bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 17.01.2019 | Name days: Tenis, Dravis
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. PM expects EU commission's approval for food vouchers

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says there should be no problem obtaining the European Commission’s approval for a food voucher system that was approved by the government on Wednesday, November 21. The plan is to allocate food coupons to families with preschool-age children at the initial stage of the scheme.

If it proves to be successful, vouchers will be given out to all people in the future. A person will be eligible for three vouchers monthly. Each voucher will offer a discount amounting to 20 percent of its value, which will likely be 10 euros. It is planned that people will be able to use their food vouchers, which will be largely electronic, to pay for products in small stores selling fresh agricultural produce.

Swedbank Lithuania’s chief economist Nerijus Mačiulis says that the food voucher system is not an instrument that will help people on low incomes, but rather a symbolic measure to encourage small-sized businesses.

Lithuania marks centenary of armed forces

Lithuania on Friday, November 23, was marking 100 years since the establishment of its Armed Forces. On this occasion, President Dalia Grybauskaite conferred the rank of general to three military officers. The Defence Ministry held a ceremony of awards and conferral of military ranks at noon and hosted a reception at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius in the evening. A solemn formation and parade of military equipment was to take place in the capital’s Konstitucijos Avenue on Saturday. On this occasion, President Dalia Grybauskaite promoted three Army brigadiers to the rank of major generals, and one of them to the rank of rear admiral.

Teachers vow to continue strike

Teachers in Lithuania vowed this week to continue their ongoing protests over the new tenure-based pay system introduced in September, the trade union behind the industrial action said on Thursday, November 22. Over 100 schools were expected to be on strike next week, Andrius Navickas, leader of the Lithuanian Education Employees Trade Union, said. Over 70 schools this week were now taking part in the industrial action in Lithuania, with teachers saying that the new system is non-transparent and unfair and that the ministry failed to ensure proper implementation of this overhaul.

Opposition collects necessary signatures

Opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats said on Tuesday, November 20, they have collected the necessary number of signatures under an interpellation against Education and Science Minister Jurgita Petrauskienė. The party is initiating the interpellation in response to the ongoing teachers’ strikes over the new tenure-based pay system introduced in September. It has been signed by 41 lawmakers, mainly from the opposition political groups, including HU-LCD, the liberals and the social democrats. At least 29 signatures are needed for an interpellation to be submitted. If the minister’s response is recognised as inadequate and no-confidence in the minister, it must be backed by at least 71 members of the Seimas.

Renowned theatre director dies

Eimuntas Nekrošius, one of Lithuania’s most renowned theatre directors, died in hospital in the early hours of Tuesday, November 20, one day before his 66th birthday. The director felt unwell after a trip and was taken to hospital where he died at around 3 a.m., Arvydas Nekrošius. He was born in Pažobris, a village in the central Lithuanian district of Raseiniai, on November 21, 1952.

After completing his directing studies at the Lunacharsky State Institute for Theatre Arts (GITIS) in Moscow in 1978, he returned to Lithuania and worked as a director at the Kaunas Drama Theatre and the Lithuanian State Youth Theatre in Vilnius.

EU commission okays Lithuania’s draft 2019 budget

Lithuania’s draft budget for 2019 is in line with the eurozone’s fiscal discipline rules, the European Commission said on Wednesday, November 21. In its 2018 autumn forecast, the Commission predicts general government surpluses for Lithuania in 2018 through 2020. The budgetary plan projections of surpluses of 0.6 per cent of GDP in 2018 and of 0.4 per cent in 2019 are in line with the Commission’s estimates. The Commission forecasts that Lithuania’s general government structural deficit will reach 0.6 per cent of GDP this year and will narrow to 0.5 per cent next year.

Government proposes to allow EU citizens to join political parties

The government proposed on Wednesday, November 21, that the Seimas adopt legislative amendments to allow citizens of other EU member states to be members of Lithuanian political parties. The European Commission has launched an infringement procedure against Lithuania, saying its existing regulation is incompatible with EU law. The government proposes to allow EU citizens aged 18 and over to join political parties, provided that they are not members of any political parties in other countries and that they have come to Lithuania for more than six months. The parliament earlier this year rejected the government’s proposal to make it possible for foreigners to found political parties in Lithuania.

