Latviski English По-русски
Sunday 26.01.2020 | Name days: Agneta, Agnis, Ansis

Lithuania‘s political and economic diary. European Commission advises Lithuania to tax real estate and vehicles

(+1 rating, 1 votes)

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

In an annual list of recommendations, the European Commission heeds Lithuania that over 30 percent of the country’s population is prone to the risks of poverty.

Meanwhile, the employed are plagued with the burden of taxes, whereas some of the assets which could generate additional taxes for budget, like real estate and vehicles, are still exempted from taxation.

But the list, experts note, this year is shorter, as the Commission has focused on the main issues of the Lithuanian economy.

«Lithuania’s tax revenue still depends very much on direct and indirect taxation of the workforce; meanwhile the revenue from property taxation remains little. Hence Lithuania deals with issues executing its tax liabilities, first of all those related with VAT,» the EC says in its report.

Lithuanian opposition leader in trouble

Lithuanian opposition leader Andrius Kubilius has ended up in hot water back home after his visit to Ukraine, where the country’s president Petro Poroshenko assigned him as a member of the Ukrainian Government’s Advisory Council.

Following the news, Lithuanian MP Mečslovas Zasčiurinskas addressed the Lithuanian Parliament’s Commission of Ethics and Procedures, asking it to investigate whether Kubilius has not committed perjury as Member of Lithuanian Parliament.

«Lithuanian Constitution clearly says that duties of Member of Seimas are irreconcilable with any other duties in any state institutions or organizations, as well as with any work in commerce institutions or enterprises,» Zasčiurinskas was quoted as saying by Lithuanian media.

Court upholds acquittal of Lithuanian presidential spokeswoman

A Vilnius court has upheld the acquittal of presidential spokeswoman Daiva Ulbinaitė who had been charged of leaking a state secret.

After hearing the appeal, the court changed the grounds for acquittal and decided that the information specified in the letter of the State Security Department was listed as state secret without reasonable grounds.

«Although related with assessment of risk factors and threats of a foreign country, the analytical information drafted by the State Security Department was listed as a state secret without reasonable grounds, as disclosing the content will not have a negative effect upon national security and interests of the state and the society,» the court said in the ruling.

Ulbinaitė was charged with leaking a state secret to editor of the BNS news agency. The probe was opened after BNS published a story in October 2013 about the department’s warning to Lithuania’s state leaders about information attacks plotted by Russia.

Investigators raid Environment Ministry

Officers of the Special Investigation Service (STT) carried out a search and seizure at Lithuania’s Ministry of Environment on Wednesday, May 13. They took computers from the Public Information Project Management Division.

The Ministry of Environment said in a statement that the STT seized computers as part of the pre-trial investigation into possible influence on officials of the ministry delegated by the party Order and Justice. Investigators suspect illegal actions to create exceptional conditions for certain companies participating in public procurement tenders.

In January 2015 the STT carried out search and seizures at the headquarters of the party Order and Justice. It is suspected that companies which won public procurement tenders organised by various institutions in returned paid to the party or related individuals for their illegal services.

Opposition wants re-evaluation of Lithuanian parliament deputy speaker

Andrius Kubilius, the Seimas’ opposition leader, has proposed that Loreta Graužinienė, the Seimas speaker, re-evaluate whether Vydas Gedvilas may continue holding the position of the first deputy speaker of the Seimas.

«Recently it has transpired that the Special Investigation Service (STT) submitted reports and additional information to the president and the prime minister about Vydas Gedvilas, the first deputy speaker of the Seimas. When the president received this information she publicly stated that Gedvilas’ candidacy for the education and science minister cannot even be considered. After the STT submitted full information to the prime minister, Gedvilas himself refused to stand in as the ministerial candidate,» noted Kubilius.

NATO chief mum on the Baltic call for permanent brigade

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has so far refused to voice out his take on the Baltic call for deployment of a permanent brigade in the territories in an effort to deter Russia.

Speaking at a news conference in Turkey about the letter in preparation in the three Baltic States in this respect, the NATO chief stressed that the Alliance’s presence in the region had already been enhanced, adding he would only be able to comment on the request after seeing the letter.

