bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Sunday 22.10.2017 | Name days: Irīda, Īrisa
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania’s new road tax on Russian trucks

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

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

A Lithuanian border guard inspects a truck as it enters Lithuania at a border crossing with Russia in Kybartai

Following the Government’s decree, Russian carriers using Lithuanian roads will have to pay a road tax starting on December 21. The move is a response to Russia’s decision to tax Lithuanian road carriers.

Until February 2016, Russian-registered trucks weighing over 12 tonnes will be taxed at a rate of 0.02 euro per kilometre and twice as much from March 1. Initial plan had Russian road carriers taxed as of December 15. However, Lithuania’s Transport and Communications Minister Rimantas Sinkevičius said that additional time was needed to inform Moscow about the decision via diplomatic channels. Lithuania had earlier received a note from Russia informing that from November 15 it would impose a road toll on Lithuanian vehicles weighing more than 12 tonnes. Road carriers of other countries have been paying road taxes in Lithuania since 2005. Meanwhile a bilateral cooperation agreement concluded with Russia in 1992 and 1993, exempted carriers of both countries from road tolls.

Zero-alcohol rule for drivers favoured by Lithuanian PM and Health Minister

Lithuania’s Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius and Health Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė have expressed their support the Interior Ministry’s initiative to reduce drunk driving. The prime minister said he would support the idea of introducing a zero alcohol level limit.

According to the head of Government, the proposal has to be evaluated by medical experts, as breath analysers may show presence of alcohol when certain medicines are used. The minister of health has said the initiative makes sense. On Wednesday, December 9, the Ministry of the Interior submitted amendments to the Law on Road Traffic Safetym proposing to introduce a zero alcohol level limit for all drivers. The current law stipulates that the zero alcohol level limit has to be adhered by drivers of taxis, motorcycles, quad bikes, commercial vehicles and everyone with driving experience below two years. All other drivers are not allowed to exceed 0.4 per mile alcohol limit.

Vilnius’ Christmas tree among most creative this season

The Christmas tree in Vilnius’ Cathedral Square has been acknowledged as one of the most beautiful in the world this year, according to The Guardian and Huffington Post. The tree, whose windows have drawn comparisons to storybook cottages, was ranked alongside other beautiful trees raised in Washington, Melbourne and New York. Jolanta Tūraitė, the architect who designed the tree, says her led-team wanted to spread the message that the world is our home. Others have stated that the tree’s windows, according to old Lithuanian beliefs, symbolize the relationship between an individual’s inner and outer selves, or between their soul and the rest of the world.

Lithuania seeks membership in CERN

Lithuanian Government has passed a protocol decision on Lithuania’s aspiration to become the Associate Member of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Vilnius University (VU) reports. Lithuania has a cooperation potential with CERN – the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, housing the Large Hadron Collider – not only in physics and computer science or education, but also in industry and medicine, VU says. Apart from Lithuanian scientists and researchers, a dozen of Lithuanian students participate annually in several CERN projects and bring back home new knowledge, scientific contacts, upgraded qualifications to Lithuania.

Russia funds propaganda in Lithuania

After hearing a report from the State Security Department (VSD) about how Russia disseminates propaganda in Lithuania, MP Artūras Paulauskas, chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence, says that illegal methods are used to fund media outlets and recruit journalists. The State Security Department (VSD) prepared a presentation about threats to information security related to the funding of Russian propaganda in Lithuania. It was presented to the Committee on National Security and Defence by deputy director of the VSD Kęstutis Budrys. «The VSD presented to us the entire infrastructure of broadcasting Russian propaganda in Lithuania, institutions that were created and used in various ways by Russians to disseminate their propaganda. Schemes were shown how these information channels are funded, how offshore companies and illegal payments are used. An entire system exists which, I would say, is being funded in violation of the law. They also explained to us how our citizens get recruited to work in those media outlets, especially young people in schools – their interest to choose career in journalism is encouraged, they are sent to Russia to study journalism and work here upon return,» Paulauskas told reporters.

