bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 19.11.2019 | Name days: Liza, Līze, Elizabete, Betija
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania: new government in the offing, drug smuggler freed, VAT remains unchanged

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

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

Leader of Lithuanian Conservatives, Gabrielius Landsbergis

Last week, the opposition Conservatives considered three possible scenarios if the ruling Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) fulfilled its promise to leave the government if two elections go bad on them; a Columbian drug smuggler suspected of having been unlawfully released from jail; new attempts to reduce VAT fail.

POLITICS: Conservatives discuss 3 options should LFGU quit government

The conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats (HU-LCD), the biggest opposition party in the Seimas, considered this week three possible scenarios if the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) carry out their threat to quit the government.

HU-LCD leader Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Thursday, May 8, one of the most of a realistic scenario would be to form a minority government. The second scenario would be to appoint a new government of professionals without links to political parties. The third option is the so-called Latvian variant where all groups get a certain fixed number of ministerial portfolios, rather than in proportion (to their seats in the parliament). (There are) seven groups and each (receives) two ministers, thus forming a stabilization government until the next elections, according to Landsbergis. Karbauskis, the LFGU leader, has said his party will withdraw from the government if Skvernelis, its presidential candidate, does comes third or lower in Sunday’s election and does not make it to the May 26 runoff, and the party suffers a defeat in the European Parliament elections.

Seimas rejects proposal to cut VAT to 18 pc

 The value added tax will remain 21 per cent in Lithuania after the country’s parliament on Thursday, May 9, rejected the liberals’ initiative to cut it to 18 per cent from 2020, a level that was before the 2009 crisis. 22 lawmakers voted in favour of the parliament starting deliberation of the proposed amendments to the Law on Value Added Tax, 18 were against and 33 abstained. The last attempt to reduce the VAT to 18 per cent was made in the Lithuanian parliament in November, 2017.

Seimas approves government’s 2018 performance report

The Lithuanian parliament endorsed on Tuesday, May 7, the 2018 performance report of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis’ government. The respective resolution, registered by Ramūnas Karbauskis, leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), was passed in a vote of 69 to 37 with 10 abstentions. The approval came from parliamentarians of the LFGU and the Lithuanian Social Democratic Labour Party, the Order and Justice Party, which has a cooperation agreement with the ruling coalition, and the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance (EAPL-CFA), which is not part of the bloc but often backs their initiatives.

CONTROVERSY: Columbian convicted for drug smuggling unlawfully released

Prosecutors suspect that a Columbian citizen convicted in Lithuania for drug smuggling has been unlawfully released from a prison. The Kaunas Regional Prosecutor’s office has launched a pre-trial investigation into a suspected failure to perform one’s official duties at the Kybartai sector of the Marijampolė Correction House. Diego Pena Murillo was released after the Supreme Court returned his case to the Court of Appeals for reconsideration. Murillo was convicted in one of Lithuania’s largest-ever drug smuggling cases. In late January 2018, the Kaunas Regional Court found the Columbian man guilty of unlawful possession of more than 71 kilograms of cocaine for the purpose of selling the drugs. Officials found the cocaine haul, one of the largest ever seized in Lithuania, hidden in a coal shipment from Columbia in 2015.

ANNIVERSARY: A crowd gathers in Vilnius cemetery to mark end of WWII

More than 500 people gathered in Vilnius’ Antakalnis Cemetery on Thursday, May 9, to mark the 74th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II.  People wore the orange and black ribbons of St. George and held red carnations or World War II soldiers’ portraits as they marched to the memorial to the victims of the war. Among those present was Alexander Udaltsov, Russia’s ambassador to Lithuania, who carried the portraits of his mother and father.

LAW: Watchdog asks court to block illegal music streaming website

The Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission (LRTK) decided on Wednesday, May 8, to seek a court order to block an illegal online music streaming service that gives access to over 90,000 Lithuanian and foreign tracks. LRTK took the step after receiving a complaint from the Lithuanian related rights association AGATA about a copyright infringement. The watchdog does not name the website so as not to encourage more illegal downloads.

