Latviski English По-русски
Monday 19.03.2018 | Name days: Jāzeps

Week in Lithuania. Interior Ministry: Staff of Lithuania's migration system assisted in illegal entry schemes

(No Ratings Yet)

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

Employees of the Lithuanian migration system were involved in schemes facilitating illegal entry in the country, Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas has confirmed on March 7.

The information was provided by special services at a meeting of the parliamentary National Security and Defence Committee. In the minister’s words, the services submitted a classified report specifying the names of officers of the migration system that helped the bogus migration schemes.

Asked whether the names were known, Misiūnas told journalists after the closed meeting: «Yes (…). Some of the names, as far as I know, have not been part of the system for a long time, I am not familiar with other names and I will have to check whether they are still employed in the system.»

He said the report did not specify the institutions that the people were working at, only stating that there was no evidence of remuneration for the assistance to bogus migration organizers.

Vytautas Bakas, chairman of the National Security and Defence Committee, said that the current migration system was highly beneficial for illegal migration organizers who «serve people so that they could not enter the country or faced major problems.»

Defence minister again slandered

Fake news about Lithuania’s Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis allegedly recognising Crimea as part of Russia was published online in the Russian, Ukrainian and English languages on Monday, March 5. According to Karoblis, this was «another an attempt to set partners against each other and undermine the society’s trust in Lithuania’s support to Ukraine and discredit Lithuania on the international arena.» According to the report, Karoblis stated the position at the U.S.-Lithuania Defense Forum in late February and shocked the reporters, however, the minister was not even present at the event.

PMs emphasise importance of joint energy projects

The prime ministers of Lithuania and Poland on Friday, March 9, emphasised the importance of joint energy projects, first of all the synchronisation of the electricity networks of the three Baltic countries and the gas interconnection. Both countries also signed a memorandum on enhanced energy cooperation. After the Vilnius meeting with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the head of Lithuania’s government, Saulius Skvernelis, said the memorandum would step up the cooperation between the two neighbouring states.

President dismisses justice minister

President Dalia Grybauskaitė on Wednesday, March 7, signed a decree on dismissing Milda Vainiūtė from the position of justice minister. The head of state appointed Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas as caretaker justice minister from March 9. After over a year in office, Vainiūtė handed her resignation on Tuesday to Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis following public allegations that the ministry’s leadership had interfered with an audit of the prison system and criticism from the president.

PM: allegations against MP Majauskas are a «family matter»

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said last Thursday, March 8, that the scandal surrounding Conservative MP Mykolas Majauskas, who has been publicly accused of sexual misconduct, seems to be, at least for now, a family matter. In an interview with the Info TV station last Tuesday, a young female accused Majauskas of unwelcome sexual behaviour toward her in his apartment more than five years ago. The woman, who was an adult high school student at that time, said that she knew of several other women who had been allegedly subjected to sexual misconduct by Majauskas. The embattled MP said in a press release on Tuesday, March 6, that he was suspending his membership in the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats.

Speaker proposes to consider changing time of Seimas sessions

Viktoras Pranckietis, the speaker of the Seimas, proposed Thursday, March 8, to consider amending the Constitution to change the time of the Lithuanian parliament’s regular sessions. According to Pranckietis, both spring and autumn sessions could open earlier than now and start on a Tuesday, the usual day of plenary sittings, rather than on specific dates. Under the Constitution, the parliament’s spring session currently starts on March 10 and ends on June 30 and its autumn session opens on September 10 and closes on December 23. The Seimas has started its spring session this Saturday.

PM: government to decide on further tax reform this month

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says that the government will decide on a further tax reform by the end of March and will then put forward its proposals to the ruling coalition partners and the public. According to him, the preparatory work is currently being finalized. The government will this month make final decisions and will then present them to the ruling political groups in the Seimas and will then put them up for a broad public discussion.

EC: Lithuania has to increase investment in human capital

The European Commission identifies increasing investment in human capital, and boosting productivity and labour supply as key challenges for Lithuania. The Commission also points out in its latest report that demographic trends in Lithuania «are negative due to strong emigration, and are aggravated by bad health outcomes».

Liberalised power supplies ahead

Energy Ministry plans to liberalise the electricity market for household consumers by 2020 to allow residents to choose a electricity supplier they prefer. Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas says that the process will not be sudden and, therefore, should result in higher electricity prices, adding that decisions would be reviewed, should this happen. Meanwhile, MP Linas Balsys, a member of the parliamentary Environment Protection Committee, said that «elimination of regulation of retail prices is a direct path towards higher prices» under monopoly conditions.

Kaliningrad sends signal to Baltic states

As Russia launched two new heat and power plants in Kaliningrad launched last week, the Baltic states and Poland should accelerate the project of synchronisation with continental Europe, Lithuania’s government officials and energy experts say. Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas says that the increased electricity production in the Kaliningrad region was part of Moscow’s preparations for the planned disconnection of the Baltic countries from the Russian BRELL system.

President criticises government’s pension plans

President Dalia Grybauskaitė criticised on Tuesday, March 5, the ruling bloc’s «vague» plans to overhaul the pension and tax systems and warned against raising expectations that cannot be delivered. The president added that the same held true for the planned pension system overhaul. She also noted that Lithuania had become «a laggard» in the absorption of EU funds, using a mere 19 per cent of EU money in 2017, and called on the Seimas to ensure that the process remains smooth during a change of government.

Ref: 020/

Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania. Some 5,000 gather in protest rally outside Lithuania's Parliament

Some 5,000 people gathered outside the Lithuanian parliament in Vilnius on Thursday, March 15, to express discontent with the failed parliamentary vote to impeach MP Mindaugas Bastys and the performance of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union.

BNN summary of the week: oligarch talks’ ownership; scandals in Lithuania; Estonia wants direct democracy

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Progress; Scandals; Invitation; Fight; Opinion; Decline.

Remembrance day of Latvian Legionnaires passes with shouts and two arrests

The Legionnaires’ remembrance procession in Riga on Friday, 16 March, passed peacefully. Nevertheless, several conflicts did take place among differently-minded people near the Freedom Monument. Two individuals were arrested by police.

Influenza intensity in Latvia – moderate when compared to other European nations

A comparison of influenza activity in Europe shows that it is high or very high in several countries. Latvia’s influenza intensity is considered moderate, as noted by epidemiologist Raina Nikiforova.

Hourly labour costs in Latvia grew 7.3% in 2017

Compared to Q4 2016, in Q4 2017 hourly labour costs rose by 54 cents or 7.3 %, reaching EUR 8.02. Seasonally adjusted data show identical changes – rise of 7.3 %.

Rietumu Banka claims it has not worked with high-risk clients for years

Rietumu Banka has been steadily rejecting high-risk clients for years and has significantly reduced the volume of transactions, as mentioned by the bank’s representatives.

Lithuanian and Estonian businessmen are ahead of Latvia in terms of investments

In Latvia, 36% of small and medium-sized companies have plans to invest in the development of their business this year. In Estonia and Lithuania, on the other hand, the proportion of businesses with development plans is 42% and 46%, respectively, according to results of a recent study performed by SEB Bank.

Russia pledges maximum pressure on UK amid ex-spy poisoning row

Russian top diplomat in the UK has envisaged on Friday, March 16, that the Kremlin would use maximum pressure on London as Moscow insists it has not been involved in the poisoning of a former Russian-British double agent with a Russian-made chemical weapon, as has been found by British investigators.

