bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 23.08.2019 | Name days: Valgudis, Ralfs, Vitālijs
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania to hold referendum on reducing number of MPs

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

Seimas

A referendum on reducing the number of lawmakers to 121 from the existing 141 will be held on May 12 alongside the presidential election in Lithuania, the country’s parliament has decided after 58 lawmakers voted in favour on Thursday, February 14, 42 were against and two abstained.

The Seimas resolution on the referendum was adopted under a fast-track procedure, meaning the bill was put forward and adopted the same day. The referendum had been initiated by almost 40 members of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union’s political group in the Seimas.

Members of the opposition, who voted against, accuse the LFGU of using this initiate to increase voter turnout during the presidential run-off to ensure bigger support to Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis who’s running for president. Previously, the LFGU put forward constitutional amendments on reducing the number of Seimas members to 101 but the parliament failed to endorse this move.

Seimas ends fall session

Lithuania’s parliament, Seimas, officially finished its fall session on Thursday, February 14. Under the country’s Constitution, the fall session started on September 10 and finished on December 23 but this time it was extended by the parliament twice. The parliament has adopted 501 bills over the five months of the parliamentary session, including the key document of the year, the law on the state and municipal budget.

Government holds training on election cyber threats

The Chancellery of the Lithuanian Government held training exercises earlier this week, dedicated to countering cyber threats during elections. According to the government, the events on Tuesday, February 12, and Wednesday, February 13, were attended by representatives of the Central Electoral Commission, the presidential and government chancelleries, the Ministries of National Defence, Foreign Affairs and Justice, the National Cyber Security Centre, law enforcement institutions, intelligence services and the army. Experts from Sweden, Finland and Poland shared their experience.

Minister slams mayor’s raving

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has slammed as intolerable hints by Lazdijai Mayor Arūuras Margelis that Poland’s northeastern towns of Sejny and Punsk should be part of the southern Lithuanian district. When asked what he had wanted but so far failed to change in the municipality, Margelis told the Alfa.lt news website that it would be good to have Sejny and Punsk in the Lazdijai district. The mayor defended his remark, saying he was just joking and insisted that the Poles understand his humour. The two Polish towns have large communities of ethnic Lithuanians.

Lithuania won’t give up veto power on taxes

The veto power on tax matters is a major competitive advantage that Lithuania does not intend to abandon, Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka said on Thursday, February 14. The European Commission’s proposal to gradually move from unanimity to qualified majority voting on taxation was discussed at this week’s meeting of the Eurogroup and the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN). According to Šapoka, Lithuania receives support from other countries’ finance ministers on the issue.

Agency responsible for EU law to lose its independent status

Despite opposition from the Foreign Ministry, the Lithuanian government decided on Wednesday. February 13, to strip its agency supervising compliance with EU law of its status of a separate legal entity. The Cabinet approved a proposal to incorporate the European Law Department into the Justice Ministry. Supporters of the move say it will help save funds, but critics fear this may affect the quality of the agency’s work and its independence.

Lithuania strengthening its embassy in UK amid Brexit

In the run-up to Brexit, Lithuania is strengthening its embassy in the United Kingdom by adding new consular staff positions and extending reception hours.  The measures were presented at the Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday, February 13, the Foreign Ministry said. Amid a rapid increase in the number of Lithuanians applying to the embassy for the renewal of their documents, it is proposed to amend the Law on Identity Card and Passport to allow using external service providers’ services in accepting Lithuanian nationals’ documents for renewal, he said.

Funding for dual citizenship referendum campaign

The Lithuanian government decided on Wednesday, February 13, to allocate 230,000 euros for campaigning for a dual citizenship referendum expected to be held in May. The government plans to appoint a special working group for organizing the referendum, which is planned to be held on May 12 and May 26, 2019, in tandem with the first and second rounds of voting in Lithuania’s presidential election. The Constitutional Court is currently looking at whether the Seimas’ decision to hold the referendum on two days with a gap of two weeks between them is in line with the Constitution.

