bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Sunday 18.02.2018 | Name days: Kintija, Kora
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Parliament speaker urges academic ethics guard to resign amid anti-Semitism claims

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

Illustrative picture

Parliament Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis on Friday, February 9, urged Vigilijus Sadauskas , ombudsman for academic ethics and procedures, to step down amid allegations of anti-Semitism after he proposed a reward for a research thesis about Jewish crimes in the 1900s.

Sadauskas plans to stay on. In the parliamentary speaker’s words, the ombudsman «failed the examination of neutrality».

The Seimas authorised the Parliament’s Education and Science Committee to scrutiny the ombudsman’s actions. The ombudsman’s of academic ethics and procedures is appointed by the whole parliament after proposal from the Lithuanian Research Council.

In a blog entry, Sadauskas offered 1,000 euros «to a school student, a university student, a postgraduate student, a teacher or a scientist who will collect information, documents, materials and write a thesis (at least 10 printed pages) or a publication about individuals of Jewish nationality who killed people, contributed to deportations or tortures».

Embattled theatre director faces prosecutorial investigation

Jonas Vaitkus, head of the Russian Theatre of Lithuania, has publicly dismissed sexual harassment allegations as part of a «defamation campaign» carried out by Russian propaganda channels ahead of the selection of a new head of the Russian-language theatre in Vilnius. He claims that the defamation campaign against him has been systematically carried out by media organizations run by forces unfriendly to Lithuania, such as the online portals Sputnik.lt and Baltnews.lt and the TV station First Baltic Channel (PBK).

Several former students of Vaitkus have come forward with the detail description of unwanted sexual approach by Vaitkus in the past. Vaitkus has been suspended from work with students at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy. Meanwhile, the Vilnius District Prosecutor’s Office has launched a pre-trial investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Vaitkus as well as a couple of well-known teachers at the Lithuanian Academy of Arts.

PM hits back at president’s criticism

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis on Monday, February 5, hit back at criticism that the government «lacks capacity» to implement laws, saying that the president’s office apparently thus tries to compensate for its lack of action. «It seems to me that, seeing the government carrying out reforms in areas that had been untouched for a number of years, the president’s office tries to get involved and thus compensate for their inactivity,» he told reporters.

Skvernelis was commenting on a recent statement by Daiva Ulbinaitė, spokeswoman for President Dalia Grybauskaitė that «a lack of capacity by the government and individual ministries to implement key laws is becoming increasingly apparent».

Two-thirds of Lithuanians don’t trust U.S. President

Two-thirds of Lithuanians have no confidence in U.S. President Donald Trump, an opinion poll showed on Thursday, February 8. Those polled were asked if they trusted the US president and other political leaders to make the right decisions on key political issues. Some 16.1 per cent of respondents said they trusted Trump and 66.6 per cent said they distrusted him. Another 17.4 per cent had no opinion.

Interwar warship’s flag to go on display in Klaipėda

A Lithuanian flag that once flew over the Prezidentas Smetona, the first Lithuanian warship of the interwar period, will be placed on temporary display at the Lithuanian Sea Museum in Klaipeda. The two-meter-long, three-meter-wide tricolour will be handed over to the museum in a ceremony at the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry in Vilnius on Thursday, February 8. The flag was preserved by Henry Gaidis, a Lithuanian-American who knew Povilas Labanauskas, the last captain of the ship.

Vilnius names street after Poland’s late president

The municipality of Vilnius on Wednesday, February 7, named a street in the capital after Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who died in a plane crash in 2010. The City Council voted unanimously to name a nameless street next to the municipality building after the neighbouring country’s late president. The ruling parties sought the street to be named after Kaczynski before Polish President Andrzej Duda’s planned visit to Vilnius for Lithuania’s centenary celebrations next week.

Wood industry group VMG set to invest 180 mn euro

Vakaru Medienos Grupė (VMG), one of the largest wood and furniture groups in the Baltics, is set to invest 180 million euros in the northern Lithuanian district of Akmenė, with plans to build a new particle board factory by 2020 and a new furniture production facility at a later stage, the district’s mayor Vitalijus Mitrofanovas said. According to him, around 400 new jobs would be created in total.

