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Saturday 17.08.2019 | Name days: Oļegs, Vineta
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Week in Lithuania. Conservatives leader doesn't back proposal on Communist Party

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Gabrielius Landsbergis, leader of the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats (HU-LCD), does not support a move by two conservative lawmakers to declare the Lithuanian Communist Party (LCP) a criminal organisation.

In his words, the enactment of such law would «sow» divisions at a time when society needs ideas that would unite, rally, bring hope and pave the way for the future.

The bill was tabled by two members of the HU-LCD political group in the Seimas, Audronius Ažubalis and Laurynas Kasčiūnas, who said they were seeking historical justice.

PM does not like anti-pollution plan

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis on Thursday, August 2, once again reiterated his government’s position that the anti-pollution plan, drafted by the Ministry of Environment, would not reach the government in its existing form.

Skvernelis also added that Environment Minister Kestutis Navickas knew the government’s position on taxing polluting cars. PM also reiterated the government’s position Thursday that a universal car tax in Lithuania is not on the table now.

PM got assurances from US congressmen

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis on Thursday, August 2, met with a delegation of American congressmen and says they assured him of support to Lithuania for ensuring security. In his words, the representatives of the US House of Representatives sent a clear message of support to Lithuania and a «certain signal to our neighbour».

Lithuania allocates funds for humanitarian aid

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday, August 2, it had allocated 60,000 euros in humanitarian aid to Syria, Mali, Somalia and Guatemala.

Syria will be allocated 20,000 euros via the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mali and Somali will receive 15,000 euros each via the World Food Program, and Guatemala will receive 10,000 euros in humanitarian aid for victims of the volcano eruption.

Funds are allocated to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to contribute to the provision of humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees, with 5.6 million such people in the region, with almost half of them being children.

Remains of famous partisan Ivanauskas found

Archaeologists have found the remains of Lithuanian partisan Albinas Ivanauskas at the Orphans’ Cemetery in the Antakalnis area of Vilnius. They were found near the place where the remains of Lithuanian partisan commander Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas were discovered in June, the LNK TV channel reports.

Lab tests later confirmed the authenticity of Ivanauskas’ remains. He was executed by firing at the KGB prison in Vilnius in 1957.

Only one other tomb separated Ivanauskas’ burial site from the grave of Ramanauskas-Vanagas. The remains of Ramanauskas-Vanagas who fought against Soviet occupation were found in June.

Ministry moves for sanctions

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry on Thursday, August 2, called on the Migration Department to apply sanctions on people complicit in human rights violations in the occupied territories of Georgia.

The ministry’s proposal comes in the run-up to the 10th anniversary of the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. The Georgian government in June announced sanctions against individuals under the so-called Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list.

Lithuania’s Ermitažas buys Estonia’s Bauhof

Ermitažas, a retail chain of building materials and do-it-yourself and household products that is part of Vilniaus Prekyba, one of Lithuania’s biggest business groups, has acquired Estonia’s DIY chain Bauhof.

Ermi Group, a holding company that owns Ermitažas, has taken over control of 100 percent of shares in Estonia’s Bauhof Group from MyInvest Estonia, Ermitažas said. Ermitažas has six stores in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Siauliai, Jonava and Ukmergė.

Government approves change of ambassadors

The Lithuanian government on Wednesday, August 1, gave the go-ahead for the change of ambassadors to Poland, India and several other countries. Šarūnas Adomavičius will be recalled as ambassador to Poland on November 7 and will then retire. It is not known yet who will replace him.

The Cabinet approved the appointment of Julius Pranevičius as Lithuania’s ambassador to India on September 3, succeeding Laimonas Talat-Kelpša, who ended his term of office in April. Loreta Zakarevičienė is to be recalled as ambassador to Austria on October 10. A search for a new ambassador is still under way.

Vilnius launches «pillow tax» declaration system

Vilnius authorities on Wednesday, August 1, launched an online system for hotels and other accommodation providers for the declaration of the so called «pillow tax», or tourist fee. Businesses are being invited to register at turistorinkliava.vilnius.lt on Aug. 1-10 and declare their tax revenues for the past month and transfer the money into Vilnius Municipality’s bank account by Aug. 25.

Vilnius introduced the 1-euro-per-night fee in July, with exemptions for minors, schoolchildren and disabled people. A special exemption for larger tourist groups will be in place until the end of this year.

Ruling LFGU sees Skvernelis as only presidential candidate yet

The ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union sees Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis as their sole candidate in the upcoming presidential election and does not have any alternative candidates, Economy Minister Virginijus Sinkevičius, representing the LFGU, says.

The eventual candidate has to be confirmed by the party’s convention and its date has not been set yet. The latest public poll by Spinter Tyrimai showed in June that Skvernelis would came in fourth in the upcoming presidential election as 6.3 per cent would vote for him. Economist Gitanas Nauseda came out as the poll leader.

Long-standing HU-LCD MP Degutiene mulls retiring

Irena Degutienė, a long-standing member of the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, does not plan to stand for election during the upcoming elections in Lithuania, and is also considering retiring from politics altogether.

Degutienė says she will not stand for election during the upcoming municipal and EP elections next year and will not run for the Lithuanian Seimas in 2020. Time has come for giving opportunities to the new generation, the MP said.


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Week in Lithuania: PM Skvernelis undergoes surgery, Nausėda meets Merkel, rebukes Latvia

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64.7% of Latvia’s population reportedly employed in Q2 2019

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