bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Sunday 26.02.2017 | Name days: Mētra, Evelīna, Aurēlija
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian leaders embrace Donald Trump‘s victory, to use contacts with his entourage

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius

Lithuania has contacts with people in U.S. President-elect Donald Trump‘s entourage, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said on Wednesday, November 9.

«We have to focus on what is important for us and what work we need to do, and we are ready to work with the new (US) administration in the same spirit that has been built up over decades…The long-standing traditional, strategic, strong bonds cannot fade away. We have reasons to say so, because we know the Republicans very well and we have a lot of friends among them. In fact, we have a number of contacts among those around Trump too,» he said.

Linkevičius underscored that it is too early to make predictions about Trump‘s foreign policy judging only from what he said during his presidential election campaign. In the minister‘s words, this will depend strongly on whom the new president selects for his team.

«We have no doubt that these will be people who are familiar to us and who will also shape, in a sense, the (foreign) policy. We will see who is appointed secretary of state, who becomes defense secretary and who becomes national security advisor. We will then be able to draw conclusions,» the ministersaid.

Meanwhile,President Dalia Grybauskaitė, following Trump‘s victory,emphasised that Lithuania respects the Americans‘ choice.

«We trust the United States, as it is our strongest and closest ally,»the head-of-state said  on Wednesday, November 9. «We will actively work with the new US administration on the bilateral level, under the US-Baltic Charter, in NATO and other international organizations. Strong trans-Atlantic ties between the United States and Europe is the best response to the geopolitical challenges,» she added.

Seimas speaker gives mark 7 to outgoing Seimas

Parliamentary speaker, Loreta Graužinienė, rates the outgoing Seimas at 7 out of 10 points for its performance.Graužinienė listed the introduction of direct mayoral elections, reintroduction of mandatory military conscription and the increasing of defense spending as key achievements of the outgoing parliament, which is holding its last sitting in the afternoon.

«I‘d single out the adoption of legislation on direct mayoral elections (…), as well as the entire national defense package, the reintroduction of conscription and other laws related to the security of our state and our people,» the speaker said.

Marriot hotel planned to replace Žalgiris stadium

A four-star hotel Courtyard by Marriot should be built in the territory of the former Žalgiris Stadium in central Vilnius in mid-2018. On Wednesday, November 9, real estate development company Hanner signed a franchise contract with Marriot International, the world’s largest hotel group.In case of successful project implementation of plans, this will be the first hotel of the chain in the Baltic States.

«After analyzing the market, we saw that four-star hotels were the most popular in Lithuania last year and, compared with hotels of higher class, welcomed 5-6 times more guests. Therefore, we decided that the trademark would best suit the local market,» Hanner board chairman Arvydas Avulis told a news conference.

Markus Lehnert, Marriott International‘s vice-president for the Europ ean region, said the deal with Hanner was finalized very fast.Construction of the 200-room hotel has already been started, with investment of 20 million euros planned in the project.

Border guards bust asylum seekers fleeing Latvia

Lithuanian border guards detained in early hours of Thursday, November 10, a group of Afghan citizens and a citizen of Pakistan who had applied for asylum in Latvia and later left the country.The group was captured aboard two automobiles driven by two Latvian citizens, the State Border Guard Service said. The group included six Afghan nationals and a citizen of Pakistan, including four minors.According to the press release, the asylum-seekers had fled the country without the right to do so, furthermore, the Afghan nationals had been busted in Lithuania before.Lithuanian border guards established that all seven foreigners had applied for asylum in Latvia, therefore, were not allowed to leave the country until their applications had been processed.It also turned out that the Afghans had been detained under similar circumstances in early September en route to Poland.

President sees judicial system as elite of law-enforcement

Lithuania‘s judicial system has to undergone major overhaul, and judges are the elite of the country‘s law-enforcement sector, President Dalia Grybauskaitė said, adding that judges were the most educated and the most dedicated to the state. «I want to celebrate you. You are the elite of our law-enforcement, the most educated and dedicated to the state, focused on the people and understanding people. This is the judicial system I see now,» said the president. Grybauskaitė recalled the «extensive resistance from the judicial system» during her first years of her term in office when she tried to prove that «drunk judges walking around corridors» was something very wrong.

Lithuania supports Poland for UN Security Council

Lithuania has expressed support to Poland running for the United Nations Security Council, Foreign Ministry said on Thursday after consultations between UN departments of both countries. the United Nations Security Council. During the meeting, Oskaras Jusys, director of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry‘s Department for United Nations, International Organizations and Human Rights, voiced support to Poland‘s non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council for the 2018–2019 period, reads the press release.

