bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 20.01.2018 | Name days: Aļģirds, Orests, Oļģerts, Alģis
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

Economist: the most important reform has to happen in people’s heads

«Of all the clever things taught to us in school about psychology, one thing that has stuck with me over the years is the idea of internal/external control point. There are people who believe they make their own fate. There are also people who believe our fate depends on external powers. I suspect people in Latvia explain successes and failures with external factors much more than people in Switzerland or any other country that has enjoyed its freedom longer than Latvia,» comments Luminor Bank’s economist Pēteris Strautiņš.

Minister promises bigger wages for working people and support for country’s industry

«Latvian Economy Ministry’s priorities for 2018 include increasing wages for working people and providing support to the country’s industry. For Latvia’s centenary year, every resident should have the right to experience the increase of the personal and state welfare,» promises Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Latvenergo: electricity price has declined 30% in the past three years

Average electricity price in Latvia has declined in recent years. The average price of electricity has declined by 30% at Nord Pool exchange between 2014 and 2017, allowing end user costs to decline, says Latvenergo.

Alcohol sellers in Estonia to be checked by little «police»

To find shop assistants illegally selling alcohol or tobacco to minors, Estonian police introduces the method of sending minors as police aides to retail shops to try to purchase the products banned to them.

EY study: cyber security has become a priority to banks this year

Over the course of the year, priorities of banks around the world have switched from reputation and risk management to data security matters, as concluded in the latest EY Global Banking Outlook 2018.

Political association: UGF and Harmony are covering up state capture

«Parliamentary investigation of Oligarchs case has shown what is what in the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia. Green farmers are in full harmony, covering up Aivars Lembergs and the fact of state capture. They and Inguna Sudraba have made the parliamentary investigation into a farce. Unfortunately, the power in those people’s hands is no farce – rather misfortune for all of Latvia. I hope citizens will take all that into account when they go voting,» says leader of Kustība Par! Daniels Pavļuts.

Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel plan lacks ambition, says «Angry Birds» game maker

While Finland and Estonia work on plans of an under-sea tunnel from Tallinn to Helsinki, the construction of which could start in the 2030s, a Finnish businessman, previously involved in development of Angy Birds video game, has presented plans to finish the massive construction project in 2024 already.

Experts: healthcare financing law will deny healthcare to the least protected

In a discussion regarding healthcare, experts said that Latvian President Raimonds Vējoņis’ proposed Healthcare Financing Law is economically unjustified and ineffective. The document lacks principles of a socially responsible state, because healthcare is becoming less accessible, which will likely worsen public health indexes, says Kustība Par! political party.

Branded «aggressor state», Russia says Ukraine buries Minsk peace agreements

As the Donbas War continues, the parliament of Ukraine has passed the so-called Donbas reintegration bill after three days of debates defining territories controlled by pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country as temporarily occupied by Russia.

Weather to remain winter-like in Latvia during the weekend and next week

On Friday and Saturday, no major increase of snow is expected. Air temperature will increase slightly, but colder masses of air will slow into the country on Sunday, as reported by Latvian State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Winter storm in Netherlands and Germany turns tragic

A powerful winter storm in western and central Europe has claimed the lives of eight people.

Lithuanian bishops: skipping fasting on February 16 this year is not a sin

In an unprecedented move, the Conference of Lithuanian Bishops, the governing body of the Lithuanian Catholic Church, said that meat dishes okay for the people of faith on February 16, which marks the 100-year anniversary of Lithuania's statehood and the Lent Friday, which is traditionally a day of fasting for religious Catholic people.

Coincidence? Votes from Harmony and UGF ensure Sudraba remains the head of Oligarchs case committee

On Thursday, 18 January, the majority of Saeima members voted against the proposal to dismiss Inguna Sudraba from the post of the head of parliamentary investigative committee in charge of the review of the infamous Oligarchs case.

Kaljulaid criticised over involvement of acclaimed, but unrestrained director in centennial reception

As Estonia readies for the presidential reception to honour the 100th anniversary of Estonia, its President Kersti Kaljulaid is being criticised in an open letter for trusting Tallinn’s NO99 theatre, whose director physically assaulted a female colleague.

22.1% of Latvia’s residents subjected to risk of poverty

In 2017, 425 thousand persons or 22.1 % of Latvia population were at risk of poverty in 2016 – 0.3 percentage points less than in 2015. Equivalent income of this part of the population were below 330 euros monthly.

LAAC: Latvia’s milk market can be sorted out by joining forces in exports

Latvian Association of Agricultural Cooperatives (LAAC) has received support and praise for the public discussion regarding rapid milk procurement price changes, which is something that has recently affected the majority of agricultural cooperatives. This has helped cooperatives band together in order to sort out the milk market. This idea came from the example set by grain producer cooperatives, which did the same thing fifteen years ago, as reported by the association’s representatives.

Forevers announces its decision to exit from Latvian Federation of Food Companies

Forevers meat processing company has decided to exit from Latvian Federation of Food Companies (LFFC). The contract between two parties will be terminated in January.

Saeima’s Oligarchs case investigative committee hastily approves final report

In spite of objections, grammatical errors, criticisms about lacking effort, as well as Inguna Sudraba’s unfit status to lead the committee, members decided to move the meeting from 11:00 to 08:00 and approve the final report in a rushed vote.

Removal of 1 and 2 euro cent coins from circulation suggested by Bank of Estonia

Estonian central bank is willing to follow the eurozone trend of limiting the circulation of euro 1-cent and 2-cent coins and in time to remove them entirely from circulation in the Baltic country.

Cert.lv: attacks on e-health system and LETA were likely ordered

Attacks on e-health system and LETA agency were likely ordered, said Cert.lv deputy manager Varis Teivāns in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV.

As Catalan parliament reconvenes, it elects pro-independence speaker

The Catalan regional parliament has in its first sitting since its ousting and snap December election elected a separatist-minded politician as its Chairman, which indicates that the attempts to break the region away from Spain would continue.

Latvia’s National Armed forces receive new Harris tactical radio equipment

In 2017, Latvia received tactical military radios worth USD 10.5 million from American Harris Corporation. Procurement of radio equipment will further improve command function and help develop a lasting communication system with other NATO member states, as reported by Latvian Defence Ministry.

MEP: Europe continues strengthening its energy independence

«The European Parliament has voiced strong support towards Europe’s energy independence and moving its energy policy away from Russia’s monopoly by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy resources,» said MEP Krišjānis Kariņš after the vote on Clean Energy Act’s first reading in Strasbourg.

Apple expected to pay additional 38 billion USD in taxes for money kept abroad

Motivated by the U.S. tax reform, Apple will pay about 38 billion U.S. dollars (31 billion euros) in tax on the roughly 250 billion dollars (204 billion euros) the computer technology firm keeps outside of its country of origin as it plans to focus more on its contribution to the American economy.

Latvian police commenced three criminal processes for contraband of drugs this year

In the first two weeks of 2018, State Revenue Service’s Customs Police commenced three criminal processes in regards to illegal drugs contraband in postal packages from Lithuania to Latvia.

Newest comments

Would you be ready to boycott something in your life?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: