Latviski English По-русски
Sunday 22.09.2019 | Name days: Maigurs, Mārica, Māris

Week in Lithuania: PM clears no-confidence vote, top Court slaps LFGU, councillor fined for slander

(No Ratings Yet)

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

Last week, Lithuania suffered upset in 2019 Eurovision Song Contest; PM Saulius Skvernelis survived a vote of no-confidence by the ruling LFGU; the Constitutional Court ruled that the Seimas breached law in dealing with public broadcaster LRT.

POLITICS: PM survives party’s confidence vote

PM Saulius Skvernelis survived on Tuesday, May 14, a vote of no-confidence by the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union’s (LFGU) political group in the Seimas, and the LFGU group has also changed its position and wants to stay in the ruling majority. During a secret ballot on Tuesday night, all 46 group members who attended the meeting voted in favour to express confidence in the prime minister. The prime minister himself had asked for such a vote and he did not take part in it.

Ruling party mulls changing general election date

The ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) is to propose to change the date of parliamentary elections for earlier after the country elects its new president, the ruling party’s leader said on Thursday, May 16. Karbauskis did not rule out the possibility of holding an early parliamentary election next spring.

Seimas speaker does not abandon dual citizenship bid

Viktoras Pranckietis, the speaker of the Seimas, called on Wednesday, May 15, for continued efforts to amend the Constitution to allow dual citizenship to more Lithuanians. Pranckietis described Sunday’s referendum as a successful initiative, even though it did not cross the required threshold of «yes» votes to pass the amendment. The referendum met the required turnout threshold, but fell around 300,000 «yes» votes short of adopting the amendment.

INVESTIGATION: Seimas LRT probe panel breached Constitution

The ruling LFGU-orchestrated Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania breached the country’s Constitution when it established a special commission to investigate activity of the public broadcaster LRT, the Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday, May 16. The Court said such a commission’s establishment violated the Constitution’s article on the freedom of speech and the LRT’s independence from politicians.

FINANCE: Central bank chief survives no-confidence vote

The Lithuanian parliament did not pass a resolution expressing no-confidence in the central bank governor, Vitas Vasiliauskas, on Tuesday, May 14. Forty-seven MPs supported the no-confidence motion, 51 voted against and one abstained.

JUSTICE: Councillor fined for defamation of partisan leader

A Klaipeda court imposed on Tuesday, May 14, a fine of 12,000 euros on Viačeslav Titov, a local politician, for the defamation of the memory of Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, one of the leaders of Lithuania’s anti-Soviet partisan resistance. The Klaipeda District Court found Titov guilty of incitement to hatred, denial of Soviet crimes and the defamation of the memory of a deceased person, Olga Sadovskaja.

Prosecutors dismiss allegations about pressure on CIA prison probe

Public allegations that prosecutors or politicians exerted influence or pressure on an investigation into secret CIA prisons are unfounded, the Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office said on Wednesday, May 15. The office said it had refused to open a probe into the statements after checking information and questioning a person indicated by Julius Rėksnys, a prosecutor who aired these allegations in the media.

MEDIA: Lietuvos Rytas daily to be issued 3 times per week

Lithuanian company Lietuvos Rytas, operating one of the largest media groups in the country, plans to issue its daily newspaper with the same name three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, as of next year, the news website reported. Several independent sources told the website the decision had been made already and would be announced with the launch of the 2020 subscription. Now the daily comes out five times per week.

President removes journalist from state awardee list

President Dalia Grybauskaite has removed Šarūnas Černiauskas, an investigative journalist who was sacked from the online news site last week, from the state awardee list, her press service said on Thursday, May 16. Černiauskas, who received the Medal of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas in February 2018, was removed from the list for discrediting the name of an awardee, it said. 15min said on Wednesday it had sent information on Černiauskas’ private information collection activity to law-enforcement officials.

