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Monday 23.01.2017 | Name days: Strauta, Grieta
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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
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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 Williamhill.com, had been blocked.
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LBLA: businesses in Latvia find it difficult to produce biological food

There is still a disproportion between production and processing volumes of biological agriculture products in Latvia. Companies produce more than they process. This is why it is important to develop processing, believes board member of Latvian Biological Agricultural Association and Aloja Starkelsen Janis Garancs.

PHOTO: women’s solidarity march in Riga

On Saturday, 21 January, voluntary women’s solidarity events under a single title – Sister march – were organized around the world. In Riga, the event gathered at least 200 people.

De facto: NA opposes businessmen’s efforts to change requirements for guest workers

Business organizations want the government to review requirements for attraction of guest workers, because it is nearly impossible to find workers in many fields. But the proposal’s viewing in the government has come to a halt because of arguments against it from the National Alliance, as reported by De Factor programme of LTV.

Kudors: Baltics should arm themselves with strategic patience

In relations with Russia, Baltics should arm themselves with strategic patience in the next several years, as stated in Latvia’s Foreign Policy Institute’s compilation on Latvia’s external and security policy.

Little precipitation is expected in Latvia this week; frost expected

On Monday, 23 January, weather in Latvia will be dictated by a small low atmospheric pressure area. With that, some precipitation is expected in many parts of Latvia: mostly rain and wet snow. Wind will draw in from the south-west and air temperature will stay within 0° C… +4° C, as reported by Environmental, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. CIA declassifies document on Lithuania’s post-WWII guerrillas

A report about guerrilla fighting against the Soviet occupation after World War II is among hundreds of thousands of declassified documents published online by the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

People no longer believe in their own country, because they associate it with people who make decisions

The biggest threat to Latvia is the fact that society, including state officials, is afraid. People are afraid of change, afraid of voicing their thoughts (thoughts that often do not comply with the politically correct stance), afraid of being misunderstood. Fear makes it harder to develop. It limits people’s internal freedom. Such is the opinion Inga Antane, president of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics and sworn attorney of Triniti law firm, explained in her interview to Atbalsts.

Expert: «Lithuania’s renewed National Security Strategy is a «hodgepodge»

This week, the Lithuanian Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a renewed National Security Strategy, laying out 14 major hazards and risk factors to national security.

Industry: advertisements contribute the entire economy of the European Union

Every euro invested in advertisement has seven times the influence on a country’s GDP. Every one euro brings seven euros in return to the country’s GDP, as emphasized by Latvian Advertising Association, noting that advertisement sector contributes to employment in all of the European Union.

Six deputies applied with administrative penalties in Saeima’s autumn session

According to information provided to the parliament, six deputies were applied with administrative penalties during Saeima’s autumn session.

Slower economic growth for Estonia forecast – at 2.2% - for 2017

The economic growth of Estonia in 2017 will be slower than previously expected, Swedbank economists have announced lowering their previous economic forecast for the Baltic country by 0.2% to 2.2%.

Latvian and Lithuanian authorities dismantle two criminal groups

Latvian State Revenue Service’s Finance Police has successfully apprehended two organized crime groups that caused significant damage to the state budget in 2015 and 2016 by realizing different VAT fraud schemes.

Estonia to drop special pensions, push forward sweeping pension reforms

The Estonian government has decided to drop special pensions and to push forward with plans regarding other significant changes in the pension system, including tying the retirement age to the average life expectancy.

KNAB performs inspection about Jakrins’ approval in the board of Rīgas satiksme

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau intends to inspect if the approval of acting head of Riga City Council’s Transport Department Emils Jakrins in the management board of Rīgas satiksme had any signs of breach of good management principles.

Chinese GDP up 6.7% in 2016

World’s second largest economy has seen a 6.7% growth in 2016, Chinese official data show, which indicate that the gross-domestic-product increase has been slower than the 6.9% seen in 2015 and the slowest since 1990.

Dozens buried in Italy’s avalanche-stricken hotel

Italy has been shaken by a number of earthquakes this week, one of which has triggered an avalanche burying a mountain hotel, where at least two people have been found dead and dozens more a searched for through rubble and snow.

Weekends to experience frost and thaw; drivers urged to be careful

Weather in Latvia will not be stable in the next couple of days – cloudy weather with some precipitation will be mixed with periods of clear sky, according to State Environmental, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Logistics Industry Council assesses results of 16+1 summit

Experts say container cargoes have the potential to bring major contribution to the logistics sector. With that, LDz Logistics intends to continue organizing the next container train from China, as well as cooperate with partners from Belarus and China in the context of the Great Stone industrial park, as BNN was informed by Transport Ministry’s representative Ilze Greiskalna.

Parliament supports amendments to avoid expensive land-measuring actions

It will no longer be necessary to prepare land border plan for entry of land units in the Land Book. It will help save budget funds, as it will not be necessary to perform land-measuring actions, as reported by Saeima press-service.

CP supervisors concerned about Latvijas Gāze’s contract terms

The Competition Council is concerned about Latvijas Gāze’s behaviour in the process of liberalization of the country’s gas market. Economy Ministry has submitted a draft of the Gas Trade and Use Rules to the Cabinet of Ministers Committee for review.

Germany seeks clarity from Trump’s government, to boost military spending

Berlin has emphasised plans to increase defence spending after facing criticism from upcoming U.S. President Donald Trump on NATO countries not meeting their spending commitments.

Saeima re-elects Elita Krumina as State Auditor

On Thursday, 19 January, the Saeima re-elected Elita Krumina in the post of State Auditor.

Saeima supports formation of aircraft passenger data registry to combat terrorism

On Thursday, 19 January, Latvia’s Saeima approved the Aircraft Passenger Data Processing Law in the final reading. This will form the passenger data registry.

Milk retail price in Estonia reaches 55 cents per litre after to price hikes

After a long period of low milk purchase prices in Estonia, milk retail prices in the Baltic country have increased twice, reaching the point where famers receive just enough to cover milk production costs.

Ventspils Freeport carries Lembergs around with luxurious car worth EUR 156,000

In spite of a 16.44% turnover decline, Ventspils Freeport bought a lux-class Audi A8L W12 for EUR 156,000 last year. It’s only known passenger so far has been the formally suspended chairman of Ventspils City Council Aivars Lembergs, as reported by Latvijas Avīze.

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