bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 29.05.2017 | Name days: Raivis, Raivo, Maksis
LithuaniaLithuania

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

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

Chairman of the Lithuanian Homeland Union party Gabrielius Landsbergis

Lithuania’s PM Saulius Skvernelis and the leader of the opposition conservatives, Gabrielius Landsbergis, held an unannounced meeting at the government on Wednesday, February 22. The prime minister’s spokesman and Landsbergis both refused to elaborate on the meeting.

Furthermore, neither of them specified who had initiated the meeting. Spotted at the government, Landsbergis told media corps he could not remember who exactly had initiated the meeting, emphasizing it was a «private» conversation that was not harmonized with the rest of the party’s leadership. The conservatives’ leader said the meeting only addressed two issues, including Skvernelis’ upcoming participation in the conservative party’s congress. Landsbergis refused to comment whether the meeting addressed the planned reform of forestry companies, possible coalitions, relations with coalition partners, the Social Democrats. However, the meeting elicited rumours that the Farmers-and-Greens Party, Lithuania’s ruling party may consider the Conservatives as their new coalition partners with the Social Democrats lately expressing increasing dissatisfaction with their minor role in the government.

Former tax chief challenges decision to sack him

Dainoras Bradauskas has appealed against the Lithuanian finance minister’s decision to sack him as head of the State Tax Inspectorate (STI).Bradauskas was dismissed from the post on January 20 for gross official misconduct, as recommended by a commission set up by the Finance Ministry to probe into the tax chief’s activities. Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka then said that certain information leaked by Bradauskas had adversely affected tax investigations of MG Baltic and Vilniaus Prekyba (VP).The minister said that the-then tax chief had repeatedly met with MG Baltic Vice-president Raimondas Kurlianskis to inform him about the course of the tax investigations of the two business groups. According to unofficial information, Bradauskas and Kurlianskis spoke about passing on certain information about the tax investigation involving VP or about the group’s shareholders to Diana Dominienė, a representative of the VP Group.

Lithuania‘s Litgas sells part of Statoil’s LNG cargo

Litgas, the gas trade arm of the state energy group Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), has sold a part of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) it is buying from Norway’s Statoil amid a recent rise in LNG prices. The company says that it will gain 1 million euros from the LNG cargo schedule optimization, which will accordingly reduce the natural gas infrastructure maintenance costs for businesses and households.

Meanwhile, a new shipment of Statoil’s LNG arrived in Klaipėda on Friday, February 24. LNG tankers normally deliver around 140,000 cubic meters of gas each, but this time Litgas imported only some 60,000 cubic meters. Lietuvos Dujų Tiekimas (Lithuanian Gas Supply, or LDT), another gas supplier, purchases LNG from the U.S. company Koch Supply & Trading.

Lithuanian railways to unify tariffs for port handling firms

The new leadership of the state-run Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, or LG) is set to shortly revise the pricing applied to the Klaipėda port handling companies and unify the tariffs. After taking office just over a month ago, Egidijus Lazauskas , director of the state railway company’s Freight Transportation Directorate, met with top executives of port cargo handling companies earlier this week and said that efforts would be made to facilitate equal and unified terms and conditions for all companies working in the port.Vaidotas Sileika, CEO of Klaipėdos Konteinerių Terminalas (Klaipėda Container Terminal) and the head of the Association of Lithuanian Stevedoring Companies, said port handling companies had been notified of the planned pricing changes earlier this week.

Finnish bank‘s loan to Vilnius

The Lithuanian branch of Finland’s OP Corporate Bank (formerly – Pohjola 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.

The bank and the municipality signed a seven-year loan contract Wednesday, February 22. Alma Vaitkunskienė, the head of the Vilnius municipality’s administration, said the loan would be spent to refinance earlier loans from UniCredit bank and Šiaulių Bankas.

This is the second loan from OP Corporate Bank to Vilnius. Last July, the bank issued a loan of 27.6 million euros, which went towards three projects, namely, modernization of the Lithuanian capital’s educational institutions, the third phase of construction of the Vilnius Western bypass and purchase of the land and other real estate needed for the bypass.

Vilnius prosecutor in hot water over Labor Party’s case at Supreme Court

A pre-trial investigation in which Rita Aliukonienė, head of the First Division of Criminal Prosecution at the Vilnius Regional Prosecutor’s Office, is suspected of influence peddling is related to the hearing of the Lithuanian Labour Party’s case by the Supreme Court, officials at the Prosecutor General’s Office said on Thursday, February 23. The prosecutors would not disclose any more details.

President: Belarus’ N-plant is Russia’s geopolitical project

The Astravyets nuclear power plant under construction in Belarus close to the border with Lithuania is Russia’s geopolitical project directed against Lithuania, President Dalia Grybauskaitė reiterated on Thursday, February 23. According to the president, Lithuania must use all possible means to stop the project and demand safety and transparency.Russia’s state corporation Rosatom is building two nuclear reactors of 1,200 megawatts each in Astravyets, around 50 kilometres from Vilnius, with the first unit planned to be switched on in 2019 and the second one in 2020.

