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Week in Lithuania. Seimas passes alcohol use restrictions

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Following lengthy public discussions and parliamentary debates, the Lithuanian legislature, Seimas, on Thursday, June 1, significantly tightened regulation of alcohol sales, use and advertising, with some bans to take effect in early 2018 and others in early 2020.

Following the vote, manufacturers have warned about emigration of the population amid disappointment in the administration’s moves, adding that producers would have to halt investments and sack employees.

Seimas reversed decision on alcohol selling zones at free public events. The sale of drinks with an alcohol content of up to 7.5 percent during free public events will not be restricted, the Lithuanian parliament decided.

Young people under the age of 20 will not be allowed to buy or drink alcoholic beverages in Lithuania starting next year, according the amendments.

Seimas, orders at least 90 per cent of TV content in EU languages

Content in the official languages of the European Union (EU) should make at least 90 percent of rebroadcast television content offered in every package of programs, according to a bill approved by the Lithuanian parliament on Thursday, June 1.

Construction of fence with Russia to start

Construction of a fence on Lithuania’s border with Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave is expected to start next week, Lithuania’s Foreign Affairs ministry announced.

Lithuania regrets US decision

Lithuanian officials on Friday, June 2, expressed their regret at the US decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

Border guards refuse entry to Russian military team

Lithuanian border guards late on Thursday, June 1, detained a Russian military team on a transit train traveling from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the capital of Moscow, a spokesman for the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service said.

PM pledges extra 500 mn euro for pensions, children, poverty reduction

The Lithuanian government plans to earmark an additional 500 million euros in next year’s budget for pensions, children and poverty reduction, with more than 4 billion euros to be allocated for this purpose in total, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Friday, June 2.

Tax reform proposed in Lithuania

The Lithuanian government of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has stepped back on its intentions of consolidating income-related taxes on the employee side, including the social insurance fees currently paid by the employee. The Cabinet has decided this week to shift its focus on reduction of the tax burden on the people with lowest income and unification of different tax regimes.

Lithuania scraps reduced VAT

Lithuania’s value-added tax rate on district heating and hot water supply increases starting on Thursday,  June 1, from the reduced 9 percent rate to the standard 21 percent, but so does the number of households eligible for partial reimbursement of heating and hot water costs.

Lithuanian business set to explore India

India welcomes Lithuanian companies to explore its markets, said India’s Minister of State (MOS) for External Affairs, Mr M.J. Akbar, in a meeting with business leaders of Lithuania. The exchange took place at the prestigious Confederation of Lithuanian Industry, in Vilnius. The Confederation, which comprises 3,000 companies engaged in over 50 sectors, is headed by Robertas Dargis, one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country. Lithuanian business is looking for new markets beyond Europe.

Lithuania drops to 33rd in world competitiveness ranking

Lithuania slipped three places to 33rd among 63 nations in the 2017 world competitiveness ranking released by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD).

Government yet to decide on use of 13 million euros

The government has not yet made its decision on the use of 13 million euros paid by Alstom to the country as ordered by a London court in a case in which the French group’s Swedish energy unit Alstom Power was accused of corruption in Lithuania.

Natural gas prices for households growing

Natural gas for residents and all household consumers in Lithuania will go up by 5-8 percent from July after expiry of the 2014 gas discount granted by Gazprom.

President meets US Congress delegation

Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with members of the United States Congress delegation on Wednesday, May 31, and discussed the security situation.

Cyber attacks against state institutions

Cyber attacks against information systems of Lithuania’s state institutions were committed by three underage individuals, including two citizens of Lithuania and a Dane, the Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office said on May 31.

Formation of NATO battalion in Lithuania completed

The formation of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battlegroup in Lithuania was completed with the arrival of around 200 Norwegian serviceman and servicewoman in Kaunas Airport on Monday evening, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday, May 30.

Lithuania mulls obtaining helicopters

2017 Lithuania is considering buying helicopters for the country’s Special Operations Forces, with final decisions on transport and possibly combat helicopters expected by the end of this year, lrt.lt news portal said.

Lithuania’s new Air Force commander sworn in

Colonel Dainius Guzas, the new commander of Lithuania’s Air Force, was inaugurated into the position at a ceremony in the Air Force headquarters in Kaunas on Monday, May 29.

Foreign minister in Baltic, Nordic and Visegrad Group meeting

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius on Tuesday, May 30, took part in a meeting of foreign ministers of the Baltic, Nordic and Visegrad Group countries in Poland.

Lithuania allowed to interview refugees in Italy

Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas said on Tuesday, May 30, that his Italian counterpart, Marco Minniti, has agreed to allow Lithuanian officials to conduct interviews of refugees in Italy.

MP picked as Council of EP’s Assembly rapporteur

Lithuania’s conservative MP Emanuelis Zingeris has been appointed as the rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly for the resolution on assessment of the murder of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov and the investigation of the crime.

Foreign Ministry unveil new mobile app

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry unveiled a new mobile application that will allow people traveling abroad to view all relevant consular information and travel recommendations for specific countries and to use other functions.

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