«When we see the letter, we will carefully assess the specifics of it,» Stoltenberg said at the final news conference after the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Antalya.

Earlier on Thursday, May 14, spokesman for the Lithuanian Armed Forces confirmed that the three Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia would ask NATO leadership to deploy a permanent brigade.

Meanwhile, Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, the director of Vilnius University’s Institute of International Relations and Political Science, believes that the Baltic States should have verified positions of Allies before submitting the request to NATO to deploy a military brigade in their territories.

«It would have been best to check the possible reaction of partners in NATO, particularly the reaction of NATO’s main countries, through diplomatic channels before sending the letter,» the political expert told BNS, a Lithuanian news agency, on Thursday.

Seimas votes down Constitutional amendment to extend mandatory education

The Lithuanian parliament has rejected a Constitutional amendment which stipulates extension of mandatory education age from the current 16 to 18.

Lithuanian parliament votes down Constitutional amendment to extend mandatory education

The amendment was supported by 46 parliamentarians in the first discussion, ten were against and 41 abstained. The bill was returned to its authors.

Under the changes, the country’s main law should envisage that education should be mandatory for all people until the age of 18, which would raise the age limit from the current 16.

The Education and Science Ministry said implementation of the Constitutional amendment would require additional funding of 2-3 million euros annually to cover tuition of about 1,400 teenagers between 16 and 18 who are currently out of school.

Seimas rejects president’s veto on amendments to Law on Forestry

The Seimas has rejected amendments to the Law on Forestry, vetoed by President Dalia Grybauskaitė, and preserved the current system of state forest enterprises. Around 500 foresters staged a rally in front of the Seimas building against Grybauskaitė’s veto.

The law amendments that were adopted by the Seimas provide for an obligation to preserve 42 state forest enterprises without their amalgamation. Such proposal was supported by 103 MPs, while 8 MPs were against with 4 abstentions.

The president had vetoed the amendments saying that they are against the Government’s reform of forestry and transition to efficient and centralized management of forests.

Ref: 020/

Leave a reply

Development of areas along Rail Baltica line will require investments worth EUR 300 million

In order to implement infrastructure development projects along Rail Baltica line in Riga, it will be necessary to secure investments up to EUR 350 million in the next ten-year period, as reported by Riga City Council chairman Oļegs Burovs.

Olainfarm shareholders fail to convene due to lack of quorum

Because of the lack of quorum, the extraordinary meeting of Olainfarm shareholders originally scheduled for Friday, 24 January, did not take place. It was planned to discuss changes to the company council during this meeting, as reported by the company’s representative Ieva Lapiņa-Ennīte.

EY: investors more optimistic about Latvia’s economic competitiveness

Last year, investors’ opinion of the competitiveness of Latvia’s economy improved for nearly all indexes, as reported by EY Latvija representatives.

Bulgaria accuses three Russian citizens for poisoning of arms producer

Three Russian citizens have been charged by Bulgaria over the attempted murder of an arms producer and another two Bulgarians using a poison. One survivor believes there is a link with the poisoning of the Skripals in the United Kingdom.

Ignoring sanctions, Ventspils City Council approves budget created under Lembergs’ watchful eye

In spite of sanctions imposed by USA, Ventspils City Council approved the city’s budget for 2020, which came to be under absolute influence from Aivars Lembergs, on Thursday, 23 January, BNN was told by opposition deputy Aivis Landmanis.

Estonia eyes one-year prison sentence for first-time drunk drivers

Estonian government ministers have proposed harsher sanctions for drunk driving. Their initiative comes after three people got killed in a crash, where a heavily intoxicated driver was involved.

Latvian residents trust National Armed Forces the most and the Saeima the least

Latvia’s residents trust the country’s National Armed Forces and the president the most and the Saeima the least, according to the survey performed by Latvian National Security Academy’s Security and Strategic Research Centre.

In China, coronavirus claims more lives as transport limitations put in place

The Chinese outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus has reached the death toll of 26 people, meanwhile, authorities are trying to keep it from spreading introducing transport movement limitations in at least 10 cities.

