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Monday 21.08.2017 | Name days: Linda, Janīna
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Week in Lithuania. Lithuania to make lotteries less accessible

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In an effort to make lotteries less accessible, Lithuania’s Finance Ministry intends to set a minimum age limit of 16 years, restrict lottery advertisement, regulate names and appearance of tickets.

«The goal of changing the Lottery Law is to make them less accessible, boost protection of lottery participants and ensure transparent lottery operations,» Arnoldas Dilba of the Gaming Control Authority, said.

According to the changes envisaged in the new language of the law to planned to take effect on May 1 2019, the ban on lottery participation for persons under the age of 16 would apply to buying lottery tickets and participation in online lotteries. Currently, there is no minimum age limit for lotteries in Lithuania. According to data provided by the Gaming Control Authority, five companies and a small partnership organized major lotteries in Lithuania at the end of June. Lottery organizers posted 42.963 million euros in revenue from ticket distribution in the first six months of this year, up by 7.9 percent year-on-year.

Saakashvili in Vilnius: Russia readying to take over Belarus

Former Georgia’s leader Mikheil Saakashvili said in Vilnius that Belarus would be Moscow’s next target. In his words, NATO currently views the Moscow threat more realistically, therefore, the threat the Baltic states are faced now is smaller than it was a few years ago, however, the risk of betrayal on the side of the Western world remains. Saakashvili, 49, is currently a person without a citizenship. He had his Ukrainian citizenship revoked by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko last month.

Lithuania cleared for exports to New Zealand

New Zealand has cleared Lithuanian companies to export frozen composite products. The Lithuanian Food and Veterinary Service said that composite frozen exports permits had been finalized on Wednesday, August 9. Composite frozen products are food products are food products consisting of a few products for fast consumption. Frozen pizza is one of the best examples. Earlier this year, Japan opened its market for Lithuanian poultry and beef, permits for dairy exports to New Zealand were also updated this year.

Passenger flow via airports down 14 per cent

Lithuania’s international airports of Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga handled an aggregate of 407,900 passengers in July, down by 14 percent, from 472,500, year-on-year. The decline was mainly due to closure of the Vilnius airport for reconstruction. Ireland’s Ryanair was the only airline not to move any flights to Kaunas, while other companies didn’t move all of their flights. In July, Vilnius Airport posted a decline in passenger traffic by a factor of 2.8 to 136,200, while passenger numbers at Kaunas Airport soared by a factor of 3.4 to 235,800 and those at Palanga Airport surged by 35 percent to 35,900 passengers. The number of flights fell by a factor of 2.6 in Vilnius to 1,417, surged by a factor of 3.2 in Kaunas to 2,334 and rose by 17 percent in Palanga to 582.

Customs crack human trafficking ring

Lithuanian border guards and their foreign colleagues have cracked an international human trafficking ring – the investigation found that the plotters aimed to bring Ukrainians currently in Lithuania to the United Kingdom for forced labour. Officers of the criminal branch of the State Border Guard Service and the Coast Guard Unit apprehended three Lithuanian and one Ukrainian citizens in the Šiauliai and Mažeikiai districts, northern Lithuania, on Monday, August 7.The border guards believe the group planned to unlawfully transport the Ukrainians abroad and use them for physical labour in slavery. Information from Ukrainian authorities suggests that searches in the country’s territory revealed illicit firearms and forged documents, which were possibly used to take people abroad.

Customs bust 600 kg of cocaine in Klaipėda

A shipment of more than 600 kg of cocaine was busted in the Lithuanian port city of Klaipėda, one of the biggest cases of drugs smuggling in Lithuania’s history, Klaipėda territorial customs said on Wednesday, August 9. The drugs were discovered in equipment received from Ecuador by officers of the Customs Criminal Service and the Klaipėda Territorial Customs Division. The approximate value of the drugs on black market totals at nearly 49 million euros. The recipient of the dispatch was thought to be in Russia.

Ministry suggests raising state-supported income

The Social Security and Labour Ministry on Wednesday, August 9, proposed raising the level of state supported income to 122 euros per month. The level, applied when calculating monetary social benefits for the poor, is currently 102 euros. In 2015, about 22 percent of the population lived below the poverty risk line. According to the ministry’s calculations, raising the state-supported income will require an additional 6.8 million euros from the state budget annually, in addition to 64.8 million euros from municipal budget. The state-supported income was last increased in August of 2008 from 68 euros to then 102 euros per month.

Government mulls moving ministries next to Seimas

Lithuania’s government is considering moving 12 ministries to a building complex next to the parliament. To translate the plan into reality, the building should be built from scratch in a territory owned by the parliament and earlier planned for a new dormitory for MPs. According to daily Lietuvos Rytas, the Foreign Ministry and the Defence Ministry would be the only ones to remain in their current locations.

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