BUSINESS: Lithuania’s PIS scheme was flawed

Lithuania’s public interest services (PIS) scheme that was in force in 2014 contained elements of state aid and distorted or threatened to distort competition, the EU Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday, May 15. The judgement is important for the fertilizer manufacturers Achema and Lifosa and the Orlen Lietuva crude refinery. The companies turned to courts over the PIS financing mechanism to challenge the requirement that businesses generating electricity for their needs should pay for public interest services.

Lithuania posts EU’s largest increase in new car sales

New car sales in Lithuania grew at the fastest rate in the European Union in the first four months of 2019, according to figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). New passenger car registrations in Lithuania soared to 14,700 in January through April, up 53 percent from 9,610 a year-ago.

Refinery returns two shipments of tainted Russian crude

Polish-owned Lithuanian crude refiner Orlen Lietuva has returned two shipments of Russian oil contaminated with chlorine compounds, the business daily Verslo Žinios reported on Thursday, May 16. Orlen Lietuva says the tainted oil was not unloaded from the tankers at its Būtingė terminal and did not reach the Mažeikiai crude refinery in northwestern Lithuania.

ENTERTAINMENT: Lithuania fails to make it to Eurovision final

Lithuania’s Eurovision entry, Jurijus Veklenko, has failed to make it to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.  The 28-year-old with his song «Run with the Lions» did not get through Thursday’s second semi-final in Tel Aviv. Last year, Lithuania’s Ieva Zasimauskaitė qualified for the final and finished in 12th place. The country’s best-ever Eurovision finish came in 2006 when LT United with their song «We are the Winners» placed sixth in Athens.

Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania: awards to Jew savers presented, majority in Seimas restored, Foreigner centre criticised

Last week, the top events in Lithuanian politics and business were awards being presented to people, who saved Jews, the restoration of a majority in the legislature and the EBRD bank to pulling out from Lithuania's Šiaulių Bankas.

BNN summary of the week: cut support; concert hall dreams; infection in Sigulda

Everyone will have to tighten their belts in the budget formation process – ministries and residents. Welfare Minister Ramona Petraviča announced plans to reduce unemployment benefit payment term from nine to eight months. She stressed that unemployment benefit is normally paid for four and a half months.

Competition Council permits sale of Bauskas Alus shares to CIDO Group

Latvia’s Competition Council has approved the sale of 100% of shares in SIA Bauskas Alus to CIDO Group under no special conditions. The deal is planned to be completed within a couple of months.

Rimšēvičs: banks have five billion in Bank of Latvia; country’s economy could benefit

Currently different commercial banks have roughly EUR 5 billion stored in the Bank of Latvia. This money could be «injected» into the country’s economy, as reported by the Latvian central bank’s governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs.

EU confident new Russia-Ukraine gas deal coming, Ukraine critical

In long-term gas deal talks between Russia and Ukraine about Russian gas transit through Ukraine held in Brussels, the European Union has seen positive signs a new deal could be reached, while Ukraine has expressed readiness stop transit if needed.

Bank of Latvia downgrades GDP growth outlook to 2.5% for 2019

The Bank of Latvia has downgraded GDP growth outlook from 2.9% to 2.5% in 2019 and from 3.1% to 2.6% in 2020, journalists were told by the Bank of Latvia governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs on 20 September.

August’s producer price level in industry down 0.1% in Latvia

Compared to July, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry dropped by 0.1 % in August 2019. Prices of products sold on the domestic market grew by 0.2 %, but prices of exported products reduced by 0.3 %.

Baltic Restaurants Latvia breached hygiene standards in Sigulda’s kindergartens

Catering service provider Baltic Restaurants Latvia did not follow personal hygiene standards and committed numerous violations for cleanliness and disinfection activities at kindergartens Ieviņa and Saulīte in Sigulda.

Riga Central Market becomes more accessible for disabled people

After taking into account complaints from residents, Riga Central Market’s Gastronomy Pavilion has been made more accessible for people with motor function disabilities and more convenient for sellers, said Prof. Baiba Rozentāle, chairperson of Riga City Council’s Social Affairs Committee.

