to increase in 2016

The Lithuanian Film Centre is set to increase its funding and support for Lithuanian filmmakers to 2.66 million euro in 2016 and expects the number of foreign productions filmed in Lithuanian to grow in the year ahead.

Search for fishermen lost in fog in Curonian Lagoon

A number of fishermen got lost on the Curonian Lagoon ice on Monday evening as a result of a heavy fog. In the evening, Neringa Fire and Rescue Service received a call informing that three fishermen, who were ice-fishing close to the Preila village, got lost because of dense fog and could not get back to shore. After intensive search, the anglers were rescued.

Interior Minister: Europe’s security might trump freedom of movement

The European Union might have to sacrifice the free movement of people for the sake of security, if it fails to control the flow of migrants, Lithuanian Interior Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Tuesday, January 26.

Lithuania starts blocking international betting websites

Lithuania has begun blocking access to the websites of some foreign online betting companies after tightening controls on online gaming operators at the start of this year. The Gaming Control Authority said on its website that access to the Internet sites of Betway, Unibet and WHG (International), which operates, had been blocked.
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The first container train headed for Riga departs from China

On Thursday, 20 October, Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis, representatives from LDz and YXE International Container Train, multiple Chinese officials and Latvia’s ambassador in China Maris Selga saw off the first test container train from China to Riga.

Customs officials intercept hashish shipment worth EUR 2 million

Latvian State Revenue Service’s Customs Police intercepted and confiscated a shipment of more than 200 kg of hashish worth EUR 2 million, as journalists were informed by SRS Customs Police Director Kaspars Podins on Thursday, 20 October.

SA: Riga Freeport has only realized one of five of our recommendations

Latvian State Audit follows the development of the largest investment projects especially carefully, because the state does not seem to handle them all that well. Krievu Island project is one of the largest investment projects, because there is European Union finances invested in it...

Job seekers in Lithuania want Western salaries, employers dumbstruck

Although Lithuanian labour market is in desperate for workforce, but those willing to toil will nod to a job offer only if the pay is really big. So big that the country‘s hirers feel like grabbing their heads upon hearing the candidates‘ salary expectations.

Overall government budget decreased in 2015

In 2015, the general government budget deficit amounted to EUR 309.0 million or 1.3% of the gross domestic product, whereas the general government consolidated gross debt amounted to EUR 8 846.3 million or 36.3% of the GDP.

SP: claims about Motorola’s murderer are an attempt to show Latvia as the enemy

Latvian Security Police views claims that Donetsk military commander Arseny Pavlov, aka Motorola, was allegedly killed by a hired killer from Latvia named Marks Ozolins is nothing more than yet another attempt at information war aimed to demonstrate Latvia and its citizens and enemies.

Estonian President Kaljulaid not to ask state to pay rent

Estonia’s new President Kersti Kaljulaid will not ask the state to pay rent for using her home unlike the former head of state Toomas Hendrik Ilves did.

Every third coin with Milda’s image has made its way to Europe

Every third euro coin with Milda’s image has found its way to Europe. The proportion of those coins in Latvia is 71% of all euro coins in circulation, according to monitoring data compiled by Citadele Bank’s CBL Cash Logistics service.

Estonia plans to increase female proportion in military

Estonia has announced plans to triple female involvement in the country’s Defence Forces and to expand the list of units accessible to woman soldiers by 2018.

Pre-paid mobile card users to be registered as part of a plan to reduce grey economy

At the meeting of state secretaries on 20 October, a proposal was presented from the transport ministry to begin registration of mobile pre-paid card users.

Next year’s budget plan and other decisions viewed by Saeima this week

On Thursday, 20 October, the Saeima will gather for an extraordinary meeting, during which deputies will discuss the next year’s budget plan and 57 associated legal drafts.

European Space Agency attempts to re-connect to its Mars probe

The European Space Agency has lost contact with its Mars probe on October 19 shortly prior to its planned landing on the planet.

Klauss withdraws from SRS personnel selection process

Kristaps Klauss, executive directors of Latvian Forest Industry Federation, has decided to withdraw from State Revenue Service’s personnel selection process.

Lembergs to continue testifying in court at the end of October

Aivars Lembergs, who is accused of serious crimes, will continue testifying in his own criminal case on 31 October, as confirmed by Riga Regional Court’s press-secretary Raimonds Locmelis.

Germany: No miracles accomplished at Normandy quartet negotiations in Berlin

Following the October 19 summit talks in Berlin over ending the Donbas War, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has evaluated that no miracles have been accomplished.

Rumours state Donetsk militant commander Motorola was killed by Latvian mercenary

On Wednesday, 19 October, rumours began surfacing on Ukrainian and Russian websites that Donetsk pro-Moscow militant commander Arseny Pavlov, aka Motorola, was possibly killed by Latvian mercenary named Marks Ozolins.

Clocks to be turned one hour back at the end of October

Daylight saving time will end in Latvia and elsewhere in the world on 30 October, when clocks will have to be turned one hour back.

More than half of businesses in Latvia have a website

63.5% of enterprises in Latvia had a website at the beginning 2016, which was 4.5 percentage points more than in 2015. Similarly to previous years, at the beginning of the present year a website was set up by most of the accommodation service and information and communication service providers.

Maxima in Estonia also attracts Latvians tackling shortage of workers

With many retailers in Estonia struggling to find workers for modestly-paid jobs, Lithuanian retail giant Maxima is attracting Estonians for afar and even Latvians to fill the vacant places.

Russia plans to apply discount on transit from Belarus equal to tariffs for Baltic ports

Russian Railways plans to consider the possibility to apply 25% discount for petrol, diesel fuel and crude transit from oil processing plants in Belarus to Russia’s north-west ports. This would provide tariffs equal to those applied for Baltic ports, as reported by Kommersant.

Grybauskaitė: Deploying Iskanders to Kaliningrad – agressive move against European capitals

The sending of nuclear-capable Iskander rockets to Russia’s western-most territory in Kaliningrad is an aggressive move against Europe’s capitals, evaluated Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė on October 18.

Dzintars: two crises in a row caused major decline in volume of sales

Legal protection process is a voluntary choice of the debtor if they experience financial difficulties but wish to continue economic activities. Two consecutive crises of 2008 and 2014 caused a sharp decline in the market and resulted in a deficit of turnover funds, notes Dzintars cosmetics manufacturer board member Dagnija Maike.

Names of SRS manager selection contest candidates become known

Candidates that have made it to the third stage of the selection process for the post of director general to the State Revenue Service include Andris Nikitins, Kaspars Rumba, Kristaps Klauss and Ilze Cirule, as reported by Panorāma programme of LTV.

EC: Rail Baltica route’s crossing of Vitrupe Valley is unacceptable

The European Commission urges Latvia to comply with environmental protection acts and take into account the report of its environmental institutions on how it is unacceptable to allow Rail Baltica’s Salacrgiva section to go through Vitrupe Valley.

Belgium seeks to convince Wallonia region over Ceta

Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders has stated on October 18 that European Union member states could reach an agreement on the EU-Canada trade deal in case the objections of the Belgian region of Wallonia can be met.