Outgoing PM reiterates support for reform of labour relations

Reform of the social model is vital, Lithuania‘s Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius restated a few times at the final meeting of the 2012-2016 parliament on Thursday, November 10.

«The social model that has been prepared is an in-depth structural reform, which is an investment in the perspective of Lithuania’s economic and social well-being. I stick to my opinion – the reform is vital to attract investors and pave way for new jobs, which are not created by the administration but by successful businesses, to ensure faster rise of wages, to facilitate stronger social guarantees and eliminate social exclusion, to ensure better equality of income,» said the outgoing PM.

Income tax relief for those making under 1,000 euros

Saulius Skvernelis, candidate for Lithuania‘s new prime minister, says that no major tax reforms are planned for the nearest future, however, does not rule out revision of taxes linked with employment income, including the residents‘ income tax and social insurance fees.

«At the beginning, there is potential to balance and restructure the employee taxation system. Today we have the (state-run social insurer) Sodra fee, which includes the share of the employer and the employee, the residents‘ income tax and various additional taxes – I mean the mandatory health insurance, which is a total mess. We could introduce two taxes here, namely, the residents‘ income tax generated from other smaller taxes, and have a pension insurance tax instead of the Sodra tax – there would be different tariffs and some progression,» Skvernelis said.

EU auditor calls on Lithuania to live on own

With no major EU aid likely to be provided to Lithuania after 2020, the country should take efforts to ensure that the available European funds yield a return for the state, Rimantas Šadžius, a former finance minister and now a member of the European Court of Auditors (ECA), said.

In his words, EU aid money needs to be invested and generate a return. «We won‘t be receiving much EU money in Lithuania after 2020. The task is to accumulate the money that is coming now in financial instruments funds so as to use it many times,» the ECA member said.

Lithuania has secured 8.39 billion euros in support from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) for the 2014-2020 period, including 4.6 billion euros in aid for less-developed regions.

EC cuts Lithuania‘s2016 GDP growth forecast

The European Commission has revised down its forecast of Lithuania‘s GDP growth this year to 2 percent, from 3.1 percent projected in May.Lithuania‘s economic growth should accelerate to 2.7 percent in 2017, down from an earlier forecast of 3.1 percent, and quicken further to 2.8 percent in 2018, the Commission said in its autumn forecast released on Wednesday, November 9.

Peasants hold responsibility for state governance

The Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union takes responsibility for state governance after forming the ruling coalition, President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Wednesday, November 9, before proposing candidate for prime minister to the parliament next week.

«By choosing cooperation with the Social Democrats, the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union takes the bulk of the burden of state governance,» Grybauskaitė said in a statement.«I will submit the candidate for prime minister to the parliament next week. I hope that we, in accordance with requirements of transparency and competences, will together and smoothly form a government, which will be capable of new quality of state governance,» she added.

Lithuanian Energy group to issue bonds

Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), Lithuania‘s state-run energy holding company, intends a bond issue of nominal value of 50-100 million euros in mid-2017 linked with renewable energy projects it is working on. The group’s CEO Dalius Misiūnas says the new financial instrument will allow completing the projects without grants and furthermore employ people‘s savings.

«We are now putting together a plan for the bond issue. It is a new thing, we have not issued bonds until now and mainly lived on bank loans, however, now is a good time for the bond issue, given the company‘s rather fair history, the issue should be linked with investments in renewable energy, also possibly with our cogeneration power plant projects,» Misiūnas said.

In his words, the value of the first bond issue could be 50-100 million euros, with the money first of all spent on existing and projected windmill parks.The CEO  says the yields of the bonds could be similar to the interest of six-year green bonds issued by Latvia‘s Latvenergo earlier this year, which stood at about 2 percent.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.4325


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian PM, Conservative leader hold unannounced meeting

The Lithuanian branch of Finland's OP Corporate Bank announced it will lend 19.69 million euros to the city of Vilnius, with the money to be directed towards refinancing of the municipality's earlier loans.

BNN summary of the week: less pay for overtime and citizenship for all in Estonia

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories, including change, business, decline, truth, growth and future.

State Audit: Healthcare Ministry had no right to reveal RAKUS audit results

State Audit criticizes Healthcare Ministry for revealing facts from an audit report, as it is prohibited to publish information before reports come into force.

Piebalgs: UGF’s popularity is critically low, which causes concerns

«The popularity of the management of the Union of Greens and Farmers is critically low. This causes serious concerns. If we truly want things to change, politicians have to be dynamic and prepared to think outside the usual categories,» says Unity chairman Andris Piebalgs.

SFRS: young people express increased interest in becoming fire fighters

Youngsters tend to express interest in becoming fire fighters, said Chief of State Fire and Rescue Service Oskars Abolins told Rīta panorama, adding that this can be explained with increased wages.

