Latviski English По-русски
Sunday 18.03.2018 | Name days: Ilona, Adelīna

Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian, German ministers sign agreement on 1918 Independence Act

(No Ratings Yet)

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

Michael Roth (L), The German Minister of State for Europe at the German Foreign Ministry and Lithuanian Ambassador to Germany Deividas Matulionis present the historic document at the foreign ministry in Berlin, Germany.

The foreign ministers of Lithuania and Germany signed in Berlin on Thursday, October 5, an agreement on handover of the February 16, 1918 Independence Act to Lithuania for five years.

Starting next year, the Independence Act should be exhibited in the House of the Signatories in downtown Vilnius where it was signed almost 100 years ago. Liudas Mažylis, professor at Vytautas Magnus University, found the Council of Lithuania’s hand-written resolution proclaiming the restoration of an independent state of Lithuania with Vilnius as its capital, written by hand in Lithuanian and German and with 20 signatures on it, in the German Foreign Ministry’s archive in late March.

Presided by Jonas Basanavičius, the Council of Lithuania signed the Act of Independence in Vilnius on Feb. 16, 1918. Historians believe that several original copies of the document were signed on that day, but the whereabouts of the others are unknown.

SD leader against bid to grant more than 2 pc of GDP to defence

After Lithuania reaches 2 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) for defence next year, the defence funding should no longer be increased, with money directed towards reduction of social exclusion, says Gintautas Paluckas, the leader of the Social Democratic Party.

He expressed disapproval of the idea recently proposed in the parliament for leaders of parties to update the 2012 agreement, which envisaged reaching 2 percent of the GDP by 2020, as Lithuania should reach the indicator in 2018 already. The proposal to sign a new agreement of political parties on further increase of defence spending was on Thursday, October 5, circulated by a temporary team of supporters of the Lithuanian army and the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union.

Lithuania’s 2018 Sodra surplus projected at218 mn euro

The budget surplus of Lithuania’s social insurer Sodra is expected to reach 218 million euros in 2018, seven times the surplus planned for this year. According to the 2018 Sodra budget draft, the state-run social insurer should collect 4.23 billion euros in revenue next year, while expenditure should total 4.012 billion euros.

Sodra projects that the 2019 revenue will be 210 million euros above spending, climbing further to 41.8 million euros in 2020. In 2018, the social insurer expects to receive 132.7 million euros from the state budget for compensation of the general share of pensions due to the 1-percent decrease in the social insurance pension payment tariff. Next year, average old-age pensions should grow by about a tenth.

Finland’s Ahlstrom leaving Lithuania

Ahlstrom, global high-performance fibre-based materials company headquartered in Finland, is closing its service centre in Vilnius after three years of operation, sacking all of the staff. The company said the changes had to do with decentralization of the group’s services, not Lithuania’s investment environment.

Lithuania’s richest man co invests in Britain’s McColl’s

Lithuania’s richest man Nerijus Numavičius has invested another 33.6 million British pounds ( 37.85 mn euro) in the United Kingdom’s second-largest retail chain McColl’s Retail Group, becoming one of its biggest shareholders after buying nearly a tenth of its shares to bring the total portfolio to 11.3 per cent. Numavičius’ family office said the 9.9-per cent stake in McColl’s were purchased by UK company Klarus Capital Limited linked with Numavičius. With a chain of 1,650 small stores, McColl’s is the second-largest player on the British market after Tesco.

Lithuania turns to EC for compensation to farmers

Following heavy rains, the Lithuanian government on Thursday, October 5, turned to the European Commission (EC) with a request to compensate damages.

«The most affected farms face bankruptcy; new reports about damages incurred by farmers are received from municipalities on a daily basis. Amid the critical situation, we are asking the European Commission to earmark aid from the EU budget for compensation of damages for farmers affected by heavy rains,» reads the Lithuanian prime minister’s address to the EC chief.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė has received assurances from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that «there would be some kind of support».

Police detain plane bomb hoax suspect

Lithuanian police detained on Wednesday, October 5, a man suspected of making a hoax call about an explosive device on a plane. According to the Kaunas county police, the 24-year-old man was detained in the district of Kaunas and taken to a police station. British military jets were scrambled on Wednesday, October 5, to escort a Ryanair flight from Kaunas to London after the hoax call was received in the morning. The flight to London Luton was diverted to London Stansted for security reasons.

Ruling LFGU moves to allow medicines containing cannabis

Lawmakers of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) propose to allow the use of medicines containing cannabis. The proposed amendment to the Law on Pharmacy and the Law on the Control of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances would allow the medicinal use of such medicinal products if their safety and efficacy are proven by scientific research and if these products are registered. The amendments would take effect in 2019. The amendments have been registered by Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga, Ramūnas Karbauskis, head of the LFGU group in the Seimas, and Agnė Širinskienė, chairwoman of the parliament’s Committee on Health Affairs.

Lithuania under UN criticism for HIV treatment

Vinay Saldanha, director of the Regional Support Team for Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the United Nations AIDS program, has urged Lithuania to step up the treatment of persons diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Lithuania’s Health Ministry says that all infected individuals should shortly have access to state-financed treatment, while the current scheme only allows treatment after the disease has progressed. In Saldanha’s words, merely about 20 percent of HIV-positive people currently receive treatment, while Lithuania, just like many other countries, has committed itself to raising the number to 90 per cent by 2020. Lithuania’s Health Vice-Minister Aušra Bilotienė-Motiejūnienė told a news conference that, when it comes to treatment, the ministry has good news – it will provide treatment to everyone diagnosed with HIV. According to data provided by the Centre of Communicable Diseases and AIDS, 2,842 HIV-positive persons were registered in Lithuania by June 1 of this year.

President: Migration Department needs restructuring, not scrapping

President Dalia Grybauskaitė has voiced disagreement with Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas’ proposal to water down the Migration Department. In her words, problems of the migration system should be solved by restructuring the institution rather than dividing its functions among other institutions. The head of state says that scrapping the Migration Department would run counter to the European Union (EU) law and international practice.


Leave a reply

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.

President: we will not give away our scientists’ ideas for free

It is necessary to concentrate all resources on research performed by Latvian scientists with patent potential. This will help secure returns for Latvia’s national economy, said President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis during his meeting with rector of Riga Technical University Artūrs Zeps.

Newest comments