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Week in Lithuania. Lithuania's Tripartite Council fails to reach agreement

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULithuania’s Tripartite Council on Tuesday, July 10, failed to reach agreement on raising the minimum wage. Employers are inclined to back the government’s proposal to raise the minimum pay to 420 euros. Meanwhile, trade unions want it increased to 450 euros.

Eglė Radišauskiene, a vice minister of social security and labour, reiterated the government’s previous position that the minimum wage should be calculated based on a formula presented by the Bank of Lithuania in 2017. Based on it, the minimum wage would grow to 420 euros.

Meanwhile, Kristina Krupavičienė, chair of the Lithuanian trade union Solidarumas (Solidarity), disagrees with the government’s proposal and says people will find it hard to survive on such a minimum wage. Trade unions want it raised to 450 euros based on the estimated average monthly salary in 2019.

The minimum wage in Lithuania was raised by 20 euros to 400 euros last year.

President calls LFGU resolution on new parliamentary probe «revenge»

President Dalia Grybauskaitė says a new parliamentary investigation into unlawful influence of businesses on politicians, initiated by Ramūnas Karbauskis, the chairman of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), is revenge of oligarchs currently standing trial. Karbauskis registered on Thursday a draft Seimas resolution that calls for a new parliamentary investigation into unlawful influence on political processes during the tenure of two previous governments. Karbauskis proposes to investigate the period between 2008 and 2016, with May 2019 to be set as a deadline for completing the probe.

Vilnius-London City Airport flights possibly in spring

A direct flight between Vilnius and London City Airport might be launched in the spring, Lithuanian Economy Minister Virginijus Sinkevičius says. On Wednesday, July 11, he and his counterpart of the Transport Ministry, Rokas Masiulis, currently substituting for Environment Minister Kęstutis Navickas, signed an order on the establishment of a flight between Vilnius and London City Airport, which is vital for the economic and social development of the country. According to Sinkevicius, a competition will be launched in September for an air carrier to operate regular 6–12 flights on this route a week. Flight should take place the whole year and tickets should be sold at market prices.

Association complains to Brussels

Lietuvos Keliai (Lithuanian Roads), an association of road and street construction and maintenance businesses, has complained this week to the European Commission over the Transport Ministry’s decisions that led to an overhaul of road construction enterprises and the establishment of a single state enterprise named Kelių Priežiūra (Road Maintenance). Rimvydas Gradauskas, head of Lietuvos Keliai, says that the association on June 15 turned to the EU’s executive body over what it describes as unlawful state aid and market monopolization.

Henke re-elected chairwoman of Lithuanian World Community

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Remains of Lithuanian 1918 independence act signatory reburied

The remains of Mykolas Biržiška, one of the twenty signatories of Lithuania’s 1918 declaration of independence, was reburied in Vilnius on Wednesday, July 11. The signatory, whose remains were flown earlier this week from the United States, was buried in the capital’s old Rasos Cemetery, next to Jonas Basanavičius, chairman of the Council of Lithuania which signed the independence act of February 16, 1918.

IT sector welcomes government plans

The Lithuanian government’s decision to expand the list of professions subject to simplified procedures for employing foreigners would help boost the country’s competitiveness, the director of the IT association Infobalt said.  The government approved on Wednesday, July 11, the Economy Ministry’s proposal to increase to 49, from 27, the list of professions for which there are not enough local workers. Nine of the 22 new professions proposed for the list are related to the information and communication technology business.

Lithuania grants asylum to Russian journalist

Lithuania has granted asylum to Russian journalist Yevgeni Titov, the Migration Department said on Wednesday, July 11. The Migration Department in February 2017 refused to grant asylum to Titov, saying that his fears were objectively unsubstantiated.  The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court last October told the authority to reconsider the Russian journalist’s application for asylum. The journalist came to Lithuania in 2016, saying that he had been followed in Russia and faced indirect threats over his activities.

Government approves extra contribution

Lithuania is set to make an additional contribution to the capital of RB Rail, a joint venture established by the three Baltic countries for the implementation of the European-standard gauge railway project Rail Baltica. The government on Wednesday, July 11, gave the go-ahead for using the state’s funds to increase the authorized share capital of Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) by 650,200 euros. The money will go to the state railway company’s subsidiary Rail Baltica Statyba, the Lithuanian shareholder of RB Rail.

Norwegians finishes Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva expansion

Norway’s Linstow has finished expansion of the Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva hotel in Vilnius. Linstow – has invested almost 19 million euros in to the construction of a new building. The 8-storey building was built near the existing 20-storey four-star hotel on the right bank of the River Neris. The new building houses 165 hotel rooms as well as commercial and office spaces. All in all, the hotel now has 456 rooms after expansion.

Lithuania might increase defence spending

Lithuania mulls to increase its defence spending by several dozen million euros this year to reach NATO’s defence standard of 2 per cent GDP. According to NATO projections, Lithuania’s defence budget should stand at 1.96 per cent GDP this year. It was said last year, when the 2018 budget being drawn up, that Lithuania’s defence spending would reach 2.006 per cent GDP. But the rate went down slightly due to the improvement of Lithuania’s GDP estimates last spring.


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