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Friday 24.01.2020 | Name days: Krišs, Eglons, Ksenija
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Week in Lithuania: awards to Jew savers presented, majority in Seimas restored, Foreigner centre criticised

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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.

EBRD to pull out from Lithuanian Bank

The European Bank for Co-operation and Development, which has invested almost 1 billion euros in Lithuania, has decided to withdraw from shareholders of Lithuania’s Šiaulių Bankas, but it plans to stay a Citadele shareholder for some time, Ian Brown, the EBRC head of the Baltics, said.

President bestowed awards on Jew savers

President Gitanas Nausėda on Friday, September 20, presented Life Saving Cross awards to people who saved Jewish from the Nazis’ genocide. All in all, 38 people will be awarded, with the majority of them posthumously. Their awards were presented to family members. The head of state dedicated these awards to the upcoming Day of Remembrance for Jewish Victims of Genocide in Lithuania, which will be marked on September 23. The Vilnius Ghetto was liquidated on that day.

Top court rejects Seimas opposition’s request on government approval

The Constitutional Court of Lithuania on Thursday, September 19, rejected the Seimas opposition’s request to rule whether the approval of the Saulius Skvernelis government after the president election did not run counter to the procedures embedded in the Constitution. The Court ruled that the lawmakers from the Homeland Union- Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) provided only statements and considerations of abstract and contradictory nature, but did not provide their position and legal arguments.

EC okays cost cutting scheme for KLNG terminal

The European Commission on Thursday, September 19, endorsed the measures Lithuania plans to implement to reduce the annual maintenance costs of the Klaipeda-based LNG terminal, the country’s Energy Ministry said. It will allow making further necessary decisions on the reduction of payments for the LNG terminal beyond 2020 by 23-25 million euros a year, the ministry said.

Ruling block backs bid to ban flavoured e-cigarettes

Lithuania’s ruling parties back the opposition’s initiative to ban flavoured e-cigarettes, their representatives said on Thursday, September 19. Such flavours would be banned from July, with the initiative’s supporters claiming that cherry, vanilla or mint flavours make young people hooked on nicotine. Such a ban is already in place in Estonia, and Sweden plans to introduce it next year.

Majority restored in Lithuanian parliament

A majority was restored in the Seimas of Lithuania as of Thursday, September 19, after a newly-formed political group, «For Lithuania’s Welfare», signed a cooperation agreement with the ruling parties, Ramūnas Karbauskis, leader of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, said. The cooperation agreement was signed by the elders of the LFGU, the Social Democratic Labour Party and the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance. The four groups have 75 votes in the parliament.

Businesses call on President to improve public sector’s efficiency

Business associations called on President Gitanas Nausėda on Wednesday, September 18, to take measures to improve the efficiency of the public sector, saying that much of education and social security spending is inefficient. According to Danas Arlauskas, the director general of the Lithuanian Business Employers’ Confederation, representatives of business associations also informed Nausėda of their position that reinvestments should not be taxed.

German submarine moors in seaport of Klaipėda

A German Navy submarine moored in the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda on Wednesday, September 18, the Defence Minister said. The U-31 submarine was escorted by the FGS Oste, another warship of the German Navy. The ship was welcomed by Deputy Defence Minister Vytautas Umbrasas who noted that Germany remains one of Lithuania’s key allies ensuring security across the Baltic Sea region.

Conservatives’ leader calls Ušackas decision regrettable

Gabrielius Landsbergis, the leader of the opposition Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats, says it is regrettable that Vygaudas Ušackas, a former long-time diplomat who has recently left the conservative party, chose to work at a multinational avia company ASG. On Tuesday, Ušackas took up his new position as a member of the board of directors at ASG responsible for overseeing and coordinating the group’s international relations and helping its investment teams to invest in new regions.

CNSD considers MP probe, removes impeachment bid

Lithuania’s parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence on Wednesday, September 18, edited the questions of the planned investigation into MP Irina Rozova’s ties with Russian diplomats and said it no longer planned to look into whether there’s sufficient evidence to launch impeachment proceedings.

Narvesen stores, Lietuvos Spauda kiosks start selling Bitcoins

Narvesen stores and Lietuvos Spauda kiosks launched this week the sale of Bitcoin vouchers that can be exchanged online into Bitcoins, one of the most popular cryptocurrencies. Narvesen stores and Lietuvos Spauda kiosks have been chosen for that purpose due to their wide network of stores, a positive attitude to cryptocurrencies, the necessary targeted audience and the possibility to buy vouchers swiftly, Rebiton, the startup behind Bitcoin vouchers, said in a statement.

Lithuania, Poland discus Belarus’ energy dependence

Lithuania and Poland are discussing projects that could help reduce Belarus’ energy dependence on Russia, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Tuesday, September 17. Skvernelis said he discussed the issue with his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, who was visiting Vilnius on Tuesday. The prime minister did not name any specific projects, but mentioned that diversification of energy sources by using Lithuania’s infrastructure is under discussion.

Statue of poet-diplomat Oscar Milosz unveiled near Paris

 A statue of Lithuanian poet and diplomat Oscar Milosz (Oskaras Milašius in Lithuanian) has been unveiled in Fontainebleau, a town near Paris. The monument was unveiled in the garden of the town’s La Charite Royale cultural centre on Sunday, September 15, the Lithuanian embassy to France said.

Lithuanian foreigner centre in hot water

The staff of Lithuania’s detention centre for illegal migrants do not speak foreign languages, detained families with children are held behind bars and not all of the children living there attend school, an investigation has revealed. These and other violations, such as failure to offer Muslim inmates alternatives to pork-based meals, were identified in the Foreigners’ Registration Centre in Pabradė, close to Vilnius, this week by the Seimas’ Ombudsmen’s Office.


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