Commission head says has no info that Revolut threats

Alminas Mačiulis, head of a special government commission says the panel does not plan, at least for now, to reconsider the reliability of Revolut as it has no new information suggesting that the UK-based fintech startup, which is setting up a specialized bank in Lithuania, might pose a threat to national security. CBF Chairman Stasys Jakeliūnas, who wants Revolut’s reliability to be reassessed from the national security viewpoint, told reporters after the meeting that he would consider bringing the issue before the full parliament, adding that he would consult the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence on the matter.

Police seize 1.5 tons of hashish, detain three people

Lithuania’s police said on Wednesday, February 13, they had seized a record 1.5-ton shipment of hashish, destined for Russia, and detained two Lithuanian and one Belarusian citizens. Linas Pernavas, the police commissioner general, said in a press conference the drugs were bought on the wholesale market for slightly less than 1.5 million euros, and their retail value stands at around 20 million euros. The police chief also said the investigation took around six months and identified the drug distribution network involved.

Lithuania-Polish parliamentary assembly resumes work

The Lithuanian-Polish Parliamentary Assembly has resumed work after a decade-long break. Arvydas Nekrošius, leading the Lithuanian Seimas’ delegation, told Wednesday, February 13, that a declaration adopted during lawmakers’ meeting in Warsaw stressed the importance of this format and the need to continue meetings in the future.

LFGU will fund PM’s election campaign

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis’ presidential election campaign will be funded by the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, the party’s leader Ramūnas Karbauskis says. The LFGU has already donated 50,000 euros to Skvernelis’ election campaign, and Karbauskis says the party will donate all the necessary funds. Lithuania will elect a new president in May.

Lithuanian, Belarusian ministers met in Klaipeda

Lithuanian Transport and Communications Minister Rokas Masiulis met with his Belarusian counterpart, Alexei Avramenko, in Klaipeda on Tuesday, February 12, to discuss the results of and prospects for cargo transportation. The Klaipeda port handled a record 46.6 million tons of cargo last year, a rise of 7.9 percent compared with 2017.

Paysera launches operations in Estonia

Lithuanian-owned payment services company Paysera is starting operations in Estonia after opening a customer service centre in Tallinn, with plans to launch a sales unit in the spring. Paysera CEO Vytenis Morkūnas said on Monday, February 11, that expansion abroad is one of the company’s main strategic goals. Paysera plans to invest up to 700,000 euros in the Estonian unit, which is headed by Anna Nicols, within three years.


Leave a reply

No obstacles to Riga signing waste contract on 20 years, says ministry, despite probe

Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development has stated that the plan by the Riga City Council to award a waste management contract on 20 years is not against the law, despite competition regulator investigating alleged violations.

Riga pledges to increase use of Latvian in its kindergartens

The Riga municipality will continue increasing the use of the Latvian language in the kindergartens of the capital, the responsible department of the Riga City Council has stated in reaction to calls to switch all kindergarten groups to the official language.

France supports new, short Brexit talks for UK to leave with deal

Emmanuel Macron of France supported new, month-long Brexit negotiations to avoid a no-deal Brexit, but was against the removal of the Irish backstop from the deal – a key demand by his guest British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Lithuania backs Sinkevičius as European Commission nominee

The Lithuanian parliament on Thursday, August 22, voted to support Virginijus Sinkevičius, the Lithuanian Minister of the Economy and Innovation, as the country’s pick for the next European Commission.

New member of Riga Freeport board rushes to meet controversial Šlesers, TV3 Ziņas says

Riga councilman Sandris Bergmanis has a day after being elected to the board of the Freeport of Riga Authority met with businessman and former Latvian minister Ainārs Šlesers, according to the news programme TV3 Ziņas.

Latvian power production drops to lowest level in year

Energy companies in Latvia produced 357 655 megawatt hours of power in July, which is the lowest level of national power output since July 2018. This allowed to cover 64% of the Latvian electricity consumption, according to AS Augstsprieguma tīkls.

Compensation payments of defunct Latvian PNB Banka begin

With operations of the Latvian bank, AS PNB Banka, stopped, the process of paying the guaranteed compensation to its clients has begun on August 22, according Citadele, the lender tasked with the payments.