Government gives nod to purchase FSRU

The Lithuanian government on Wednesday, November 21, approved legislative amendments paving the way for purchasing the Klaipeda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal’s floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU). Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas says the amendments are needed to reduce the terminal’s operating costs, which now amount to 66 million euros annually, adding that these costs would decline by around 20 million euros to 43 million euros. Klaipėdos Nafta, the terminal’s operator, plans to borrow up to 308 million euros in loans backed by state guarantees. The economic value for Lithuania of purchasing the FSRU and ensuring long-term gas supply is estimated at between 94 million and 407 million euros, depending on regional gas market integration and future demand for gas.

Puteikis registered as first presidential aspirant

Naglis Puteikis, a member of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union’s political group in the Lithuanian Seimas, was registered on Wednesday, November 21, as the first aspirant in the upcoming presidential election, the Central Electoral Commission said. Also, 57 participants of the forthcoming municipal election’s political campaign have already been registered, the election watchdog said. Political parties and public election committees can nominate candidates for municipal elections in Lithuania. A person can also register as an independent candidate for mayor. All of it can be done only after being registered participant of the political campaign.

Partisan commander recognized as former head of state

The Seimas on Tuesday, November 20, recognized partisan commander Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas as de facto head of state of post-war Lithuania that was fighting against Soviet occupation. The resolution was passed with 91 votes in favour, none against and seven abstentions. In 1949, the leadership of Lithuanian partisans waging a guerrilla war against the Soviet Union named Ramanauskas-Vanagas as deputy to Jonas Žemaitis-Vytautas, chairman of the Presidium of the Council of the Union of the Lithuanian Freedom Fighters, and appointed him as commander-in-chief of the defence forces.


Leave a reply

Lithuania’s ruling majority swings at media freedom, experts warn

All media, the so-called fourth authority of power, has been facing some international challenges, with the European Parliament set to vote next Monday on final text of Article 13, the proposed EU directive on copyright, which, if implemented, could censor internet users and internet platform hosts through artificial intelligence-employing filters.

Riga Active Seniors Alliance: seniors’ behaviour on the road should be discussed

Riga Active Seniors Alliance supports Latvian State Police informative safety campaign that addresses the behaviour of pedestrians on the road. This campaign invites seniors to pay attention to their own behaviour to ensure safe movement without putting at risk other traffic participants.

New healthcare service principle’s adoption in Latvia postponed until July

The rights to receive healthcare services as part of state compulsory healthcare regardless of their health insurance contributions will remain available for residents until 30 June 2019, Latvian Saeima has decided.

150 jobs lost in Estonia as polluting power stations reduce operations

Estonian state energy giant Eesti Energia, which mostly generates energy from fossile oil shale plants will reduce its operations at the Narva power plants, resulting in 150 job cuts.

Opinion: Russia will definitely interfere with European Parliament elections

According to Latvian member of the European Parliament Inese Vaidere, Russia will definitely attempt to interfere with upcoming European Parliament elections.

In no-deal Brexit, border control in Ireland would be obligatory

In an interview with the British news portal The Guardian, Michael Lux, a former head of customs legislation and procedures at the European commission, said the UK would have to impose customs checks and tariffs on the northern side of the border, despite claims to the contrary by Brexiters.

Opinion: Daugavpils City Council doesn’t want emergency elections; to agree on new mayor

Daugavpils City Council deputies Rihards Eigims and Andrejs Elksniņš are afraid of voters’ opinion in regards to emergency elections. Because of that, they will agree on the next mayoral candidate at the 17 January meeting, said Latgale party representative Jānis Lāčplēsis.

Scientists suggest sustainable diet to save the planet and prevent premature deaths

An international group of 37 scientists has developed a diet that promises to save lives, feed 10 billion people and all without causing catastrophic damage to the planet.