Estonia in Atomic Agency’s management to look for small-state solutions

After Estonia’s first election to the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, its priorities in the body have been declared as development of technological solutions suitable for small countries for meeting climate objectives and the safe handling of radioactive waste.

Volume of imported petrol to Latvia down 6.7% in seven months

The volume of imported motor petrol to Latvia has declined 6.7% in the first seven months in 2019 when compared to the same period of 2018. The volume of imported diesel fuel has increased 0.1%.

Estonia criticises plan to link EU migrant relocation with financial penalties

As Italy is calling for the reshaping of the migration policy of the European Union, Estonian Interior Minister has voiced opposition to the plan and vowed not to take part in the first debate of the proposal about the centralised relocation of migrants.

RISEBA rector: when students «disappear» in the labour market and never return

The desire to become independent quickly and start earning money often outcompetes students’ desire to study, BNN was told by rector of Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration Irina Senņikova in a conversation about the unfinished education problem in Latvia.

Ryanair O’Leary’s option to earn EUR 99 million approved by 50.5% shareholders

In Europe’s largest airline Ryanair, shareholders have voted with 50.5% in favour of a new renumeration system for chief executive office Michael O’Leary. In case of very successful operations, it sets forth paying him 99 million euros in five years.

PVD: no more E. coli presence found at kindergartens in Sigulda

Investigation of the cause for E.coli spread in Sigulda has been performed to the maximum extent to prevent more infection cases, said Food and Veterinary Service’s director general Māris Balodis in an interview to Latvijas Radio on Friday, 20 September.

EU-South America trade deal unacceptable to Austria

The draft free trade agreement between the European Union and the largest trade bloc in South America, Mercosur, is set to be blocked by the Austrian government as legislators in Vienna believe it would have endangered rainforests and labour rights.

Weather to remain rainy and windy in Latvia

Cyclone activity will continue dictating weather conditions in Latvia on weekends. This means the sky will become clear only briefly, as reported by Latvian State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Sigulda municipality turns to police over infection cases in kindergartens

Sigulda municipality has turned to State Police to investigate the link between last week’s uncovered intestinal infection cases, including four infection cases involving salmonella bacteria, as confirmed by the municipality.

Latvian Saeima supports tighter mutual cooperation with USA in rights protection

On Thursday, 19 September, Saeima supported in the second and final reading a legislative draft, approving the September 2004 agreement for tighter cooperation between the Republic of Latvia and the United States of America for protection of rights.

Candidate: FCMC team should learn to work substantially, not formally

The team of Latvia’s Finance and Capital Market Commission should learn to work substantially, not formally, said the candidate for the post of chief of FCMC and Citadele Bank board member Santa Purgaile at a press –conference on Thursday, 19 September.

Lithuanian analysts on Russia-Belarus unification plan: actions louder than words

The announcement by Belarus and Russia this week of their entering into an economic confederacy by 2022 did not go unnoticed in Vilnius, which is courting the idea of recharging its dusty relations with Minsk. Is it just the Slavic countries’ new attempt to fulfil the endeavour?

Russia holds traditional holy man, who sought to drive out Putin

A Siberian shaman, who was on his way to Moscow, to «banish» Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been detained, Russian police has stated.

Costs for delivery of printed press to be compensated in Latvia

On Thursday, 19 September, Latvia’s Saeima supported in the second and final reading amendments to the Postal Law, which provide delivery of printed press under subscription in 2020 under the same rules and conditions that are in force now.

Saeima says state of emergency in Riga’s waste management sector is justified

Latvia’s Saeima has approved the decision made by the Cabinet of Ministers on declaring a state of emergency in Riga’s waste management sector.

Lithuanian PM’s lymhoma treatment met with solidarity by Health Minister

Lithuanian Health Minister has shaved his head expressing solidarity with Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, who is being treated against cancer.