Agrarian Peasant and Green party sees boost in ratings

With growing popularity in the polls, analysts believe that the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union will cross the 5-percent barrier required to become a considerable force in the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) for the first time ever when elections are held in October 2016.According to Vladas Gaidys, director of the Vilmorus public opinion and market research company, polls indicate that 8.6 percent of those who intend to vote in the Seimas elections plan to vote for the agrarian party. Taking 5 percent of the votes in the 2016 Seimas elections would allow the party, which currently has two MPs elected in single-member districts, to elect members from its election list to the Seimas. This would encourage larger parties to consider them when forming coalitions.

Parliament passes 2016 budget

In the new budget, Lithuania has allotted 7.7 million euro more for border protection and raising minimum wage. The Lithuanian Seimas (Parliament) has adopted its state budget for 2016 and its expenditures exceed its revenues by 640 million euros. The deficit budget was adopted in a vote of 76 for, 34 against, and 14 abstentions. The budget’s revenue, together with the European Union’s funds, is expected to amount to 8.046 billion euros. Expenditures, on the other hand, are projected to reach 8.686 billion euros. The new budget has tasked the Government with finding an additional 14,000 euros for the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office and 500,000 euros for the Fund of the Protected Area Directorate. 70 million euros will be allocated from the Road Maintenance and Development Programme to asphalt gravel roads, and 7 million euros will be granted for significant local infrastructure work on the Rail Baltica project. The new budget has granted an additional 7.7 million euros to the State Border Guard Service, the Fire and Rescue Department, the Public Security Service, the Police Department and other agencies. The State Security Department will receive 1.5 million euros for the acquisition of new equipment. The leader of the Seimas opposition Andrius Kubilius criticised the governing parties for their «trite attitude” towards the findings of the National Audit Office and the European Commission. call,” said MP Kubilius

Defence minister content with military spending rise

Defence Minister Juozas Olekas has welcomed the 2016 budget passed by parliament on Thursday, December 10, which raises defence spending by one third. «I very much welcome the decision of the Seimas to increase the defence budget. It prepares the grounds for a consistent Government’s policy of strengthening defence of the state, i.e., to plan further modernisation of weaponry, to enhance social securities for military personnel, to boost the appeal of military service, and to ensure the commitments to NATO allies,» Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas said commenting on the Law on the Approval of Financial Indicators of the State Budget and Municipal Budgets of 2016 of the Republic of Lithuania the Seimas had adopted. Under to the Law, appropriations for the Ministry of National Defence in 2016 will amount to 575.2 million euro (1.48 percent of GDP) which exceeds the defence budget 2015 by 150 million euro.

Lithuanian National Prize winners for Culture andArt announced

The laureates of the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Art 2015 were announced on Thursday, December 10, at the Ministry of Culture. Six well-known artists have been awarded the prize. Four of them received awards for their work over the past 7 years; musicologist Jonas Ambrasas for his research on 20th-century Lithuanian music, musician Leopoldas Digrys for his renewal and development of the Lithuanian organ school, actor Dainius Gavenonis for his work in modern theatre, and writer Giedra Radvilavičiūtė for her important societal analysis and essay texts. Sculptor Vladas Urbanavičius and graphic artist Janina Grasilda Zilyte received lifetime achievement awards. The Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Art will be awarded by President Dalia Grybauskaite on February 16, the Day of the Re-establishment of the State of Lithuania. The laureates will receive 30,400 euros.

No more tax exemption for biofuel blends

Lithuanian Parliament has voted to waive the duty exemptions for EU-approved biofuel mixtures sold in Lithuanian gas stations. The amendments are expected to help the state save around 66 million euros. These EU-compliant biofuel and fuel blends are better known as E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline) and B100 (100 percent RME concentration, used for diesel vehicles). The Seimas adopted amendments to the Law on Excise Duty, which provides excise duty exemptions for these fuels, with 90 votes in favour, 2 against, and 12 abstentions. Excise duty exemptions to all other products containing biological materials have also been cancelled.

