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Wednesday 18.09.2019 | Name days: Liesma, Elita, Alita

Week in Lithuania: PM admits he has lymphoma, President and experts discuss Minsk ties

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

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis

Last week in Lithuania, the Prime Minister admitted suffering from lymphoma, contacts with Belarus were discussed by the Lithuanian President and experts and a permit for large mosque in Vilnius was issued.

Lithuanian PM diagnosed with cancer

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis disclosed on Wednesday, August 28, he has stage 1 lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, but hopes for full recovery following treatment in September and October. Skvernelis said changes in his lymphatic system were spotted during a health examination following the May presidential election when he ran for president representing the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union. Earlier this week, President Gitanas Nausėda created a possibility for the prime minister to take sick leave, if necessary, until October 4. Under the presidential decree, the prime minister would be substituted by Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

Government puts off selection of EU judge

The Justice Ministry has postponed this week the selection of the second Lithuanian judge at the EU General Court. Gediminas Mesonis, a judge of the Lithuanian Constitutional Court, was initially selected for the position, but he was rejected by a special Luxembourg-based panel. The government then decided to re-appoint Virgilijus Valančius for another term as General Court judge, but did not receive the approval of President Gitanas Nausėda. Lithuania delegates two judges to the EU General Court. Rimvydas Norkus, outgoing president of the Lithuanian Supreme Court, has been approved for the position.

Lithuania’s most influential sports figures named

Lithuania’s basketball legend Arvydas Sabonis has been named Lithuania’s most influential sports figure for the third year in a row, according to the traditional poll of experts released by the online news site on Friday, August 30. Zalgiris Kaunas coach Šarūnas Jasikevičius came in second, followed by Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, the president of the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee, in third place. The poll was conducted by the Reitingai magazine.

Priority in raising wages named

New Interior Minister Rita Tamašiūnienė said this week firefighters and border guards will be a priority when raising wages next year, adding that the move will be aimed at closing the pay gap among statutory services. Representing the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance, the new ministers also expressed her doubts over possibilities to implement the goal to ensure that police officers earn at least 1,000 per month next year.

MEP wants a new EU body

MEP Stasys Jakeliūnas said this week he will initiate the creation of a new EU body for protecting consumer rights in the financial field. Jakeliūnas says discussions on such a new body will begin in September to October. He expects to discuss the issue with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and other bodies active in the field.

Central bank issues e-money licenses to 2 firms

The Bank of Lithuania has issued this week e-money institution licenses to SumUp EU Payments and Goopal Pay. The licenses authorize the firms to offer electronic money issuance and redemption and certain payment services, the central bank said on Thursday, August 29. SumUp EU Payments is wholly owned by SumUp Holdings Luxembourg.

Power grid synchronisation action plan submitted

A comprehensive action plan for the planned synchronization of Lithuania’s electricity system with that of Continental Europe has been submitted to the Cabinet for discussion, the Energy Ministry said on Thursday, August 29. The plan gives a list of projects and sets deadlines for carrying them out to prepare Lithuania’s power transmission grid infrastructure for synchronous operation with Continental Europe by 2025.

Minister speaks of basic pension raise

Lithuania needs to raise the basic pension in order to tackle the problem of poverty among retirees, Social Security and Labour Minister Linas Kukuraitis said on Thursday, August 29. According to the minister, pensions have been increasing in the past few years, albeit at a lower rate than wages.

 Vatican appointments for Lithuanians

Monsignor Rolandas Makrickas, Lithuania’s Vatican diplomat, has been appointed head of administration of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State. The appointment of Lithuanian clergy to high-ranking positions within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State is a great honour for Lithuania, Archbishop Gintaras Grušas, president of the Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference, said on Thursday, August 29. Another Lithuanian, Monsignor Visvaldas Kulbokas, also works at the Secretariat of State.

Companies cleared for exports to New Zealand

Lithuanian companies have been allowed this week to export egg products to New Zealand, the State Food and Veterinary Service announced on Wednesday, August 28. It said to have received confirmation from New Zealand’s competent institution on the harmonisation of the veterinary certificate for processed egg products. It’s already a third food product group Lithuania and New Zealand have reached an export agreement on.

President, experts discuss possible changes in ties with Belarus

President Gitanas Nausėda has had an undisclosed meeting this week with political scientists to discuss possible changes in bilateral relations with Belarus, well-informed sources leaked the news on Wednesday, August 28. The meeting ostensibly took place at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday, August 27, and was attended by Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius and eight political scientists.

Construction of small mosque planned in Vilnius

There are plans to build a small mosque for 7–8 million euros in Vilnius over the next few years, reported on Wednesday, August 28. Lithuania’s National Land Service has given the Vilnius Sunni religious community the right to use a land lot of 8,400 square meter free of charge for a mosque in the Liepkalnis area of Vilnius. Under the plan, the new mosque would hold up to 600 people. Now in Lithuania, four mosques operate in Nemežis, Keturiasdešimties Totorių Kaimas (the Village of 40 Tatars) in Vilnius District, Raižiai near Alytus and in Kaunas.

Government proposes banning use of animals in circuses

The Lithuanian government on Wednesday, August 28, proposed to the country’s parliament to ban the use of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in during circus performances. Now 24 European countries restrict the use of animals in circuses.

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