Latviski English По-русски
Tuesday 18.02.2020 | Name days: Kintija, Kora

Week in Lithuania: PM disagrees with President on tax exemptions, President promises to improve relations with Belarus

(No Ratings Yet)

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

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis (left) and President Gitanas Nausėda

Last week, the key events in Lithuania were the President’s promise to improve Belarus ties, tax disagreement  between the President and the Prime Minister, Parliament Speaker’s leaving the ruling party, and the acknowledgement of the Migration Department to have e-registration problems.

Lithuanian coalition disagreements

The Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania and the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance, both part of the ruling coalition in Lithuania, were resisting plans this week to increase the existing child benefit less, and are also sceptical about the recent presidential tax proposals to redistribute funds to fight poverty. The government decided last week to propose raising the universal child benefit from 50 to 60 euros, not to 70 euros as it was planned earlier.

Parliament speaker leaving ruling party

Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis handed on Thursday, September 5, his letter and informed the Kaunas District branch of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union about his decision to leave the party. He says he’s taking this step not to give the party an opportunity to expel him. Pranckietis also said he would return to the party if it was not led by its existing leader Ramūnas Karbauskis. The LFGU was to hold a council meeting on Friday, September 6, and discuss Pranckietis’ expulsion as he fails to implement decisions of the party’s board and council.

Department faced with e-registration problem

Lithuania’s Migration Department says it is increasingly facing a problem stemming from intermediaries willing to hire foreigners abusing the e-registration system by reserving free hours in advance. Therefore, members of staff at the Migration Department need to regularly review bookings and delete the fake ones. The new problem came into light after the department introduced an e-registration system for application to solve the problem of long live queues.

President emphasises agriculture, cohesion funding in Brussels

President Gitanas Nausėda tried on Thursday, September į, while in Brussels to convince EU leaders not to cut agriculture and cohesion funding for Lithuania in the new EU budget. Nausėda discussed the new EU budget with President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Lithuania wants funds to be allocated in the 2021-2027 EU budget for the synchronisation of the Baltic power grids with that of continental Europe, and also for the decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant.

Court hears appeal against partisan leader’s defamation ruling

The Regional Court of Lithuania’s western city of Klaipėda on Thursday, September 5, heard an appeal by Viačeslav Titov, a local councillor, after a court of lower instance issued him a fine of 12,000 euros for the defamation of the memory of Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, one of the leaders of Lithuania’s anti-Soviet partisan resistance. In May, the Klaipeda District Court found Titov guilty of the defamation of the memory of a deceased person, incitement to hatred, and public approval or denial of Soviet crimes. The court ruled that Titov acted intentionally as he had information about Ramanauskas-Vanagas and searched information about him online. The investigation was launched last July after the Klaipėda politician said in a public discussion that 8,000 people, including children, were killed at Ramanauskas-Vanagas’ initiative during the anti-Soviet guerrilla war and that the partisan commander personally pronounced the death sentences.

President proposes Piebalgs for EU’s Baltic synchronisation coordinator

President Gitanas Nausėda proposed on Thursday, September 5, that former European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs of Latvia is appointed a special EU coordinator for the synchronisation of the Baltic states’ power systems with that of Western Europe. Nausėda said he discussed this candidate during his recent meetings with the leaders of EU institutions.

EP resolution to defend Jan 13 judges from Russia proposed

Lithuania has initiated this week a resolution in the European Parliament that would condemn the investigations launched by Russia against the judges who heard the high-profile January 13 case. The news was on Wednesday, September 4, announced by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda, who was that day in Brussels, and Lithuanian MEP Juozas Olekas.

PM vows to leave tax exemption for farmers

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has welcomed President Gitanas Nausėda’s proposal to allocate additional 100 million euros for reducing poverty among pensioners and the disabled, adding, however, it will be impossible to cancel the existing diesel fuel tax exemption for farmers completely. Part of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union registered a proposal in June to increase non-taxable income by 50 euros to 350 euros (compared to the previous proposal of 400 euros), and to increase it to 400 euros (instead of 500 euros) in 2021.