Lithuanian president against higher benefits for refugees

Refugees should not get bigger benefits than people who have worked in Lithuania for 30 or 40 years, President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė told. According to the president, Lithuania has already designated considerable benefits compared to other countries. The president used integration processes in Belgium and France as examples, where refugees are paid huge benefits but live off of their benefits in ghettos without being incorporated into the labour market.

NATO invitation for Montenegro is also signal to Georgia

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius says that invitation extended to Montenegro to begin NATO membership negotiations is a signal not only to the Western Balkans but Georgia as well. On Wednesday, December 9, NATO invited Montenegro to launch membership negotiations. Although the negotiation deadline has not been set, it is thought the process will be prompt and the country will join NATO within a year and a half or two years.

Business to join anti-corruption body

Lithuanian Government has decided that representatives of associated business organisations may from now on become members of the Inter-agency Commission for Coordination of Fight against Corruption. Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Commission, Juozas Bernatonis, says the move to include business representatives will enhance cooperation between the public and private sectors and provide better conditions for businesspeople to submit proposals regarding strategic anti-corruption measures. Previously only officials of the Government, ministries, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Special Investigation Service (STT), the State Security Department (VSD) etc. could apply for membership in the Commission.

Transgender Lithuanians go public

The Lithuanian LGBT rights group LGL has produced a series of videos in order to raise awareness about and visibility of transgender people in the country. Part of the #TRANS_LT campaign, the videos have been released this week. Produced by the LGL and the Lithuanian filmmaker Romas Zabarauskas, the videos feature transgender people talking about their personal experiences in the country which is thought to be among the least LGBT-friendly in the European Union. There is no legal way for transgender people in Lithuania to change their papers so that they specify the gender they identify with. The videos ask viewers to sign a petition urging the authorities to change that.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.3002

 


Leave a reply

Professor: by taking money away from science, the state shoots itself in the foot

The matter regarding insufficient funding for science has recently become more topical in the public space. President of Latvian Academy of Sciences Ojārs Spārītis is rather critical of the situation: Latvia has lied to the European Union and European Commission about making sure that funding for science reaches 1.5% of GDP by 2020.

To prevent fraud, audit of MPC recipients to be performed in Latvia

Latvian Economy Ministry intends to perform an audit of mandatory procurement component recipients and use new regulations to combat fraudulent activities, as confirmed by Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Rail Baltic procurements to be processed using Electronic Procurements System

Following the changes to Latvian Republic’s Public Procurements Law, all new procurements for Rail Baltica administered by RB RAIL will be processed using a free electronic information system and its e-contest subsystem.

Estonian construction price index pushed up by wages

The construction price index in Estonia has in July-September of 2017 increased by 0.9% in comparison to second quarter this year and by 1.7% from July-September of 2016, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Surplus of Latvia’s government budget reached 9.5 million euros in 2016

In 2016 general government budget surplus accounted for EUR 9.5 million or 0.04 % of the Gross Domestic Product, whereas general government consolidated gross debt amounted to EUR 10 091.6 million or 40.6 % of the GDP.

Latvia to invest EUR 5.9 million into formation of unified port network

Ports of Riga planning region and Kurzeme planning region have commenced an important tourism project. The goal of this project is creating a unified yacht port network in Latvia and Estonia with quality services that would allow developing sailing tourism and attract foreign sailing enthusiasts in the future, reports the regions’ representative Inese Ozoliņa.

Graft-suspected Tartu deputy mayors resign

In Estonia's second largest city, Tartu, Deputy Mayors Artjom Suvorov and Valvo Semilarski have stepped down from office, Estonian press reported, after the politicians were arrested under suspicion of graft.

