bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 15.08.2018 | Name days: Dzelde, Zenta, Zelda
LithuaniaLithuania

Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian Interior Minister: Refugee resettlement is test for authorities and society

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

Refugee resettlement amid the deep-rooted prejudices in the society is an exam for state institutions and the civil society, says Lithuania’s Interior Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

At a discussion at the parliament on Thursday, September 24, he said: «The refugees are not animals, they are not statistical units, they are people, and the way our country is ready to receive them will formulate our image for our people and partners. A success story on this issue is an exam for the government, the Seimas, ministries and the whole civil society,» said the minister.

Skvernelis emphasized that a selection process, which Lithuania will take part in, is the main safeguard. «The main aspect of the process lies in the selection, our ability to take part in it; this will be the key and the main footing for the future. If we properly participate in the mechanism, threats and fears may vanish,» he added. Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said at the discussion that 505 persons would be resettled to Lithuania next year.

Lithuanian PM says the public needs to have more information about the refugee crisis and hinted a «communication campaign» on the issue might be launched in Lithuania.

Meanwhile, Karolina Lindholm Billing, deputy regional representative at the UNHCR Regional Representation for Northern Europe, has called on Lithuania to set up special meeting points for refugees and members of the public to promote a positive attitude to refugees in Lithuania.

In her words, the UNHCR has told European institutions numerous times that the 160,000 refugees who have already come to Europe is not the final number and that everything would depend on the political situation in Syria and other hot spots. On Tuesday, September 22, EU interior ministers agreed on the additional relocation of 120,000 refugees in Europe over the next two years. EU members states had earlier agreed to share 40,000 refugees.

Russian army base in Belarus would fuel tension

A Russian army base in Belarus would worsen Belarus’ relations with Lithuania and would undermine Belarus’ goal to normalize its ties with NATO and the European Union, Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas says. His comments came in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order for the country’s Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministries to launch negotiations with Belarus on an air base in this strategically-convenient country.

«With no doubt, a new Russian army base in the territory of Belarus would fuel tension in our region and would have negative impact on bilateral Lithuanian-Belarusian relations and would also undermine Belarus’ goal to normalize its relations with the European Union and NATO,» the minister told BNS, a Lithuanian news agency.

Kaunas pledges to clean up old Jewish cemetery

The municipality of the city of Kaunas is beginning to clean up an old Jewish cemetery in Žaliakalnis, with identification and inventory of the graves planned at the start of the project, the municipality said on Thursday, September 24.

A task force has been set up to coordinate the project, it includes the city’s leaders and the municipality’s specialists, with consultations planned with representatives of Jewish (Litvak) communities of Lithuania, the Jewish Community of Kaunas, the Department of Cultural Heritage, the Maceva public establishment and other organizations. Established in 1861, the old Jewish cemetery was closed in 1952. It has been included into the Register of Cultural Heritage and is protected by the state.

EU commission takes Lithuania to court rail safety rules

The European Commission has taken Lithuania to the EU Court of Justice for its failure to establish an independent rail accident and incident investigation body. The Commission said in a press release on Thursday, September 24, that it had decided to refer Lithuania to the Court of Justice for failure to correctly transpose European rules on rail safety, under which the country was to establish such an authority by the end of April 2006.

Alminas Mačiulis, the government chancellor, told that the government in the spring of 2014 approved the Transport Ministry’s proposal to move investigators of transport accidents from the ministry-controlled bodies to the State Labour Inspectorate, but this issue has not been discussed at the parliament yet.

Parliament committee to investigate use of intelligence data

The Lithuanian Seimas’ Committee on Legal Affairs will carry out a probe into the use of criminal intelligence information. The committee has been asked to carry out such an investigation by 99 lawmakers.

In the words of Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Julius Sabatauskas, there have been cases in recent months when it turned out that information received by means of criminal intelligence is used when people are appointed to certain position and that information might be unreliable. The committee was ordered to carry out the probe by January 31, 2016.

Britons seeks dental treatment in Lithuania

Dental clinics in Lithuania reported an increase in patients from Britain getting part of the treatment costs reimbursed by the NHS. The British National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare of which the vast majority are free at the point of use for people legally resident in the United Kingdom.

