bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 23.01.2017 | Name days: Strauta, Grieta
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. EC calls on Lithuania to transpose EU in-vitro fertilization legislation

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 of 1)

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

A nurse works on a micromanipulator machine (used for fertilization)

The European Commission has asked Lithuania to transpose provisions of EU directives on quality and safety standards for medical procedures involving reproductive cells.

The EC Representation in Lithuania said in a statement on Thursday, July 16, that the Lithuanian law transposing the directives does not apply to medical procedures involving reproductive cells, although such procedures may be carried out in the country between spouses.

This represents a public health concern, as medical procedures involving reproductive cells, such as in-vitro fertilization, carried out in Lithuania, are, as a consequence, not compliant with the safety and quality standards required by EU law. Lithuania has now two months to notify the Commission of measures taken to remedy this situation. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer Lithuania to the Court of Justice of the European Union. There’s no law on artificial insemination in Lithuania, and inseminations procedures are carried out only at private medical establishment operating under the health minister’s decree of 1999.

Medium speed cams installed on Lithuanian highways

Lithuania’s police have commenced installing on the country’s high-ways speed cameras that record a vehicle’s medium speed in a certain section, rather than its instant speed. The first such cameras have been installed in a five-kilometre section on the Via Baltica highway from the 29th kilometre from Kaunas to Marijampolė, Commissioner General of Lithuania’s Police Linas Pernavas said on Thursday, July 16.

Following a trial period, there are plans to expand the network of such cameras, he said.

«Developed EU members states have long concluded that it’s more effective to calculate the medium speed on the section of several or several dozen kilometres, rather that measuring the instant speed. The Via Baltica has been chosen for its high number of accidents as two people are killed in car accident on this road every week,» Pernavas told journalists on Thursday.

If approved by politicians, the police plan to install another dozen cameras in September-October. Later on, the police plans to propose to the government to increase the number of medium speed cameras in the country to« up to one hundred,» which will cost around 1 million euro.

Two CEOs detained for bribe attempt

Officials of Special Investigation Service (STT) detained two CEOs for an attempt to bribe an employee of the Lithuanian Competition Council (KT). The KT‘s employee refused to accept 14,000-euro bribe, an equivalent of the employee’s annual salary, in exchange for a favourable decision in a suspected bid rigging case. If bid rigging in a public procurement charges were presented and confirmed, serious sanctions could be applied to the companies involved: imposing a fine of up to 10 percent of the annual turnover and cancelling allocations of the EU financial support (up to 174,000 euro in this case).

«As the Chairman of Competition Council, I am extremely proud to work with both professional and honest colleagues. Taking this opportunity I would also like to remind all undertakings that leniency is a far much safer way to escape negative consequences of a competition probe,» says Šarūnas Keserauskas, Chairman of the Lithuanian Competition Council.

Lithuanian government approves Greece bailout talks

The Lithuanian government has approved on Thursday, July 16, the European Commission’s decision to negotiate along with the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund financial assistance to Greece under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

Six ministers voted in favour of the decision and two ministers, delegated by the Labour Party, which said before the meeting that its ministers would not back the proposed Greek bailout plan, abstained from voting. Six other members of the 14-strong Cabinet were not present at the meeting.

«The government authorized me to vote in the ESM governing council tomorrow in favour of opening negotiations with the Greek side on a concrete assistance agreement and its terms and conditions. This is our agreement to begin negotiations,» Finance Minister Rimantas Šadžius told reporters after the Cabinet’s meeting.

EU Commissioner Andriukaitis on GM imports

The European Commission wants that EU member states themselves decide if to import genetically modified (GM) animal feed, just like they decide if to grow genetically modified organisms (GMO), EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said on Thursday, July 16.

«We think that countries themselves have to decide if they look at these problems really seriously and scientifically and based on economic and social calculations, or follow populist slogans, which are not a rarity in this field,» he told.

Andriukaitis said that if EU member states did not state their opinion, the European Commission would have to make the decision.