Archbishop sees appointment as gratitude for faith

Archbishop Emeritus of Kaunas Sigitas Tamkevičius said this week Pope Francis’ decision to name him a cardinal is a way of honouring, through his person, Lithuanians who were subjected to Soviet repressions. Tamkevičius is among 13 people who will officially become cardinals on October 5. He believes his activity will hardly change once he becomes a cardinal as he has no plans to be involved in Vatican politics.

President will seek to develop relations with Belarus

Gitanas Nausėda said on Tuesday, September 3, he will seek to develop relations with Belarus. In his words, that will be done without Lithuania changing its position on the Astravyets nuclear power plant issue. Ex-Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko during her first presidential term, but later on her position changed and she stopped the top-level dialogue with Belarus, stating that it’s impossible due to Minsk’s close ties with Russia and the construction of the Astravyets nuclear power plant. In recent years, Lithuania has been blocking the Belarus-EU framework agreement on bilateral relations.

Sinkevičius is likely to get EC climate change portfolio

Lithuania’s delegated member of the European Commission might be made responsible for environment, climate change and fighting pollution, the Verslo Žinios daily reported on Tuesday, September 3. Lithuania’s candidate for European commissioner did not deny that. Sinkevičius met with the European Commission’s new president a week before and said his responsibility could be announced in September. The politician confirmed he and von der Leyen discussed future work in the areas of climate change and digitalisation.

Leave a reply

Saeima deputies put off vote on final MPC system report; say more time needed

On Monday, 17 February, Saeima’s Parliamentary Investigative Committee for Mandatory Procurement Component System did not vote on the final report. Approximately thirty minutes were spent discussing the fact that not all members of the committee have had an opportunity to study the latest redaction of the document.

Latvia’s president presents no plan for Misāne matter after meeting with heads of institutions

After meeting with representatives of the management of responsible institutions on Monday, 17 February, Latvia’s President Egils Levits did not present a clear action plan for Kristīne Misāne’s situation. However, he did stress the importance of civil activity, including the rising role online petitions.

Rubber stretching. 11th anniversary of Aivars Lembergs’ trial

Rubber stretching is a process that supposedly progresses but yields no benefits to anyone except the person doing the stretching. This allegory can be used to describe Aivars Lembergs’ trial, which has continued for 11 years.

101 applications submitted for project on preservation of cultural and historical heritage

A total of 101 applications for a total amount of EUR 1.68 million have been received for Riga City Council’s announced tender, as reported by Riga City Council chairman’s advisor Baiba Gailīte.

FKTK chief: Latvia has earned the right to avoid being «greylisted»

Latvia has earned the right to avoid being added to Financial Action Task Force «grey list», said the head of Latvia’s Finance and Capital Market Commission Santa Purgaile in an interview to Latvijas Radio on Monday, 17 February.

Latvian government signs new contract for Latvia’s pavilion in Expo 2020

The government has signed a 1.4 million euros worth contract for the construction of Latvia’s pavilion at Expo 2020, which will be held in Dubai, as confirmed by Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro

Eurostat: Latvia’s GDP growth reportedly below average in EU in Q4 2019

When compared to the same period of the previous year, Latvia had a lower GDP than the average in the European Union in Q4 2019, according to data published by Eurostat for 20 of the union’s countries.

Signature collection for a referendum on municipal snap election regulations fails

According to provisional results from the Central Election Commission, it has not been possible to collect enough signatures to initiate a referendum over Saeima’s approved changes to municipal snap elections regulations.

Denmark plans to have Latvian citizen Misāne handed over to South African Republic

On Friday, 14 February, the Danish court ruled not to release Latvian citizen Kristīne Misāne from custody. In the South African Republic the woman is accused of kidnapping her own child, as LTV was informed by Misāne lawyer.

Week in Lithuania: retailer Maxima got in trouble, Turkish firm’s assets frozen, New Agency set up

Lithuania's concessions provided to the Polish business group Orlen, operating an oil refinery in Lithuania's Mažeikiai, have helped to improve bilateral relations but were not the key element in their thaw, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said this week.