Lithuania to earmark 350 mn euro for railway electrification

Lithuania plans to allocate almost 350 million euros for the electrification of the Vilnius railway bypass and a railway line between Kaišiadorys and Klaipeda, with most of the money expected to come from EU funds and the rest to be invested by Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways). Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis has signed an order to supplement the list of EU co-funded national projects, the Transport Ministry said.

The total value of the electrification projects is estimated at 349.1 million euros, of which 224.1 million euros should come from the EU’s Cohesion Fund. Plans call for electrifying the 34-kilometre Vilnius railway hub and linking it to the already electrified Vilnius-Kaunas line in 2019 to 2022. Trains will be able to run at speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour on this line.

Palanga wants to revive Šventoji harbour

The local authority of Lithuania’s Baltic Sea resort of Palanga wants to revive the nearby Šventoji harbour and adapt it for use by fishing vessels. Palanga officials estimate that almost 2.2 million euros would be enough to carry out the planned project, with most of the money expected to be provided by the Agriculture Ministry from EU funds. However, Palanga has to take over the ownership of the Šventoji harbour from its current owner, the Klaipeda state seaport authority, to be able to apply to the ministry for funding.

Some 135 Lithuanian schools closed due to flu outbreak

Some 135 schools in Lithuania, or 13 per cent of all of its schools, have been temporarily closed due to an outbreak of flu and cold, according to figures released by the Education and Science Ministry on Monday, February 5. Almost 30 schools of these schools are Kaunas and 16 in Vilnius.

Liberals to choose their presidential candidate

The opposition Lithuanian Liberal Movement will choose its candidate to run for Lithuanian president next year from among seven members of the party and expects to name him by April. The seven members are MEP Petras Auštrevius, MPs Eugenijus Gentvilas, Vitalijus Gailius and Arūnas Gelūnas, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, Klaipėda mayor Vytautas Grubliauskas and Elektrėnai Mayor Kęstutis Vaitukaitis.

Ref: 111.111.111.5623


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania celebrating centennial of statehood

Leaders of European countries gathered in Vilnius on Friday, February 16, to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of restored statehood, and festive events were taking place in many cities and towns of Lithuania.

BNN summary of the week: minister threatened with dismissal; ABLV Bank scandal

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Fight; Court; Problem; Decline; Commentary; Future; Proposal

SRS uncovered violations in 169 inspections at catering companies last year

In 2017, the State Revenue Service (SRS) performed a total of 989 inspections at 212 catering companies. This includes 182 thematic inspections for 125 taxpayers. Violations were uncovered in 169 inspections. The most common violation was manipulation with cash registers, according to information published by SRS.

Russian tourists often decide to celebrate International Women’s Day in Riga

To satisfy growing demand for bus tickets from Russia to Latvia for the week when 8 March is celebrated, Lux Express plans to organize additional buses between St Petersburg and Riga.

FCMC to investigate ABLV Bank again; no operational restrictions applied to the bank

Latvia’s Finance and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) has plans to perform an additional investigation at ABLV Bank in the next couple of weeks, says the commission’s manager Pēters Putniņš, adding that no operational restrictions have been applied to the bank so far.

Study: overall sense of happiness in Latvia is record-low

60% of Latvian residents feel happy. Although this is a good index, there has been a general decline of the sense of happiness, according to a study performed by Amigo mobile network operator and SKDS to assess the level of happiness of Latvian residents.

Raid reveals some taxi drivers in Riga do not have valid driver’s license

A raid was performed by the State Revenue Service and Riga Municipal Police to check taxi service providers in the capital. Authorities uncovered a total of 81 violations in 48 cases, BNN was informed by SRS.

Estonia sea ice crash: last missing body found

Nine days after a van with six people inside drove onto the ice of the Baltic Sea in south-western Estonia, the body of the last victim has been found.