Latvia’s ministry: Crimea’s annexation is illegal

18 March 2018 will mark four years since the Russian Federation violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by annexing the Crimean Peninsula and causing military aggression in the country’s eastern region. With its actions the Russian Federation has violated international law and basic principles of international relation, says Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Building gas pipe to Finland, Estonia to organise works for EUR 135 million

Continuing the works on the Balticconnector gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland, the Estonian natural gas network company Elering has stated that around 135 million euros, including a 98-million-euro funding from the European Union, will be invested in the project.

Replacement of cash registers rejected by SRS would cost half a million euros

The State Revenue Service has declined 18,000 cash registers as unfitting for requirements established by the Cabinet of Ministers. Fixing the problems found in them would cost half a million euros, as reported by LNT News.

Latvian Anti-Nazi Committee presented with protest restrictions on 16 March

Administrative District Court has compiled a shortened ruling, in which it rejected Latvian Anti-Nazi Committee’s application and preserved the decision imposed by Riga City acting CEO on 13 March 2018 on establishing restrictions on the planned gathering and protest act for 16 March unchanged.

U.S. introduces Russian sanctions for election meddling and cyber-attacks

Washington has introduced sanctions against 19 Russian individuals and five entities blaming them for attempts to sway the 2016 U.S. election and perceived cyber-attacks.

Slovakian PM Fico replaced with fellow party member

Slovakian head of government Robert Fico has stepped down after the murder of a journalist shed light on corruption in Slovakia, prompting nationwide protests. The long-standing Prime Minister had offered to resign earlier this week if the ruling coalition was allowed to finish its term.

Weekends will be cold and sunny in Latvia; next week will have volatile weather

Starting with Sunday, 18 March, air temperature in Latvia will rise above zero in most of the country, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Lithuania’s ruling LFGU party remains unscathed by scandals

It seems that, for now, Lithuania‘s ruling Farmers and Green Union has been nearly damage-proof despite the lambasting.

Latvian Civic Alliance: non-government sector should aim towards cooperation

Latvian Civic Alliance has invited the management of Latvia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry to meet to discuss ongoing cooperation between organizations representing the business sector and the NGO sector.

Saeima rejects National Alliance’s proposal to make 16 March an official remembrance day

Latvia’s Saeima has decided to reject the proposal submitted by the National Alliance on making 16 March an official remembrance day.

43.6% of Latvian households have difficulties with making ends meet

In 2017 the share of households admitting that pay for usual necessary expenses with difficulty or great difficulty constituted 43.6 %, which is 1.5 percentage points more than in 2016.

Saeima voices support for Rail Baltica project’s progression

On Thursday, 15 March, the Saeima made a decision to support Rail Baltica project’s progression. In its decision, the parliament invited Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers to provide all the necessary support for the project’s successful realization to ensure the project is realized in accordance with established terms and does not lose funding or support from the European Union, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Fast snow shovelling linked to cardiac fatalities, Finnish study finds

In Finish doctoral study, it has been concluded that snow should be shovelled calmly, not provoking stress and increased adrenaline in human blood that could lead to cardiac arrest.

Riga’s mayor spent at least eight million euros of residents’ money to promote himself

Over the course of the past three years, at least EUR 8 million of residents’ money has been used to promote the image of the Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs. This money was used to buy media, employ young members of Harmony, and finance ‘in-house protestors’ and using social networks, as estimated by Re:Baltica research journalism center.

Slovenia's head of government resigns amid protests and struggling railway investment

The Slovenian head of government Miro Cerar has stepped down from office in reaction to troubles with an expensive railway project and mounting opposition by trade unions.

NAF Commander: Latvia and Estonia have joint military procurements planned

Latvia and Estonia have joint military procurements planned, Commander of Latvia’s National Armed Forces Leonīds Kalniņš told journalists after his meeting with Commander of Estonia’s Defence Forces Riho Terras.

Estonia's switch to free higher education proved right choice, says Ratas

The switch to free higher education made by Estonia in 2013 has proved to be the right choice for a small country, even though critics have pointed to potentially less motivated students, has stated the Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

Newest comments