Latvian parties taking too long on compiling government cooperation documents

Although work on the new government’s cooperation documents has taken more time than initially expected, Latvian prime minister candidate Krišjānis Kariņš still hopes for the government to be approved next week.

Ministry: more children end up in families in Latvia not through foster families or guardians

More and more children in Latvia end up in families not through adoption, but through foster families or guardians, says Welfare Minister’s office manager Linda Baļčūne.

Estonian population continues to increase, mostly due to immigration

Estonia has registered population growth for the third consecutive year as 4,690 more persons lived in the Baltic country on January 1, 2019 than a year before, official statistics show.

Sweden to nominate head of government, who could finally be confirmed

In the Swedish parliament, three parties have stated they would not vote against caretaking Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to have another attempt to form a center-left government after a four-month political crisis.

In 2018 Latvia experienced more rapid growth of car registrations than EU

Last year the number of newly registered cars in Latvia was higher than the average in the European Union, according to the latest data from European Automobile Manufacturers' Association.

Latvian government prepares legislation to protect rights of Latvian in Britain after Brexit

Latvian government has started working on a document that provides for the protection of rights of Latvian citizens working in Britain and vice versa after Brexit, says Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Karolis Sankovski appointed as chairman of RB Rail council

A new council chairman has been appointed in Baltic joint company RB Rail. Riia Sillave and Edvīns Bērziņš were picked as vice-chairmen, as the company reports.

airBaltic carried record number of passengers in 2018 – 4.1 million

Latvian airBaltic airline carried a total of 4,136,711 passengers to different destinations in 2018. This is 17% more when compared to 2017. The number of passengers carried in 2018 is airBaltic’s all-time highest, as BNN was told by the company.

KPV LV to decide on dismissing Kaimiņš as vice-chairman of party’s faction

KPV LV party’s Saeima faction plans to discuss the proposal of dismissing Artuss Kaimiņš from the post of the faction’s vice-chairman.

Latvian minister sceptical about abolishing MPC system without litigations

Latvia’s Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens does not expect abolishment of the mandatory procurement component system this year to pass without litigations.

Latvian parties agree on 90% of content of coalition cooperation agreement

Parties of the forming coalition move towards a cooperation model in which matters are resolved based on the principle of consensus, says prime minister candidate Krišjānis Kariņš from New Unity.

What do Britons actually want? Reactions from EU politicians

Commenting on the rejected deal of UK withdrawal, leaders of the European Union and member states, which are British neighbours, are seeking clarity over the exit scenario London would prefer if the British really want to leave.

Ministry fails to coordinate decision regarding Riga City Council’s dismissal

On Tuesday, 15 January, Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry failed to coordinate the latest redaction of the decision project On the Dismissal of Riga City Council, because the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments and Latvian Association of Large Cities objected it.

UK rejects Brexit deal, May faces no-confidence vote

British Prime Minister Theresea May hopes to overcome a vote of no confidence in her government, following the rejection of her Brexit deal in the UK Parliament.

Is polygamy the answer for Latvia? «Demographic affairs expert» Parādnieks is the man for the job!

The government formation process in Latvia is progressing slowly and painfully. It is as though a ship without navigation – Latvia has yet to find its way in the ocean of political roads. And this ocean I full of «icebergs» Latvia keeps bumping against. The latest one is National Alliance’s official candidate, an «expert» at resolving demographic problems Imants Parādnieks.

Latvian government approves unified requirements for road and street construction quality

On Tuesday, 15 January, Latvian government approved a project of rules from the Cabinet of Ministers. The goal of this project is ensuring rational use of public funds for road and street construction.

Strike in German airports cancels hundreds of flights

Several hundred flights have been cancelled in German airports on January 15, because of strike as part of an airport worker wage dispute. Germany's powerful Verdi union has announced the strike would last from 02:00 am until 8:00 pm local time at the airports of Frankfurt, Munich, Hanover, Bremen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Dresden and Erfurt.