BNN summary of the week: Levits urges protecting officials. Riga City Council toppled. Tax changes planned

The BNN gives you a summary of the key events of the past week, told in news stories of the following topics: Serious signals; Perseverance; Dismissal; Tax changes; Media supervisors; Inflation; Slower over the bridge and Belief protectors.

Prime minister orders development of proper government MPC monitoring rules

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš has ordered Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro to immediately commence work on a new mandatory procurement component monitoring project and submit it as soon as possible to ensure efficient control over the system, as confirmed by the prime minister’s office.

1 700 medics infected with coronavirus in China; six dead so far

More than 1 700 medics in China are confirmed infected with the new coronavirus. Six of them have already died, as confirmed by healthcare officials.

Number of foreign guests hosted in Latvian places of accommodation up 1.6%

2.85 million foreign and Latvian visitors stayed at Latvian tourist accommodation establishments in 2019, which is 1.6 % more than in 2018. Compared to the previous year, the number of nights spent by visitors increased by 2.6 %, reaching 5.51 million in 2019.

Experts approve Riga Central Station’s Rail Baltica regional train reception solution

A solution has been found to install a four-lane railway section at Riga Central Railway Station to replace the existing two-lane section. This will help secure not only international and airport connectivity for Rail Baltica trains but also further improve intercity and suburban train services, as reported by the project’s representatives.

Beness Aijo asks Vladimir Putin for political asylum; claims Russia has released him

Beness Aijo, who fled Latvia to avoid criminal prosecution for calls of a violent overthrowing of the government, has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide him political asylum. He also claims Russian authorities have released him from custody.

Share prices plummet on stock markets over concerns for coronavirus

On Thursday, 13 February, share prices around the world plummeted as concerns over the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic in China. London Stock Exchange index declined shortly after British Finance Minister Sajid Javid’s sudden resignation.

Saeima to add considerable amendments to Criminal Procedure Law

On Thursday, 13 February, Latvian Saeima approved amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law that provide the duty to provide truth in testimony if a person uses the right to testify.

Week’s end in Latvia will be snowy, rainy and windy

Strong wind, which may reach a speed of 25 m/sec along the coast, is expected at this week’s end in Latvia. Air temperature, however, will remain mostly unchanged, as reported by Latvian State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

National Alliance and New Unity may run in Riga City Council elections separately

Following the decision made by the New Conservative Party to run in upcoming Riga City Council snap elections separately, a similar decision will likely be made by the National Alliance «All for Latvia – For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK» and New Unity.

Airbnb and Vilnius sign «historic» agreement, taxmen to zero in on short-term rentals

Long chastised for little regulation, Airbnb, a popular short-term rentals platform, was praised this week in Lithuania after capital city Vilnius and Airbnb inked an agreement, envisioning that from February 1 onwards Airbnb will automatically collect Vilnius city tourism tax due per night and per person and transfer the sum directly to the City of Vilnius on behalf of hosts.

Latvian parliament dissolves Riga City Council

The Saeima has decided to dissolve Riga City Council. The city council remains active, however, because the law on its dismissal will come to force the next day after its promulgation. Now President Egils Levits has ten days to make his decision on the promulgation.

Tallinn residents reject proposal to limit driving speed to 40 km/h

Residents of Tallinn have rejected mayor Mihhail Kõlvart’s proposal to limit driving speed within city limits to 40 km/h, forcing the municipality to look for other ways to control road traffic speed, as reported by Estonian public media ERR.

Journalists Kalderauska and Eglītis approved as members of National Electronic Mass Media Council

On Thursday, 13 February, Latvia’s Saeima approved journalists Ieva Kalderauska and Jānis Eglītis as new members of the National Electronic Mass Media Council.

European Parliament urges putting an end to illegal pet trade

To protect animal welfare, pet owners and public health, the European Parliament urges the European Union to come up with an action plan to put an end to illegal pet trade, BNN was informed by EP press-secretary in Latvia Jānis Krastiņš.

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