Competition regulator contests court decision

The Lithuanian Competition Council (LCC) has contested a Vilnius court’s ruling ordering it to look again at whether or not to give the green light for Estonia’s Eesti Meedia, the owner of the Lithuanian news portal 15min.lt and classified advertising websites, to implement a deal in the classifieds market that was closed back in 2014.The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court received the competition regulator’s appeal on February 20, said the court’s spokeswoman.

EU Commission criticises Lithuania

Lithuania has made some progress in addressing the European Commission’s recommendations issued last May: the country has made headway regarding fiscal issues and strengthening of human capital, but it has achieved only limited progress in taking measures to ramp up productivity.The EU’s executive body made the conclusion in its annual analysis of the economic and social situation in member states published on Wednesday, February 22.

Vilnius airport signs contract with Latvia’s A.C.B

Vilnius International Airport on Wednesday signed an 18.7-million-euro runway reconstruction contract with Latvia’s road construction company A.C.B.Lithuania’s building firm Autokausta will help the Latvians in the project.The runway reconstruction is scheduled to start on July 14 and be completed on August 18. The majority of flights will be temporarily moved to Kaunas, some 100 kilometres away from Vilnius.

Ikea buys 6,000 ha of forest in Lithuania

Sweden’s Ikea group currently owns 6,000 ha of forest in Lithuania, which it may have paid about 22 million euros for. Across the three Baltic States, the furniture giant has 38,000 ha, which is a rise by 52 percent from what the group announced last September, Lithuanian media reports. Ikea bought the 6,000 ha in Lithuania from a Stockholm-registered property management company GreenGold.

Brexit minister visited Vilnius

David Davis, Britain’s minister in charge of the country’s exit from the European Union (EU), has said in Vilnius he expected a generous agreement from the community in connection to post-Brexit rights of EU citizens.

«We want to see a generous arrangement in terms of their right to remain and their treatment, just as we want to see a generous arrangement for British citizens around the EU,» Davis said after meeting with Lithuania’s Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis on Tuesday, February 21.

In his words, efforts have been made in the past to discuss post-Brexit rights for migrants; however, representatives of some EU nations rejected the conversations, saying that the United Kingdom had not yet officially initiated the Brexit process. The launch is planned for late March.

Klaipėda lagged behind Riga in container traffic in January

Klaipėda lagged behind Riga in terms of container traffic in January, the Lithuanian seaport’s authority said.

Klaipėda last month handled 32,900 TEUs, down 4.1 percent from 31,600 TEUs a year earlier.TEU traffic through Riga soared by 38.6 percent year-on-year to 36,200 and Tallinn posted a 23.7 percent increase to 18,900 units. Liepaja saw TEU traffic decline by 24.4 percent to 129 units. Annual TEU traffic via Klaipėda increased by 12.9 percent in 2016 compared with 2015 to reach 443,300 units.

Kėdainiai thwarts caustic soda factory project

Authorities in Kėdainiai have not allowed investors from Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, represented by Visolis, a local company, to develop a sodium hydroxide, or caustic soda, production facility project in the central Lithuanian town’s free economic zone, Lithuanian media reports. Visolis CEO Alina Adomaitytė says that the environmental concerns are overstated.

Lithuanians to buy less alcohol amid rising prices

With excise duty on alcoholic beverages due to increase in Lithuania from March 1, nearly 1 in 5 of the country’s residents intend to buy less alcohol and nearly half will not change their drinking habits, shows a poll by Spinter Tyrimai (Spinter Surveys). Asked to specify how the higher alcohol prices will affect their alcohol buying behaviour, 47.8 percent of respondents said higher prices will not have any impact upon their habits – they would buy just as much alcohol as they did before. Meanwhile, 17.7 percent of those polled said they would buy less alcohol and over 15 percent said they would search for cheaper alternatives or places to buy it cheaper illegally, according to the poll of 1,010 respondents.

 Lithuania to enter Iranian market

Iran has become the 35th export market for Lithuania’s Doleta, which in late 2016 sent a trial batch of wooden windows for an apartment block in Tehran and is now planning a second shipment. Following two years of work, Doleta managed to obtain a certificate that is issued in Japan for Lithuanian windows and doors. The manufacturer sells windows for residential buildings, hotels and kindergartens in Japan and supplies windows to a new hotel complex in Iceland. Also, the Lithuanian company has been recently hired to replace the windows of a popular hotel in Kyrgyzstan’s capital of Bishkek.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.4765


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania. PM: Coalition isn't the best

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, whose government has been in office for half a year, says that the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union and the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party differ in their philosophies and approaches to many issues.

BNN summary of the week: Estonian minister disapproves of NATO; Latvia’s tax system lags behind

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Business; Change; Future; Decline; Truth and Growth.

Municipal elections 2017: what do people say?

With municipal elections gradually coming close, BNN offers a compilation of opinions provided by experts from different industries. Short answers consist of thoughts about specific municipalities that affect respondents directly, and municipal administrations in general – what people expect from officials and what changes they expect from elections.