Patients elect to travel abroad where there are no excessive waiting lists. Waiting lists in England and Wales are reportedly at record long time this year – waiting many months to see a specialist increases the likelihood of complications resulting from late diagnosis and illnesses developing further.

Lithuania and Sweden to bolster security and defence cooperation

Deputy Minister of Land Defence Marijus Velička underscored Lithuania’s intent to strengthen military cooperation with Sweden and other Nordic countries in a range of areas at a meeting with State Secretary Jan Salestrand of Swedish Ministry of Defence at the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania.

The state secretary of the Ministry of Defence of Sweden was also interested in the reform of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, the reinstated Continuous Mandatory Initial Military Service, and defence financing priorities. Representatives of the Lithuanian and Swedish Ministries of Defence also addressed bilateral and regional Baltic-Nordic cooperation.

It was agreed to enhance cooperation in the areas of air and maritime surveillance. Furthermore, Sweden has plans to send its representatives to the Baltic Defence College in Tartu (Estonia). The officials also agreed to intensify the cooperation in the Nordic-Baltic Assistance Programme framework for rendering assistance to Georgia and Ukraine.

Lithuanian PM wants to ban alcohol sales in gas stations

Lithuanian PM Algirdas Butkevičius, says a ban to sell alcohol in petrol stations would help reduce alcohol consumption. The Government has instructed the Ministry of Education and Science to more actively prepare social programmes aimed against alcohol consumption.

Butkevičius believes that there was not enough social advertising or education in kindergartens or schools. A ban to sell alcohol in petrol stations was adopted in 2011 but its entry into force was postponed to 1 January 2016.

This week the Government rejected Parliament’s proposal to suspend the amendments for three more years until 1 January 2019. Parliament Speaker Loreta Graužinienė has spoken negatively about the Government’s decision to ban alcohol sales in petrol stations.

Parliament speaker to set out to Germany to discuss refugee situation

A delegation led by Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Loreta Graužinienė will go to Germany in October to discuss the refugee situation. On October 11-15, the delegates are scheduled to meet with German Bundestag President Norbert Lammert, chairpersons of Defence and European Affairs Committees members of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the state secretary of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Lithuania initiates OSCE discussion on Russian propaganda

Lithuania held a discussion on the threats of Russian propaganda during the OSCE meeting in Warsaw on Tuesday, September 22. The discussion focused on Russia-spread state propaganda and the threats of conscious disinformation to the OSCE-defended principles of the freedom of speech and media independence as well as democratic values, and also opinions on the impact of propaganda on OSCE countries, especially Ukraine and the Baltic states.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.2773


Leave a reply

Culture Ministry announces open contest for post of director of Rundale Castle Museum

Latvia’s Culture Ministry invites contenders to apply for participation in an open contest for the post of director of Rundale Castle Museum. Contenders can submit their applications before 14 September.

Lithuania’s Central Bank to assess information about Latvian VIA SMS Group

Lithuania’s Central Bank has promised to assess information regarding Latvian VIA SMS Group working in the country. This decision is a reaction to the statement made by Seimas National Security and Defence Committee member Arvydas Anušauskas that people associated with former Parex Banka owners work in that company.

Small wineries in Latvia will be allowed to use only local products

Members of Saeima’s Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee supported amendments to the Handling of Alcoholic Beverages Law, stating that small breweries will be allowed to use products grown only in Latvia.

How successful are businesses owned by Saeima deputies? UGF members at the top

Currently politicians in Latvia who own shares in businesses and are also true beneficiaries in capital associations are in the minority. Information compiled by Lursoft shows that 35 Saeima deputies and members of the Cabinet of Ministers own shares in businesses.

Investigation: police arrest man who rammed car into a crowd of people in London

Police in London have arrested a man suspected of ramming barriers outside the parliament building and injuring multiple people in the process.

Number of visitors serviced at Latvian accommodation establishments up 11.3%

A total 772.3 thousand visitors stayed at Latvian tourist accommodation establishments in Q2 2018, which is 11.3 % more than in Q2 2017.

Ministry drops plans to allow doctor assistants rights to write referrals

Latvia’s Healthcare Ministry has dropped the proposal supported by multiple doctor organizations to allow doctor assistants write referrals, according to the project of rules for the organization of healthcare services approved at the state secretaries meeting.