«Under existing regulation, member countries did not express their opinion and the European Commission has to adopt a decision all by itself. Then it is very easy to accuse the Commission of failing to take into account the public’s sceptical position on GM feed,» he said.

According to the Lithuanian commissioner, a decision to let each individual country to decide whether or not to import GM feed might cause problems to the food industry in some states. Currently, 25 EU member states import about 32 million tons of GM feed annually. Maize is currently the only GM crop allowed to be grown commercially in the EU. It is grown in five EU member states, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain, Portugal and Romania. GM crops are not grown in Lithuania.

Seimas committee proposes establishing Ukraine aid fund

The Lithuanian Seimas’ Committee on European and Foreign Affairs has proposed setting up an aid fund for Ukraine.

The move comes after the committees endorsed the updated assistance plan for Ukraine. Gediminas Kirkilas, chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, told journalists on Wednesday, July 15, that it remains to be seen whether it will be e government fund or a public institution. The decision will be made after consultations with legal experts, he added.

«The establishment of an aid fund is the new thing. We will ask the government to make a small contribution and hope that that fund will be able to attract funds,» Kirkilas said. In his words, the fund will be set up in Lithuania as the European Union already has one. «The EU already has its fund and this one will be ours, Lithuania’s fund,» Kirkilas underlined.

Lithuanian and Latvian presidents discuss joint arms purchase

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis have met for talks in Vilnius this week. During their meeting both head-of-states have discussed, among other things, collective armaments purchase, in particular, jointly acquiring medium-range air defence systems.

According to Vējonis, joint purchase of air defence systems has great potential in the format of bilateral cooperation; however, cooperation of all three Baltic States and Poland in this area is no less important.

«We have discussed ways to enhance our joint military exercises. There are many good ideas, including the air defence field and purchase of missiles. We can see considerable potential for our cooperation,» Vējonis said, stressing that all purchases will have to be made in accordance with approved funding. President Grybauskaitė did not go into detail about the bilateral plans, but underlined that all potential purchases would have to be made in line with financial capabilities of all countries involved.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.2620


Leave a reply

Kudors: Baltics should arm themselves with strategic patience

In relations with Russia, Baltics should arm themselves with strategic patience in the next several years, as stated in Latvia’s Foreign Policy Institute’s compilation on Latvia’s external and security policy.

Little precipitation is expected in Latvia this week; frost expected

On Monday, 23 January, weather in Latvia will be dictated by a small low atmospheric pressure area. With that, some precipitation is expected in many parts of Latvia: mostly rain and wet snow. Wind will draw in from the south-west and air temperature will stay within 0° C… +4° C, as reported by Environmental, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. CIA declassifies document on Lithuania’s post-WWII guerrillas

A report about guerrilla fighting against the Soviet occupation after World War II is among hundreds of thousands of declassified documents published online by the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

People no longer believe in their own country, because they associate it with people who make decisions

The biggest threat to Latvia is the fact that society, including state officials, is afraid. People are afraid of change, afraid of voicing their thoughts (thoughts that often do not comply with the politically correct stance), afraid of being misunderstood. Fear makes it harder to develop. It limits people’s internal freedom. Such is the opinion Inga Antane, president of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics and sworn attorney of Triniti law firm, explained in her interview to Atbalsts.

Expert: «Lithuania’s renewed National Security Strategy is a «hodgepodge»

This week, the Lithuanian Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a renewed National Security Strategy, laying out 14 major hazards and risk factors to national security.

Industry: advertisements contribute the entire economy of the European Union

Every euro invested in advertisement has seven times the influence on a country’s GDP. Every one euro brings seven euros in return to the country’s GDP, as emphasized by Latvian Advertising Association, noting that advertisement sector contributes to employment in all of the European Union.

Six deputies applied with administrative penalties in Saeima’s autumn session

According to information provided to the parliament, six deputies were applied with administrative penalties during Saeima’s autumn session.

Slower economic growth for Estonia forecast – at 2.2% - for 2017

The economic growth of Estonia in 2017 will be slower than previously expected, Swedbank economists have announced lowering their previous economic forecast for the Baltic country by 0.2% to 2.2%.

