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Monday 24.07.2017 | Name days: Krista, Kristiāna, Kristiāns, Kristīne
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Week in Lithuania. Vilnius airport closes for runway reconstruction

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Vilnius Airport, Lithuania’s largest international airport that was built 85 years ago, will be closed for 35 days starting from Thursday, July 13, for runway reconstruction work.

Most airlines will divert part of their flights to Kaunas Airport, some 100 kilometres away from the capital.

Seimas okays forestry sector restructuring

After the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union promised to the opposition conservatives to bring back the value-added tax (VAT) discount to heating in the fall, the parliament on Tuesday, July 11, approved the restructuring scheme of the country’s forestry sector that has triggered heated debates in the society. At the end of the spring session, the amendments to the Law on Forests were supported by 82 Lithuanian parliamentarians, 16 were against and 12 abstained. The reform was supported by the LFGU and opposition conservatives along with some of the Liberals also part of the opposition, while the ruling Social Democrats voted against or abstained, just like the opposition Order and Justice party.

Conservatives catching up in popularity with ruling Farmers

The opposition Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats are catching up in popularity with the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), according to a survey conducted by the pollster RAIT. Nineteen percent of respondents said they would vote for the LFGU and 16 percent said they would give their votes to the conservative Homeland Union. The gap between the parties has been steadily narrowing for the past four months. The survey showed a further decline in Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis’ approval rating, with 43 percent of respondents rating him favourably and 22 percent unfavorably.

President meets with Mission Siberia 2017 team

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė met on Friday, July 14, with the Mission Siberia 2017 team who are leaving next week for Russia’s Siberian city of Irkutsk.

Party branches asked to give opinion

The presidium of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) has asked all 60 branches of the party to discuss future prospects for the ruling coalition with the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU). All branches are expected to give their opinion by September 20, the party said. The presidium also decided to ask the party’s council to evaluate the results of the coalition agreement.

Ambassador to Russia pays tribute

Lithuania’s ambassador to Russia, Remigijus Motuzas, paid tribute to ministers of the interwar Lithuania who were shot by Soviet authorities 75 years ago during his visit to the Russian city of Yekaterinburg this week.

NATO asks Russia questions about Zapad exercise

At a meeting with Russia’s envoy on Thursday, July 13, NATO ambassadors asked him questions about the scale and scenario of the large-scale Zapad 2017 military exercise scheduled to take place next to Lithuania this September, says Lithuania’s Ambassador to the Alliance Vytautas Leškevičius.

Klaipėda municipality to found School for Sea Cadets

Municipality of the Lithuanian port city of Klaipėda intends to found a School for Sea Cadets. In the fall, the municipal council should discuss the concept of the school and a plan of founding measures. If approval of the council is secured, other actions will follow to open the school, the municipality said on Thursday, July 13. Klaipėda Mayor Vytautas Grubliauskas has expressed regret over the lack of attention from the Lithuanian administration. In his words, the municipality is willing to open the school by its own.

Prosecutors ask Government to look into how Gediminas Hill was maintained

The Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office is not opening, at least for now, a public interest case over damage done to Gediminas Hill in downtown Vilnius, but is asking the government to initiative a comprehensive assessment of the circumstances. The office said in a statement on Thursday, July 13, that, in its opinion, the responsible authorities have not yet exhausted their rights to defend the public interest independently in the matter.

Gay League asks president to veto amendments to law on equal opportunities

The Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) said on Wednesday, July 12, that it had asked President Dalia Grybauskaitė to veto the parliament’s decision to transpose into national law an EU directive without listing partners as family members. The amendments to the Law on Equal Opportunities, which were passed by the Seimas on Tuesday, July 11, ban discrimination against EU citizens and their family members exercising their right to free movement on grounds of nationality. Only spouses and children under the age of 21 are listed as family members.

Lithuania wants to move culture attaché to U.S. from D.C. to New York

Lithuania’s Culture Ministry wants the country’s culture attaché to reside in New York instead from the current location of Washington D.C. The ministry asked the Lithuanian government establish the position of culture attaché at the Lithuanian consulate general in New York and scrap the position in the diplomatic mission in Washington D.C.

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