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Monday 23.07.2018 | Name days: Magda, Magone, Mērija
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Week in Lithuania. Competition watchdog screening pharmacy chains

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Lithuania’s Competition Council has opened an inquiry into the pharmaceutical chains operating in the country, with no information available yet on whether the scrutiny has to do with competition restrictions or with prohibited agreements.

Visits by the council’s representatives in the companies have been confirmed to BNS by two of the largest chains, namely, Eurovaistinė and Gintarinė Vaistinė. Meanwhile, the Competition Council has refrained from any comments yet.

Asta Valatkevičienė, communications chief at Eurovaistinė, confirmed to the media that the competition watchdog’s representatives had visited the company and requested certain information. Reportedly, officers of the competition watchdog also visited other pharmaceutical chains.

Currently, around 1,300 pharmacies operate in Lithuania, including over 1,000 operated by the largest chains, including Nemuno Vaistinė (295), Eurovaistinė (285), Gintarinė Vaistinė (230), Norfos Vaistinė (96) and Benu Vaistinė Lietuva (83).

Over 13,000 ICT specialists will be needed soon

Lack of information and communications technologies (ICT) specialists remains a challenge for companies working in the sector in Lithuania, while another 13,300 specialists will be needed within the coming three years, shows the latest survey by Infobalt association. Some 78 per cent of ICT companies in Lithuania intend to raise the need for these specialists, Paulius Vertelka, director at Infobalt, cited the survey. Around 22,600 ICT specialists currently work in Lithuania.

Seimas gives green light to new STT chief

Lithuania’s parliament on Tuesday, March 27, gave a go-ahead to the appointment of Žydrūnas Bartkus, 42-year-old master of law, to head the Special Investigation Service (STT), the country’s main counter-corruption agency. His candidacy was supported by 103 parliamentarians in a secret ballot, while nine were against and 14 abstained. One ballot was damaged. Under the law, STT director is appointed and dismissed by the president with a green light from the parliament. The director is appointed for a five-year term but cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.

MP to stay in Seimas panel but withdraw from inquiry

Conservative MP Laurynas Kasčiūnas has no intentions to leave the parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee after being questioned as witness in the MG Baltic corruption case. However, he said he was stepping aside from the inquiry on materials in connection to the political corruption case on possibly unlawful influence upon political processes. On Wednesday, March 28, Lietuvos Rytas daily said that Irena Degutienė, conservative vice-chairperson of the Lithuanian parliament, had been questioned by the Special Investigation Service about Kasčiūnas who had not yet won the Seimas mandate. He was then working as Degutienė’s adviser.

Lithuania to issue green bonds

Finance Ministry intends to launch an issue of green bonds on the domestic market, with the money to be used for renovation projects of multi-story apartment building. According to Audrius Želionis, director of the Finance Ministry’s Treasury Department, green bonds are attracting more and more attention in Europe, with such bonds last year issued by the state-run energy group Lietuvos Energija. The government securities would be issued by auction on the Nasdaq Vilnius stock exchange, with more information available after approval from the government. The plan is to on-lend the money to the Public Investment Development Agency, which would use the money for renovation of apartment buildings to boost their energy efficiency and some other means of renovation.

Politicians discuss operation of health care system in case of war

Politicians of the Lithuanian government and parliament on Thursday, March 29, discussed of how the country’s health system should operate in case of war. The meeting was attended by the ministers of defence and health, Raimundas Karoblis and Aurelijus Veryga, as well as the chairperson of the parliamentary Health Affairs Committee, Asta Kubilienė.

Seimas commission decides not to open probe on MP

The Lithuanian parliament’s Commission for Ethics and Procedures decided on Wednesday, March 28, not to look at whether there are grounds for impeachment proceedings against MP Mykolas Majauskas until prosecutors complete their investigation regarding an alleged libel against the lawmaker. In an interview aired by the Info TV station in early March, a young woman, whose name was not disclosed, accused Majauskas of unwelcome sexual behaviour toward her in his apartment more than five years ago.

Gediminas Hill remains in critical but stable state

Vilnius’ historic Gediminas Hill remains in a critical but stable state after the winter, with a risk of landslides at the base of the western slope and at a part of the south-eastern defensive wall, Deputy Culture Minister Renaldas Augustinavičius said on Wednesday, March 28. According to him, two sections remain at risk of landslides, including the lower part of the western slope and the top of the southeastern slope where a non-authentic defensive wall was rebuilt in 1994 to 1996. The government last December declared a national-level emergency over the poor condition of the capital’s landmark hill.

Government proposes to fine cyber security-reckless heads

The government proposes to sanction directors or other responsible personnel of budget-funded institutions failing to comply with cybersecurity requirements by administrative fines of between 30 and 1,400 euros. Currently, such fines can only be imposed on critical infrastructure managers, Deputy Defense Minister Edvinas Kerza said. The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) has said recently in a report that the situation regarding cybersecurity in Lithuania improved somewhat in 2017 compared with 2016, but efforts to ensure cybersecurity are still insufficient.

Twarkowski’s Lokis triumphs

The crew of the Lokis play triumphed at the Lithuanian Golden Cross of the Stage awards in Kaunas on Tuesday, March 28, winning four awards including one to director Lukasz Twarkowski. Staged at the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, Lokis won the awards for the best director, the best female performance by Airida Gintautaitė of actress Marie Trintignant. Actor Vytautas Anužis was awarded for the best male play as Nathan in Nathan The Wise directed by Gintaras Varnas.

Government signs cooperation declaration with Poland’s Orlen

Lithuania’s government and Poland’s oil concern Orlen signed a cooperation declaration in Vilnius on Tuesday, March 27, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said. According to him, the document emphasises the importance of cooperation in the sectors of energy and transport and communication. Before the signing ceremony, Government Vice-Chancellor Deividas Matulionis said that the declaration would also stipulate Orlen’s investment in modernisation of Orlen Lietuva oil refinery in Mažeikiai, northern Lithuania, as well as the company’s commitment to keep the current number of jobs.


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