Latvian and Lithuanian authorities dismantle two criminal groups

Latvian State Revenue Service’s Finance Police has successfully apprehended two organized crime groups that caused significant damage to the state budget in 2015 and 2016 by realizing different VAT fraud schemes.

Estonia to drop special pensions, push forward sweeping pension reforms

The Estonian government has decided to drop special pensions and to push forward with plans regarding other significant changes in the pension system, including tying the retirement age to the average life expectancy.

KNAB performs inspection about Jakrins’ approval in the board of Rīgas satiksme

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau intends to inspect if the approval of acting head of Riga City Council’s Transport Department Emils Jakrins in the management board of Rīgas satiksme had any signs of breach of good management principles.

Chinese GDP up 6.7% in 2016

World’s second largest economy has seen a 6.7% growth in 2016, Chinese official data show, which indicate that the gross-domestic-product increase has been slower than the 6.9% seen in 2015 and the slowest since 1990.

Dozens buried in Italy’s avalanche-stricken hotel

Italy has been shaken by a number of earthquakes this week, one of which has triggered an avalanche burying a mountain hotel, where at least two people have been found dead and dozens more a searched for through rubble and snow.

Weekends to experience frost and thaw; drivers urged to be careful

Weather in Latvia will not be stable in the next couple of days – cloudy weather with some precipitation will be mixed with periods of clear sky, according to State Environmental, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Logistics Industry Council assesses results of 16+1 summit

Experts say container cargoes have the potential to bring major contribution to the logistics sector. With that, LDz Logistics intends to continue organizing the next container train from China, as well as cooperate with partners from Belarus and China in the context of the Great Stone industrial park, as BNN was informed by Transport Ministry’s representative Ilze Greiskalna.

Parliament supports amendments to avoid expensive land-measuring actions

It will no longer be necessary to prepare land border plan for entry of land units in the Land Book. It will help save budget funds, as it will not be necessary to perform land-measuring actions, as reported by Saeima press-service.

CP supervisors concerned about Latvijas Gāze’s contract terms

The Competition Council is concerned about Latvijas Gāze’s behaviour in the process of liberalization of the country’s gas market. Economy Ministry has submitted a draft of the Gas Trade and Use Rules to the Cabinet of Ministers Committee for review.

Germany seeks clarity from Trump’s government, to boost military spending

Berlin has emphasised plans to increase defence spending after facing criticism from upcoming U.S. President Donald Trump on NATO countries not meeting their spending commitments.

Saeima re-elects Elita Krumina as State Auditor

On Thursday, 19 January, the Saeima re-elected Elita Krumina in the post of State Auditor.

Saeima supports formation of aircraft passenger data registry to combat terrorism

On Thursday, 19 January, Latvia’s Saeima approved the Aircraft Passenger Data Processing Law in the final reading. This will form the passenger data registry.

Milk retail price in Estonia reaches 55 cents per litre after to price hikes

After a long period of low milk purchase prices in Estonia, milk retail prices in the Baltic country have increased twice, reaching the point where famers receive just enough to cover milk production costs.

Ventspils Freeport carries Lembergs around with luxurious car worth EUR 156,000

In spite of a 16.44% turnover decline, Ventspils Freeport bought a lux-class Audi A8L W12 for EUR 156,000 last year. It’s only known passenger so far has been the formally suspended chairman of Ventspils City Council Aivars Lembergs, as reported by Latvijas Avīze.

Estonia concludes bilateral defence framework deal with Finland

Estonia and Finland have signed a bilateral defence cooperation framework agreement aiming for closer and more regular cooperation in the field by the neighbouring countries.

Biden: Wealthiest 1% does not pay enough in taxes

The «top 1% is not carrying their weight», outgoing U.S. vice-president, Joe Biden evaluated at the World Economic Forum, insisting the world's wealthiest that they do not pay enough in taxes.

Latvia and Japan sign convention on attraction of foreign investments

In Tokyo, Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola and Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister Motome Takisawa signed a convention between the two countries on double taxation prevention for income tax.