Latvia to test its National Armed Forces’ state defence capabilities

The largest military drills in Latvia’s history – Namejs 2018 – will be taking place in the country from 20 August to 2 September. The goal of this military exercise is to test and improve the country’s National Armed Forces’ readiness to defend the country on their own and as part of a collective defence system, Defence Ministry says.

Insolvency administrator recovered EUR 320,500 from Trasta komercbanka in July

The administrator of the liquidated Trasta komercbanka has recovered EUR 320,501 in July 2018, which is much more than the amount recovered a month prior, when EUR 5,054 was recovered, according to information published by Latvian Herald.

Latvian parties promise to shorten length of judicial proceedings

Political parties that plan to participate in upcoming Saeima elections promise significantly reducing the length of judicial proceedings. They also promise to cancel the opportunity to appeal court verdicts in certain criminal cases, as well as perform a general modernization of the judicial system, according to LETA’s compilation of parties’ programmes.

Wooden promenade collapsed in Spain during festival, injuring 313 people

313 people were injured when a boardwalk collapsed during a sports and music festival in the City of Vigo, in the north-west of Spain, as reported by officials.

Insolvent Tosmare Shipyard plans to lay off workers

Tosmare Shipyard, which has been declared insolvent recently, has plans to lay off workers, as reported by LTV.

French police do not allow Latvian activists to carry flag up to Mont Blanc

Police in France stopped the expedition attempted by climbers from Latvia when they attempted to carry a pole and Latvia’s flag to the peak of Mont Blanc, as reported by The Times.

Minister: Economy Ministry’s proposed plan to abolishment of MPC is not the best solution

Economy Ministry’s proposal to abolish mandatory procurement component fee in three years’ time is not the best solution, said Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Construction output in Latvia increased 31.6% in Q2 2018

Compared to Q2 2017, construction output increased by 31.6 % in Q2 2018. Construction output rise was observed in construction of buildings, civil engineering and specialised construction activities.

SEB Bank survey: 40% of youngsters want to have their own business

Youngsters in Latvia are more ambitious that their neighbours in Lithuania and Estonia and wish to start their own business in the future. 36% of Latvian youngsters aged 18 to 25 have plans to start a business. 4% of them already have a business of their own.

Bank of Latvia acquires securities worth EUR 7.187 billion

As part of European Central Bank’s Public Sector Securities Purchase Program, the Bank of Latvia procured at the end of July securities of international organizations in Latvia and Eurozone worth EUR 7.187 billion, according to information published by the Bank of Latvia.

SLC: there is a desire to please businessmen in language matter

Every now and then a desire to please businessmen, foreigners and investors is noticed in state administration, which surfaces in the form of additional freedoms, said State Language Centre’s director Māris Baltiņš in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

airBaltic: 7-8% of planes fully occupied in summer months

In summer months 7-8% of passenger aircraft of Latvian national airBaltic airline are fully occupied, says airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss.

Baltcom: merge of LMT and Lattelecom is unavoidable in the future

The merge of mobile communications operator Latvijas Mobilais Telefons and telecommunications company Lattelecom is unavoidable in the future, says Baltcom manager Nicolas Boissin.

Weather in Latvia expected to be warm, rainy and windy this week

On Monday, 13 August, high atmospheric pressure area will increase from the east. With that, precipitation will back away. Air temperature will reach +18° C… +23° C during the day and +10° C… +15° C at night, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. Ministry initiates swift eviction of Lukiškės Prison

The Ministry of Justice seeks swift eviction of Lukiškės Remand Prison from central Vilnius.

BNN summary of the week: 13th Saeima candidates; Europe’s G-Spot; Latvia’s digital government

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Announcement; Proposal; Expenses; Change; Opposition; Accusation.

IKEA owns approximately 90,000 ha of forests in Latvia

Ever since IKEA Group’s Netherlands-based IRI Investments has become the sole owner of Foran Real Estate, IKEA now owns approximately 90,000 ha of forested land in Latvia, says IRI Forest Management SRL public relations manager Raluka Buzja.

Hot summer causes ice cream sales go up 50% in Latvia

Thanks to a long and hot summer, Latvian residents have been able to enjoy Mediterranean climate and expand their diets with different cool additions, says SIA Rimi Latvia senior public relations specialist Anete Ezeriete.