Expert: workers of Latvia’s NGO sector have high ‘burnout’ risk

Workers of Latvia’s NGO sector have a high burnout risk, said once the director of Providus Dace Akule in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Producer: many young people come to work in the film industry

Latvia’s film industry has been steadily growing these past several years, and it is especially gratifying that many young people are coming to work in the industry, says director and producer, representative of Film Angels Productions Jānis Kalējs.

Pollution blamed for every sixth premature death globally

Nine million premature deaths globally in 2015 are said to be related to pollution, a study has found pointing to presence of harmful matter in air, water and workplace as the three main risk factors.

Infectologist: influenza kills biologically the weakest, including children and pregnant women

Influenza is an infection that affects both children and adults. However, it kills those who are biologically weak, says Immunization State Council chairperson and infectologist of Children’s Vaccination Centre Dace Zavadska.

Investor activity made easier between Latvia and Vietnam

An intergovernmental agreement has been signed between the Republic of Latvia and Socialist Republic of Vietnam on prevention of double taxation and tax avoidance in relation to income tax.

Colder masses of air to enter Latvia in coming days; precipitation to be limited

Although high atmospheric pressure will be present above Latvia in the coming days, southern regions in Latvia will experience short-term precipitation on Saturday, 12 October, caused by the cyclone active above Poland. Colder masses of air will enter Latvia in the coming days.

Maltese journalist said to be killed by remotely-controlled explosive

Officials in Malta have unveiled it is assumed that investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered by an explosive places under her car, which was detonated remotely.

Prime Minister: Latvia cannot accept additional asylum seekers

Latvia cannot afford to resettle additional asylum seekers, said Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis during his meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday, 19 October.

Scandinavians purchase tourism company in Lithuania; changes expected in Latvia too

Dutch Otravo online travel organization has expanded and has purchased Lithuanian online travel agency Interno Partneris, thereby entering the Baltic market.

Ombudsman: non-citizen status matter should be resolved in next decade

The next ten years may be the transition period to ‘put an end’ to the non-citizen status in Latvia, said ombudsman Juris Jansons in an interview to LTV programme Rīta panorama.

Swedish Foreign Minister: harassment exists at highest political level

The Foreign Affairs Minister of Sweden, Margot Wallström, has commended the current sexual assault and harassment awareness campaign in social media and urged to fellow politicians to address the problem.

Latvenergo recognized as Latvia’s most valuable company for tenth time

Latvenergo has been recognized as Latvia’s most valuable company in 2017. Its value grew 34% in comparison with 2016, according to the TOP 101 list of Latvia’s most valuable companies compiled by Prudentia and Nasdaq Riga.

Number of births and number of deaths decline in Latvia

During the first nine months of this year 15,723 babies were born in Latvia, which is 1,113 children fewer than in the corresponding period of the last year.

CC applies binding conditions for the sale of MTG Broadcasting AB

Latvian Competition Council has decided to permit Bite Lietuva to purchase MTG Broadcasting AB group’s businesses in Latvia. CC has applied several binding conditions to prevent a possible impact on competition on the television services and advertisement market.

Eesti Energia warns: Limiting CO2 emissions on capacity could endanger energy supply

Estonian energy giant Eesti Energia has evaluated that a plan under discussion in the European Union to introduce a carbon dioxide release limit for capacity mechanisms to qualify for subsidies could adversely affect the security of supply in Estonia and the Baltic states.

Solidarity tax norm recognized as non-compliant with Latvia’s Constitution

On Thursday, 19 October, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia declared the Solidarity tax norm as non-compliant with the country’s Constitution.

Survey: Riga residents go to the doctor’s the most often

34% of residents undergo regular health checks, according to Mana Aptieka & Apotheka health index. In addition, women are twice as serious about health checks as men.

LG cozies up with idea of rebuilding railway tracks to Reņģe, Latvia

Lithuania‘s Lietuvos Geležinkeliai has sent a mixed message as to what it intends to do next following an EC fine of nearly 28 million against it over the dismantling a 19-km railway stretch with the Latvian village of Rengė.