Delna invites immediate investigation of claims about ABLV Bank’s money laundering schemes

The decision by US Finance Ministry’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to apply sanctions against ABLV Bank for involvement in money laundering schemes and bribery of officials was not a surprise. It is a sign for acute need to continue improving investigative and supervisory institutions’ ability to prevent money laundering through Latvia, as noted by Delna – Society for Openness.

Estonian income tax should be simplified, parties believe

The existing income tax scheme in Estonia should be simplified, three parties in the Estonian Riigikogu find, but there are differences in opinion as to maintaining the current state budget income. Meanwhile, the opposition Reform Party has voiced backing for an annual tax-free income of 6,000 a year to every earner.

Baltics propose increasing member states’ contributions to EU budget after Brexit

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia invite European Union member states to increase contributions to the EU budget after 2020 in order to make sure available funds do not drop after UK’s exit.

Instagram obeys Russian internet censor to block content on corruption allegations

In the atmosphere of the March Russian presidential election, social network Instagram has submitted to the demands of Russia's internet censorship body and blocked in the country content with corruption claims voiced by Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Teenager charged with U.S. school shooting has confessed

A day after a tragic school shooting in Florida, the U.S., where 17 people have been killed, the suspect 19-year-old Nicolas Cruz has confessed to police.

Snowfall expected for weekends in Latvia; sky to become clear again next week

On Friday, 16 February, weather in Latvia will be dictated by a small cyclone, which will approach the country from Sweden. Because of that, the sky will be cloudy and snowfall will come to many areas. The cyclone will not be strong. With that, wind speed will remain relatively slow, as reported by Latvian State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

How will Lithuania look like in another 100 years?

In order to tell it, one needs to know the past and the presence. Yet the predicting how the centennial celebrations-engulfed Lithuania will look like in another hundred years is not easy at all even for political and business pundits.

Minister: Latvian authorities will perform an investigation about FinCEN report

Responsible Latvian institutions will perform an investigation in relation to the report from US Finance Ministry’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). In this report, the institution accuses ABLV Bank of bribing Latvian officials, says Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Party calls for extraordinary meeting of Riga City Council’s Transport Committee

To invite officials to explain the illegal decision in regards to the mutual agreement between Rīgas satiksme’s and Rīgas mikroautobusu satiksme’s, political party For Latvia’s Development urges opposition factions of Riga City Council to call an extraordinary meeting of the Transport Committee, as confirmed by the party.

Meteorologists warn about -25° C frost in Latvia in March

Global Forecast System predicts a possibility of -25° C frost in Latvia’s eastern parts at the beginning of March.

Latvian residents remain dissatisfied with their families’ financial state

For several years in a row the majority of Latvian residents remain dissatisfied with their families’ financial state, according to results of Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer.

Latvia’s cosmetics market – 160 million euros

Latvia’s cosmetics market is worth approximately EUR 160 million. Similar to Europe, skin and hair care products are the most popular ones. The smallest market proportion is occupied by decorative cosmetics, according to data from Latvian Cosmetic Manufacturers Association (LCMA).

RB Rail CEO says interference «from above» has been in line with the law so far

We have seen interference «from above» in RB Rail’s activities. The law was not breached, however. With that, there was no need to report anything to law enforcement institutions, RB Rail CEO Baiba Rubesa told Ir magazine.

15 Estonians die in flu period from complications

The number flu patients in Estonia is currently increasing. So far during this year's flu season, 15 people have passed away with flue-related complications.

Economy Minister asked to fix increasing electricity bills; parties threaten with dismissal

Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens has to fix the mistakes that have caused electricity bills to increase, said chairman of Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia Egils Baldzēns in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Third of beer consumed in Estonia in 2017 bought in Vidzeme, Estonian factory breweries evaluate

Saku and A. Le Coq, two largest beer makers in Estonia have not published their exact sales numbers for the last year, but have been quick in stating that about one third of all beer drunk in Estonia was purchased in Latvia.

U.S. hit by another mass shooting at school

In the U.S., a high school has been attacked in the state of Florida, where gunshots have taken the lives of 17 people. Local police has detained a suspect – a 19-year-old man, who had been expelled from the same school.