Ex-KNAB officials: there was no reason to end the «oligarchs case»

Former officials of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau believe the prosecutor’s office and KNAB had no reasons to end the so-called oligarchs case. Nevertheless, they are not surprised about this outcome.

Infrastructure in Kraslava and Ludza to be developed using EU finances

Central Finance and Contracting Agency and councils of Kraslava and Ludza have signed an agreement for the realization of a project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund to develop infrastructure in regions and contribute to attraction of private investors, CFLA reports.

Poland «cleans» its army leadership from Soviet Era servicemen

In the Polish Armed Forces, around 90% of its highest servicemen have been substituted, as the country’s Defence Ministry performs was changes in the Polish army.

Balta: poor weather conditions significantly affect road quality

«In the first two months of 2017, we have received 59 insurance claims to cover losses caused low-quality road surface and more than EUR 20,000 has been reserved for compensations,» as reported by Balta insurance association.

GSK Latvia board member appointed as chairman of Children's Clinical University Hospital

Valts Abols has been appointed as the head of Children's Clinical University Hospital. For the past 20 years he worked in managing posts of GlaxoSmithKline Latvia pharmaceutical company, as reported by Healthcare Ministry.

Estonia celebrates 99th anniversary since declaration of its independence

On February 24, it is Estonia’s Independence Day, which commemorates the time in February 1918, when a short period of foreign power vacuum was used to declare the establishment of the Republic of Estonia.

VNT recognised as the best employer in Kurzeme Region for the third time

On Thursday, 23 February, for the third year in row Ventspils nafta termināls received an award in the category Best Employer in Kurzeme Region presented by the online recruitment company CV-Online Latvia.

Welfare Ministry proposes reducing overtime pay

Latvian Welfare Ministry proposes reducing overtime pay for the first time two hours by half, says WM Egils Zarins.

Russia recognises its military involved in «intelligent, effective propaganda»

Russian Defence Ministry has recognised publicly for the first time the magnitude of its warfare effort, adding it has been significantly expanded in the post-Cold War period.

SRS urges residents to use return option for overpaid PIT

Next week, Latvian State Revenue Service will begin accepting income declarations for 2016 for the repayment of PIT. The list of justifiable expenses has been expanded this year, allowing residents to recover part of the money paid for child interest clubs, SRS reports.

Major Lithuanian cities’ mayors frown at Government’s refugee relocation plan

With the refugee centre in Rukla in central Lithuania full and tensions in the settlement simmering, the Lithuanian Government has come up with a plan to shut eventually down the centre, relocating its dwellers to Lithuanian municipalities.

Bosnia appeals against ICJ’s ruling on Serbia’s role in genocide

Bosnia and Herzegovina has officially appealed against the International Court of Justice’s ruling, which did not hold Serbia responsible for genocide against Bosniaks in the 1990s.

Meteorologists predict more snow in Latvia this week

Weather in Latvia will remain dictated by an active cyclone this week. Because of that, frequent bursts of precipitation are expected. Wind speed will be high and there is a risk of a blizzard, as reported by the State Environmental, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

HM: management of finances and resources has not been effective in Riga Eastern Hospital

«Insufficiently active management and unreasonable decisions made by the management of Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital have significantly affected financial results of this healthcare institution,» believes Latvian Healthcare Ministry.

RPIVA representatives to demand Sadurskis’ resignation

On Tuesday, 28 February, Riga Teacher Training and Management Academy intends to organize a piquet outside of the Cabinet of Ministers building. The goal of this protest act is to demand the resignation of Latvian Education and Science Minister Karlis Sadurskis and halt the process of the academy’s liquidation.

Estonia with its start-up visas attracts specialists from Ukraine and India

In January 2017, Estonia introduced a special start-up visa programme, to which 50 specialists have applied, mostly from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and India.

Survey: Latvian residents’ comprehension of life insurance is low

Only approximately every third Latvian resident is certain that life insurance should be necessary for people with large debts. This means residents’ overall understanding of the concept of life insurance is low, as stated in the survey performed by ERGO, DNB Bank and SKDS, comparing results with average indexes in other European countries.

Baldzens: Latvia’s education system is over-financed; teachers are not to blame

Teachers’ pay must not rely on how successfully the government and municipality handle school network’s reorganization, said the head of Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia Egils Baldzens told Rīta panorama on Thursday, 23 February.

Two Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital board members step down

Chairperson of Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital Anita Slokenberga and board member Viestura Boka have stepped down from their posts.

Latvian Saeima ratifies EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

On Thursday, 23 February, Latvia’s parliament ratified the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

Newest comments