Information about VDD new office building’s construction costs is a state secret

Although some media have mentioned different amounts of money the construction of a new office for the State Security Service at the location of former Marss cycling track may cost, the service reports that this information is considered a state secret.

Kariņš: Latvia is no longer the younger brother – our country’s voice is heard

Latvia is no longer the younger brother on the international arena – our country is heard and its opinion is taken seriously, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš at annual foreign policy debates on Thursday, 23 January.

Poland passes law on limiting public actions, statements of judges

The Polish Sejm has passed a draft law that sets forth limiting the say of judges over justice appointments, court reform and politics. The limitations have been widely criticised abroad.

Linkaits: banks once again service Ventspils Freeport terminals

The situation with Ventspils Freeport is gradually becoming more relaxed. On top of that, banks once again service port terminals there, as Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits affirmed in a conversation with journalists on Thursday, 23 January.

Aivars Lembergs picks ex-prime minister’s freelance advisor Grudulis as his lawyer for debates

The suspended Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs, who is also accused of committing serious crimes and is under US sanctions, has picked once the prime minister of Latvia Māris Kučinskis’ freelance advisor Māris Grudulis as his lawyer for debates in court, as was announced in court on Thursday, 23 January.

What is Lithuanian President’s main reason to skip Jerusalem Holocaust forum?

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has unexpectedly flip-flopped on where and how to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland. First, he said he will attend the commemoration in Jerusalem, but then changed his mind to pay homage to the Jewish victims in Auschwitz, in Poland. The reason? Well, there is no clear official reason for that – President’s Office did not provide one.

Audit: Rail Baltica slowed by poor risk management and slow progress with municipalities

Delays and cost increase of Rail Baltica project is heavily affected by no risk management and no strategy, as well as slow progress in cooperation with municipalities and passive alienation of properties, Latvian State Audit concluded in its latest report.

China stops public transport in two cities over coronavirus

In China, a new strain of coronavirus has claimed the lives of 17 people. To keep it form spreading, local authorities have stopped the public transport to and from the cities of Wuhan and Huanggang.

BNN investigation | Rebenoks and Krieķis may have plans to return to Olainfarm board despite ties to serious crimes

Ex-Olainfarm officials Mārtiņš Krieķis and Pāvels Rebenoks, the latter also serving as Latvian Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro’s advisor, may return to the company’s board to, possibly, continue walking «well-travelled path» paved with non-transparent deals, according to information available to BNN.

In Estonia, forgetting to register child’s name can lead to municipality choosing it

Estonian law obliges parents to register the name of their child in a month’s time after giving birth. In the unlikely case of them being late, the law opens right to a local municipality to choose it.

Change of concept? Viesturs Kairišs becomes Dailes Theatre’s artistic director

Dailes Theatre’s board member Juris Žagars has picked Viesturs Kairišs as the theatre’s new artistic director, as journalists were told by Žagars on Thursday, 23 January.

Lukashenko: Belarus needs to diversify its oil imports, introducing Baltic supplies

As Minsk and Moscow are in talks to solve a dispute over the continuation of oil imports from Russia, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that Russian supplies could be cut to 30-40% of Belarus’ total imports.

Minister does not exclude possibility of number of municipalities in Latvia increasing

The Administrative Territorial Reform offers reducing the number of municipalities to 39 in Latvia. Still, it is possible there may be one or two more, said Latvian Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce in an interview to LTV programme Rīta Panorāma on Thursday, 23 January.

Thirteen people die from influenza in Latvia

Three people died from influenza in Latvia last week, increasing the number of victims to 13 for this year’s flu season, according to monitoring data of acute upper respiratory tract infections published by Disease Prevention and Control Centre.

Lithuania tries to halt haulage firm exodus to Poland with new tax

Lithuania is introducing a new «exit tax» to keep road haulage firms from relocating to other European Union member states. The firms say that other ways of moving business abroad will be used.

Corruption fighters: corruption perception indexes decline in Latvia in 2019

Latvia’s positions had worsened slightly in 2019 in global anti-corruption coalition Transparency International composed Corruption Perception Index.

UK parliament passes draft Brexit law

In London, the draft law on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union has been finally passed by the Houses of Parliament after years of inability of British legislators to decide on their preferred way out of the bloc.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!