EU: Presidents of Lithuania, other 20 countries call for unity

The presidents of 21 EU member states, including Lithuania, called on Thursday, May 9, for maintaining unity in the bloc despite differences in views.  In a joint declaration issued in the run-up to the European Parliament elections, the presidents noted that the European Union has faced profound challenges in recent months, more than ever before, such as discussions on the level of integration or Brexit.

Lithuania registers positive migration balance

Lithuania registered a positive migration balance for the third successive month in April as 1,029 more people came into the country than left. Figures from the statistics office, Statistics Lithuania, show 4,061 people came to Lithuania and 3,032 left the country last month. 58 percent, or almost two thirds, of those who came were Lithuanian citizens, with citizens also making the majority of those who left

Finance minister elected vice-chairman of EBRD Board of Governors

Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka was elected vice-chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) at the board’s annual meeting in Sarajevo on Wednesday, May 8. Representatives of more than 60 countries took part in the EBRD annual meeting in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Lithuania’s first OECD ambassador receives credentials

Lina Viltrakienė, Lithuania’s first ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), on Wednesday, May 8, received credentials from President Dalia Grybauskaite who called on the ambassador to share Lithuania’s achievements within the organization, including good practice in the development of the fintech sector. Lithuania joined the OECD last July and Viltrakienė will be the country’s first OECD ambassador.


Leave a reply

57 children receive intestinal infections in one of Smiltene’s secondary schools

According to deputy principal of a secondary school in Smiltene Inese Raiskuma, 57 children have received virus-induced intestinal infections.

Anti-money laundering: SEB says most suspicious clients from Estonia operations

Swedish investigative journalists, who are looking into suspicions of money laundering, have submitted to the pan-Baltic banking group SEB a list with 194 people, the company has announced.

Demanding Saeima’s and Viņķele’s dismissal, doctors announce another strike

Latvian Trade Union of Health and Social Care Workers has plans to organize a new protest act outside the Saeima on 28 November. The protest will demand the parliament’s dismissal, as well as voice distrust towards Healthcare Minister Ilze Viņķele.

«Was never fit for vice-mayor’s post.» Baraņņiks loses post in Riga City Council

With votes from opposition deputies, Riga City Council’s Vice-Chairman Vadims Baraņņiks was removed from his post on Tuesday, 19 November. He was also removed from his post in Riga Freeport board.

Kundziņsala overpass construction splits Riga Freeport authority over cartel case

Last week, Riga Freeport authority decided to sign a contract worth nearly EUR 40 million on the construction of Kundziņsala transport overpass with companies that have ties with people involved in the so-called construction cartel case, as reported by LTV programme De Facto.

Tusk kept reminding EU of Russia being «strategic problem», not partner

European Council’s outgoing chairman Donald Tusk has in a speech devoted to his five years in office revealed that he had to remind member states that Russia was Europe’s «strategic problem», instead of being its strategic partner.

In Hong Kong protests, 400 people arrested

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests a standoff between activists and riot police continues at a university, where around 600 protesters have surrendered and 400 have been arrested, local authorities say.

Riga City Council opposition will likely refrain from Baraņņiks’ dismissal vote

On Tuesday, 19 November, the opposition of Riga City Council will likely abstain or not participate at all in the vote regarding the dismissal of the city council’s vice-chairman Vadims Baraņņiks, as told by For Latvia’s Development faction chairman Viesturs Zeps.

Moscow returns seized Ukrainian ships

Russian coast guard has returned three Ukrainian navy ships that Moscow seized in an incident in the Kerch Strait in 2018.

Warm weather in Latvia to become considerably colder this week

In the first half of the week, the sky will be cloudy in Latvia. Some precipitation zones are possible above certain districts. However, generally no considerable precipitation is expected in the country, as reported by Latvia’s State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Happy birthday, Latvia!