Riga planning to introduce tourist fee – one euro per day

The Riga City Council is discussing a plan to introduce a tourist fee charging all places of tourist accommodation a fee of one euro per day.

Expert: With Belarus electricity freezing Baltics’ solidarity, Moscow is over the moon

In a blow to Lithuania’s far-reaching plans, Latvia has announced it looks forward to buying electricity from a nuclear power plant in Belarus’ Astravyets under construction 50 kilometres away from Vilnius.

WHO: Little risk from microplastics in drinking water

The World Health Organization has declared that the current level of microplastic particles in drinking water does not pose is not a serious risk for health, yet more research was necessary to determine their effects on human health.

Subsidies to controversial Riga transport company could increase by EUR 20 mln

Amid the criticism of the Riga municipal transport company Rīgas satiksme for its losses and their effect on the Latvian state budget, a plan has been voiced to increase its subsidies, now 120 million euros, by another 20 million euros, Latvian Radio reports.

Latvian Minister keeping adviser detained by corruption watchdog for now

Latvian Agriculture Minister Kaspars Gerhards will clarify the reason, why his advisor and the mayor of the city of Ogre, Egils Helmanis, has been detained by corruption investigators, to decide on keeping him in office.

Trump, Macron willing to readmit Russia to G7, despite Crimea annexation

The leaders of France and the United States have expressed their backing to readmitting Russia to the G7 conference of world powers in 2020, despite Ukraine’s Crimea still being held by Moscow, CNN reports.

Latvian excise tax income up by 8% in first half of 2018

The Latvian excise tax income in the first half of 2019 has been 521 million euros, –an increase by 39 million euros, or 8.1% – compared to the respective period last year, showed data by the Latvian State Revenue Service.

Latvian PM: Most of freely available 2020 budget funds already earmarked

Discussing the 2020 Latvian national budget, Latvian prime minister Krišjānis Kariņš pointed out that its fiscal space is limited by previous decisions and that the expected losses of the Riga transport company will not permit raising wages and pensions nationally.

Corruption watchdog detains Ogre city mayor Helmanis

The Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has on Wednesday detained the mayor of central Latvian city of Ogre, Egils Helmanis, according to LETA news agency.

New members to Freeport of Riga Authority elected, despite criticism

The Riga City Council elected to the Board of the Freeport of Riga Authority, mayor Oļegs Burovs and councilman Sandris Bergmanis, despite heavy criticism of the latter for incompetence and lack of vision.

Italy loses government, coalition of right-wing, anti-establishment parties collapses

Italy has lost its government with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announcing resignation after the right-wing League party pushed for no-confidence motion to its own government.

Kaljulaid opposed to Estonian minister after police chief scandal

Alleging that Estonian Interior Minister Mart Helme has violated the law by trying to sack top police chief, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has stated that the minister has no place in the government.

Planned Latvian economic cases’ court conceptually backed by government

The plan by the Latvian Ministry of Justice to establish a court of economic cases has on Tuesday, August 20, been supported by the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers.

Riga deputy mayor posts go to Harmony and independent politician

In the Riga City Council, deputy mayors have been elected with one post going to Anna Vladova from Harmony and the other – to Vadims Baraņņiks from the group of independent councilmen.

Latvia charges energy company executives for attempted fraud

Two board members of Latvian power company SIA Rīgas enerģija have been charged in a criminal case for an attempt to acquire with deceit the rights to supply electricity as part of the mandatory procurement component programme.

Consumer protection: 34% of Latvians admit post-vacation financial difficulties

During vacation, 77% of Latvians spend more money than planned, but 34% admit having trouble making ends meet after vacation, according to a poll by the Latvian Consumer Protection Centre.

Firms like Riga transport company to be banned from working with losses, minister says

As the European Union’s statisticians have classified the Riga municipal transport company Rīgas satiksme in the debt of the national budget, it is planned in Latvia to prohibit such companies from working with losses, Latvian Finance Minister Jānis Reirs has told LNT 900 sekundes programme.

Minor dies in large fire in Latvia

An underage person has been found dead in a large fire in the Latvian region of Vidzeme, the Latvian Fire and Rescue Service has said. Person wascsaved from burning house in Liepāja.

Newest comments