Trade of natural gas to legal clients in Latvia commences

Trade of natural gas to legal clients in Latvia has commenced. Latvenergo’s Elektrum product offers fixed-price contracts for 12-month supply period. The first gas supply contracts have been signed with clients in Latvia, the company reports.

Murniece: the biggest strength of Latvia’s parliament is public involvement

The biggest strength of Latvia’s parliament is the involvement of the public in resolution efforts of matters associated with child and women’s rights, the rights of disabled people, as well as security, tax policy and the European Union, says Saeima speaker Inara Murniece.

Corruption on decline in Lithuania, yet still remains troublesome

To wrap up the findings of a new corruption research ordered by the Special Investigation Service, an institution dealing with financial crimes in Lithuania, the situation is largely improving, yet not as fast as the service wishes.

Ventspils signs agreement with Chinese-Belarusian industrial park Great Stone

Vetnspils Freeport Authority and Ventspils High Technology Park signed an agreement yesterday with Chinese-Belarusian industrial park Great Stone, which is the largest infrastructure development project in Belarus, as reported by the freeport’s representatives.

Resignation filed by arrested Tallinn Deputy Mayor

The Deputy Mayor of the Estonian capital has stepped down from office after being arrested as part of a criminal case into violations of procedural restrictions of Tallinn procurement tenders.

Residents: situation in Latvia is developing in a wrong manner

54% of residents believe the situation in Latvia is currently developing in a wrong manner. A similar situation is noted in relation to the evaluation of the government’s work. 75% of respondents are critical about the government’s work. Only 17% of respondents are positive about the government’s work, according to results of Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer.

Finance Minister: we have to be ready for flexibility in the reform plan

Currently we have to progress forward with the intended tax reform and prepare for a degree of flexibility, says Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

Zarins: unlike healthcare workers, Latvia’s roads are crumbling silently

Saeima deputy Ivars Zarins has submitted a proposal that offers restoring State Roads Fund and providing it with funding of 80% of excise tax for oil products. It is also proposed to divert income from vehicle operation tax and road use fee.

Price of oil slides 5%, though exporters decide to uphold production restrictions

Oil price has dropped by around five percent, even though oil-exporting countries have decided to maintain production limits until spring 2018.

Experts: role of free trade agreements to increase – especially with Asia

Latvian businessmen are already sufficiently active in several Asian markets. Their experience shows – these markets have great potential, according to representatives of the European Parliament’s Information Bureau.

Trump steps up pressure on NATO’s «indebted»

All NATO member states should pay their fair share of military expenses, has stated U.S. President Donald Trump in a meeting of NATO member states in Brussels.

Sunday expected to be summer-like hot in Latvia

This Sunday is expected to be summer-like hot, whereas the week after will be cold and rainy, as reported by Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Pensioner guide: old people are isolated from society in Latvia

«In my experience with social care, I was surprised by the dominating belief that the only thing old people need is elementary care – some food, a wash and a walk outside. Psychology of old people is something completely alien to people in Latvia,» says initiator of Pensioners Guide in Latvia Nelli Skadina.

SEB: reimbursements paid to nearly 340 loan clients over the past five years

In five years since the signing of the first loan payment insurance contract, reimbursements have been paid to nearly 240 SEB Bank clients who took loans and experienced unexpected difficulties after.

Number of tourists to Riga up 7% in 2017

In the first three months of 2017, a total of 263.5 thousand people were serviced in Riga’s hotels and tourist accommodations. 221.3 thousand of those tourists were foreign guests. Compared with the same period of last year, the number of tourists has grown 7%.

Estonian capital’s Deputy Mayor arrested over waste management dealings

The Deputy Mayor of Tallinn, Arvo Sarapuu, accused of deliberately violating procedural restrictions an especially large scale as part of a criminal case, has been arrested by the Estonian Internal Security Service.

Saeima ratifies convention on restriction for the use of mercury

On Thursday, 25 May, Latvia’s Saeima ratified Minamata Convention on Mercury. The objective of the convention is protecting people and the environment against anthropogenic emissions and leaks of mercury.

Europe experienced foreign investment records last year

Last year, Europe attracted a record large volume of foreign investments with 5,845 new direct investment projects, which is 15% more than the year before, according to results of EY European Attractiveness Survey.

Electric car charging network expands in Latvia to promote «greener thinking»

The once long-away dream of having cars that run on alternative fuel is now a reality – a special infrastructure network keeps expanding in Latvia to make electric cars more popular, says Motors Latvia BMW Group manager Ivars Norvelis.

Estonian Minister steps down after questioning NATO membership

Estonian Minister of Public Affairs Mihhail Korb has stated he resigns from office after saying he is not in favour of NATO membership.

Construction of a fish freezer commences at Ventspils Freeport

Construction work has commenced in Ventspils industrial territory on Talsu Street 200. Latvian National Fisheries Producers' Organisation plans to build a fish freezer facility there, as reported by Ventspils Freeport.

EC: there is a risk tax reform will increase inequality

There is a risk that Latvian government’s proposed tax reform will increase income inequality in the country instead of lowering it, said head of European Commission’s office in Latvia Inna Steinbuka.