«Latvia is a wonderful land, but the beautiful must be helped to appear,» as one of Latvia’s greatest poets Imants Ziedonis once said. And with these words we can celebrate Latvia’s 101st birthday – in happiness for Latvia’s beauty and helping others see it. With flag by the home, flowers at the Freedom Monument, a good word about the home entrusted to use, and a smile on our face – all of this helps reflect Latvia’s beauty.

Week in Lithuania: President pardoned two Russian spies, climate action plan approved and bomb defused

Last week, in Lithuania, the key news stories were a presidential pardon to Russian spies, the approval of a climate change action plan getting approved and the start of a mission of the International Monetary Fund.

BNN summary of the week: budget 2020; excellent Latvian filmmakers; doctors’ worries

The patriotic week passed in Latvia not only with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Latvian army’s victory over Bermondt forces but also with intense discussions for the country’s budget of 2020. The 25-hour-long debates became so heated in the end the opposition left before the final vote. Because of that, the budget project was adopted with votes from only 57 deputies.

October’s inflation in Latvia higher than average in EU and Eurozone

In October 2019, inflation in Latvia was higher than the average in the European Union and Eurozone, according to information published by Eurostat on Friday, 15 November.

Z-Towers examination reports to be evaluated by construction experts

The State Construction Control Bureau of Latvia has commenced an administrative process and plans to assess the work performed by certified construction experts on Z-Towers. This includes assessing reports associated with the project, as confirmed by the office’s representative Elīna Balgalve.

Riga’s Vice-Mayor dismisses the board of Riga Central Market

Vice-chairman of Riga City Council and shareholder Vadims Baraņņiks has dismissed the board of SIA Riga Central Market.

Unemployment in Latvia drops to 6%

Latvia's unemployment rate constituted 6.0 % in Q3 2019. Compared to the previous quarter, unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points, while over the year it reduced by 1.0 percentage points.

Employment rate in Latvia reaches 65.6% of the population

917.8 thousand people or 65.6 % of the population of Latvia aged 15–74 were employed in Q3 2019. Over the year, employment rate grew by 0.3 percentage points, and number of employed persons fell by 2.3 thousand. During the period, population declined faster than the number of employed persons.

SEB share price heavily affected by suspected money laundering in Baltics

Swedish banking giant SEB AB has seen its stock value sinking by 15% as it awaits a programme by the Swedish public broadcaster over suspected money laundering in the Baltics, where the name of the bank would also appear, Bloomberg reports.

State Security Service detains three persons for illegal arms supply to African countries

Latvia’s State Security Service has detained three persons for illegal supplies of arms to African countries under EU and UN sanctions, as mentioned in VDD’s report.

Investigators of MH17 downing point to close Putin ally

Dutch-led investigators of the downing of the 2014 flight MH17 over Ukraine have published a series of phone intercepts, among them one between former senior Kremlin official and pro-Kremlin separatists rebels blamed for the crash.

Harmony halts work in Riga City Council coalition until GKR makes up its mind

Political party Harmony’s faction in Riga City Council has decided to halt its work in the coalition until Honour to Service Riga makes up its mind in regards to cooperation with Independent Deputies Faction, as confirmed by Riga City Council’s vice-chairman Anna Vladova on Thursday, 14 November.

To increase parties’ independence, Saeima decides to boost support for them

In the final reading, Latvia’s Saeima approved controversial amendments to the Law on Financing of Political Organizations, significantly boosting state support for political parties.

Sweden sells off Australian, Canadian bonds over carbon footprint

Sweden’s central bank has stated it had given up bonds in the mining regions of Australia and Canada as Riksbank said the greenhouse gas emissions of both countries were large.

With 57 deputies present, Latvia’s Saeima adopts state budget for 2020

After two-days’ worth of discussions, Latvia’s Saeima finally approved the state budget on Thursday, 14 November, with 57 votes in favour, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Newest comments

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!