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Week in Lithuania. Probe finds no «drastic» EU differences in prices of non-food goods

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUA price comparison probe by Lithuania’s Justice Ministry and the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority (SCRPA) has found no «drastic» differences in the prices of non-food goods in Lithuania and other EU countries. Justice Vice Minister Irma Gudžiūnaitė said that Eurostat’s figures for 2017 show that the level of footwear and clothing prices in Lithuania makes 105 per cent of the EU average. The probe was carried out by the price comparison cite pricer.lt for the Justice Ministry and SCRPA. It compared 60 different non-good items in 12 EU countries on August 7.

Palanga Airport on verge of loss-making

Lithuanian Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis said on Thursday, August 16, he cannot provide much hope for businessmen in the western port of Klaipeda, asking for a new German destination at Palanga Airport. According to him, a certain number of residents is required for new flights to be launched, and Klaipėda now has 150,000 of them, which is too few. He also paid attention to the fact that Palanga Airport is balancing on the verge of loss-making, so one could hardly expect new flights any time soon.

MEP Guoga mulls political retirement

MEP Antanas Guoga said he was considering retiring from politics next year when his terms ends. He, nevertheless, added he saw «other scenarios», including new elections. Guoga attended a convention of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union several weeks ago, and he met with Speaker of the Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis on Tuesday, August 14. The politician says he has not received any proposals to stand for election next year and has no plans to join LFGU. Guoga was elected to the European Parliament in 2014 as a candidate on the Liberal Movement list but he left the party in 2016.

LR to start rebuilding Renge section soon

Lithuania’s state-run railway company Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LR) will soon start rebuilding the Mažeikiai-Renge railway section heading to Latvia dismantled a decade ago. Lietuvos Geležinkeliai CEO Mantas Bartuška and Orlan CEO Daniel Obajtek on Tuesday, August 14, laid a symbolic rail of the Mažeikiai-Renge railway section to be rebuilt. The railway section was dismantled in 2008. Lietuvos Geležinkeliai paid the 27.87 million-euro fine in early June and later filed an appeal against the European Commission with the EU General Court.

Election watchdog registers six candidates

Lithuania’s Central Electoral Commission on Tuesday, August 14, registered six candidates who want to fill a vacant parliament seat. The election in the single-member Zanavykai constituency, covering the southwestern city of Šakiai and several parts of Kaunas and Vilkaviškis District, will take place on September 16.

Jazzu named most influential rep of pop culture

Singer Justė Arlauskaitė-Jazzu has been named this week the most influential representative of the pop culture, according to a survey by Spinter Tyrimai for the delfi.lt news website. The public survey showed that the following artists also got in to the TOP-10: singers Andrius Mamontovas, Marijonas Mikutavičius, Egidijus Dragūnas-Sel, Džordana Butkutė, actress Jurgita Jurkutė, musician and performer Jurgis Didžiulis, actress and TV show hostess Inga Jankauskaitė, accordionist Martynas Levickis and journalist Edita Mildažytė.

Pre-trial probe launched following actors’ church show

A pre-trial investigation has been launched Thursday, August 16, in Lithuania after three actors, dressed like priests and promoting Zero Live Show, a movie, music and black comedy show, on Wednesday, August 15, invited parishioners to this show ahead of a service at a church in Turgeliai, Šalčininkai District. The police say they have launched a probe into the obstruction of a religious ceremony. In a video posted on social media by director Emilis Vėlyvis, three actors wearing religious clothing, arrive at the church and address people, who came for a service on the occasion of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, in Polish. The whole thing was livestreamed on Facebook.

Competition watchdog drops Orlen Lietuva domination probe

Competition Council has dropped an investigation into alleged abuse by Orlen Lietuva, the only oil processing company, of its dominant position in the market or dyed diesel. The competition watchdog initially decided against launching a probe but was later ordered by court to investigate the situation in this market. The investigation which has been carried out since March, 2016 showed that several dozen companies selling such diesel operate in Lithuania and compete with Orelan Lietuva. Moreover, no evidence has been found that Orlen Lietuva has restricted the sale of such diesel.

Lithuania approves new cyber security strategy

Government on Monday, August 13, approved a new national cyber security strategy, drafted by the Ministry of National Defence after the parliament earlier backed a new version of the Law on Cyber Security. According to National Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis, the existing strategy, the Electronic Information Safety Development Program for 2011-2019, has to be changed as it no longer reflects today’s issues and cyber security challenges in Lithuania and worldwide.

Lithuanian Railways to launch early Vilnius-Klaipeda trains

State-run railway company Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) will launch early trains from the capital Vilnius to the western port of Klaipeda in the fall, the company announced on Thursday, August 16. It says people will be able to arrive in the capital an hour earlier. As of Sep. 3, Vilnius-Klaipeda and Klaipeda-Vilnius trains will leave at 5.10 a.m. on workdays. Other early trains will also remain, including the 6.40 a.m. train leaving Klaipeda and the 6.50 a.m. train from Vilnius.

PM makes pledges to Lithuanians in Poland

Lithuania will look for ways to boost the signal of its public broadcaster LRT for Lithuanians living in Poland to be able to watch and listen to its broadcasts, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says on his visit to Poland on Wednesday, August 15. He said he was told of such a need during a meeting with members of the local Lithuanian community. The prime minister was told that Lithuanians living in Punks, Sejny and Suwalki have problems watching and listening to LRT TV and radio programs due to bad reception. Lithuania started broadcasting five free Polish TV channels to Poles living in southeastern Lithuania in May.

BC Rytas reveals new logo, featuring Vilnius symbols

The Vilnius-based BC Rytas, which changed its name earlier this summer, on Monday, August 13, revealed a new logo featuring several symbols of the Lithuanian capital. The logo features the Iron Wolf from the legend of Vilnius, against the background of a basketball, as well as, the shape of Gediminas Castle and the Columns of Gediminas. Every detail of the new logo means something to the people of Vilnius and Lithuania, the club said in a statement. The club’s main colors of black, white and red remain unchanged. BC Rytas changed its name a year after Gedvydas Vainauskas, head of the Lietuvos Rytas media group, the club’s main sponsor, resigned as the club’s president.

MP suggests blacklisting Russians singer Timati

MP Laurynas Kasciunas, representing the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, has turned to the country’s Foreign Ministry on Monday, August 13, and suggested putting Russian singer Timur Yunusov (Timati) on the list of people declared persona non grata. The legislators argues that Yunusov is known for his close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And he wrote a Putin glorifying song on the occasion of Putin’s birthday. He also noted that Yunusov took part in a concert held to mark the anniversary of Crimea’s occupation and annexation by Russia last spring. Timati is scheduled to perform in Vilnius in November. He’s given concerts in Lithuania several times already.


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