BNN - Baltic News Network

Business news portal Baltic News Network was launched on September 1, 2010, to provide objective and immediate information on both Latvian and global economic, social and politic events. The portal is available in three languages: Latvian, English and Russian.

NATO appreciates Lithuania’s defence spending as showing example

Lithuania's significant increase in defence spending has been praised by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as an example this week.

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Lithuania’s corruption buster: firms donating to hospitals stand better chance in tenders

The majority of the winners of the tenders organised by major Lithuanian hospitals have expressed their gratitude to the health providers by making donations to them in the form of financial support.

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Week in Lithuania. Conservatives pick Simonyte as presidential candidate

Lithuania's opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats has picked MP and former Finance Minister Ingrida Simonyte as the party's presidential candidate in a primary election held last weekend.

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Analysts: a new economic crunch is probable but Lithuania can handle it

There are still no clear reasons to send calls of distress, but media, that one in the Baltics too, is abuzz - pundits say is a new economic downturn might not be far. Yet when it comes to assessing the scope of it, the predictions vary as much as the garden-variety experts.

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Vilnus erects female traffic lights to mark 100 years of women’s suffrage

The city of Vilnius has set up new traffic lights with female symbols instead of the common unisex symbols to mark the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in Lithuania.

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Week in Lithuania. Government to send revised martial law bill to Parliament

The Lithuanian government decided on Wednesday, October 31, to submit a package of legislative amendments aimed at clarifying the legal regulation of martial law to the Parliament for approval.

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Defiant impeached former Lithuanian President launches campaign to restore litas

The defiant impeached former Lithuanian president Rolandas Paksas is not giving up. After a new attempt to lift his lifetime ban to run for the top post in 2019 failed, the now member of the European Parliament and the leader of a new nationalist movement, «I am calling the Nation» seems undaunted and this week has launched campaign aimed at scrapping the euro and restoring the litas, the Lithuanian currency that circulated in the country until the end of 2014.

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Week in Lithuania. President vetoes amendments

President Dalia Grybauskaitė has vetoed amendments to the law on party funding and budget corrections giving the government the opportunity to borrow funds to finance unelected parliamentary parties.

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Lithuania pins 2019 budget hopes on 200 million euros «out of shadow»

Lithuania’s record, revenue-wise, budget for 2019 is hinged on two key joints: the further growth of economy and the ability of the Farmers and Greens-orchestrated Government to extract a staggering 200 million euros out of the shadow economy.

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Week in Lithuania. Dual citizenship referendum to be held with presidential vote

The Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania on Thursday, October 18, decided that a referendum on dual citizenship will be held on May 12 and 26 alongside the presidential election. 66 lawmakers voted in favour of this decision, and four abstained. Based on the adopted resolution, the binding referendum will be held on the adoption of such an amended text of Chapter 12 of the Lithuanian Constitution. Representatives of the opposition and former Constitutional Court judge Vytautas Sinkevičius have expressed doubt that the Seimas' decision to hold a referendum on two days two weeks apart might violate the constitutional principle of equality. Parliament changes party funding rules The Seimas of Lithuania on Thursday, October 18, adopted amendments to the law on party funding, thus paving the way for the Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania (SDLPL), which was established after the last general election, to get a state subsidy. The changes were backed by 72 lawmakers, one was against and one abstained. The Seimas had already tried to adopt this bill initiated by the ruling parties but failed to get a majority after the opposition blocked the bid and fewer than 71 lawmakers voted. SDLPL was founded earlier this year by a group of former members of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, who split from the party last year. MEP decides against running for Vilnius mayor Lithuanian MEP Antanas Guoga, earlier mentioned as the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union's potential candidate for Vilnius mayor, has announced its decision not to stand as a candidate in a direct mayoral election. He says he plans to continue work in Lithuania, developing and presenting abroad his fintech ambitions, attracting technology and education investment, providing ideas on closing the social exclusion gap. Guoga, 44, was elected to the European Parliament, being on the list of the Liberal Movement. He has funded Blockchain Centras Vilnius, a blockchain bureau, in Vilnius. EU support to Lithuanian farmers Direct support to Lithuanian farmers must reach the EU average or at least move toward that level, President Dalia Grybauskaite said on Thursday, October 18, criticising the bloc for not delivering on its promise. The president commented on a protest being staged by Lithuanian farmers in Brussels on Thursday to press their demand for higher EU direct payments. Lithuanian farmers held their protest together with their Polish, Latvian and Czech counterparts. MO Modern Art Museum opened in Vilnius MO Museum, a privately-owned new modern art museum built in place of a demolished Soviet-era movie theatre in Vilnius, was opened to the public on Thursday, October 18. Founded and financed by Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus, MO Museum displays a Lithuanian modern art collection dating from the 1960 up to the present day. Construction on the new, modern building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, was launched in the spring of 2017 after pulling down the Lietuva Cinema, which had stood there for more than five decades. Viktoras Butkus said last year that the total value of the project was estimated at 15 million euro. Liberals squabble The board of the Lithuanian Liberals Movement has annulled the Vilnius branch's decision to run in next March's municipal elections on the ticket of a newly-established public election committee. Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius resigned as the party's vice-chairman during the board's meeting. The mayor said he was sticking to plans to run for re-election as a public election committee's candidate. The opposition Liberal Movement's leadership also decided that any Liberal standing in municipal elections as a candidate of another party or a committee would have his or her membership automatically suspended. Ruling party's leader calls to resign Ramūnas Karbauskis, leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), on Wednesday, October 17, threatened to initiate impeachment proceedings against MP Povilas Urbšys and called on members of the Chief Official Ethics Commission (VTEK) to resign. Karbauskis' statement came after an article in the Delfi.lt news website about the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Mindaugas Šiaurys as head of the VTEK Prevention Department. He said the article completely discredits VTEK as an institution, calling on its members to resign. The ethics watchdog has repeatedly looked into Karbauskis' actions and has on several occasions ruled that he failed to declare his transactions within the time limit set by law. EBU warns Lithuania The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has warned that linking the mandates of public broadcasters' supervisory bodies to the terms of office of the appointing authorities may increase political interference. Monika Garbaciauskaite-Budriene, director general of the Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT), turned to the EBU after the Seimas' ad-hoc investigative commission on the Lithuanian public broadcaster's activities had proposed to change the process of appointment of LRT Council members to link their mandates with the terms of office of the appointing authorities. Major drugstore chains in dispute with watchdog Limedika, Gintarinė Vaistinė and Norfos Vaistine, operating one of the largest drugstore chains in Lithuania, have turned to court with a request to order the Competition Council to return information which, they say, is not related to the ongoing probe into competition-restricting agreements, the competition watchdog launched earlier this year. The companies want the Competition Council to keep only information covering a period from Aug. 30, 2017. The dispute between the companies and the watchdog will be further heard by the court of first instance which had rejected the companies' appeal, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuanian ruled last week. Lithuania plans exports to Japan Lithuania plans to export ready-to-bake food products and pets to Japan, the Agriculture Ministry said on Monday, October 15. The two countries' agriculture vice-ministers agreed in Tokyo last week to immediately begin talks on certification procedures. Lithuania's potential export products include pizzas, kibinai and similar ready-to-bake products containing poultry and cheese, the ministry said. The countries also expect to agree shortly on cat and dog export certification procedures, which will open the way for Lithuanian breeders to export pets to Japan. FCIS finds illegal Ukrainian employee at supermarket Lithuania's Financial Crime Investigation Service has identified a Ukrainian citizen illegally working at a supermarket in Vilnius. Investigators from FCIS' Vilnius Regional Board received information about alleged illegal employees providing cleaning services at a shopping mall near Vilnius Airport and inspected the facility last week. They found a man operating a cleaning machine at the Rimi shopping centre. The man was not officially employed and was doing all the work illegally. Based on the Code of Administrative Offences, such a offence carries a fine ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 euros.

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Lithuania opposition MP: «The ruling majority muddles through a «foxy» budget»

For the fifth consecutive year, Lithuania’s new budget, now for 2019, is described as «record» due to the size of surplus and the hefty allocations to education, health care, innovations and reduction of social inequality.

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Lithuania and Ukraine to co-operate in Fintech

The central banks of Lithuania and Ukraine have committed to working together to promote the development of financial innovations and have signed a Co-operation Agreement in the Area of Innovation Development.

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Week in Lithuania. Vilnius Mayor Šimašius to run for re-election

Members of the Lithuanian Liberal Movement's Vilnius branch have decided to nominate Remigijus Šimašius, the capital's current mayor, as their candidate in next year's mayoral election, giving him the mandate to form a public election committee.

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Lithuanian MPs back legalisation of marijuana in prescription medications

Lithuanian Saeima has adopted a bill to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana-based medications.

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Lithuania: Government’s support edges down, PM unscathed despite controversies

The trust in the Lithuanian government fell nearly five per cent in September, month-on-month, and the dissatisfaction among Lithuanians in it is likely to grow ahead of the coming elections to municipal Councils, European Parliament and President’s office.

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Week in Lithuania. Vilnius holds funeral for partisan commander

Vilnius hosted a solemn state funeral for Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, a Lithuanian armed anti-Soviet resistance commander, on Friday, October 5.

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Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian parliament to launch probe of political corruption during previous governments

The Lithuanian Seimas is set to launch a new parliamentary investigation into political corruption during the tenure of previous governments. Sixty-seven MPs on Tuesday, September 25, voted in favor of setting up a new parliamentary investigation commission, 28 were against and three abstained.

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Lithuania makes another attempt to stem emigration, ease youth‘s employment

Amid exodus of youth to more developed Western European countries able to provide a better livelihood, the Lithuanian government scrambles to find ways to keep the population, and especially so its young people, in the homeland.

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Week in Lithuania. President proposes amendments to restrict bailiffs’ remuneration

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė is putting forward amendments aimed at restricting bailiffs' financial remuneration to up to 15 per cent of the amount recovered.

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Lithuanian PM, a presumable presidential hopeful, set to curb grocery price growth

Having chastised food retailers on many occasions for high grocery prices, Saulius Skvernelis, the Lithuanian Prime Minister, stepped forward in the bid to harness local supermarkets. The presumed presidential candidate of the ruling Farmers and Greens (LVŽS) has summoned this week executives of major retail food chains, scolded them and reaffirmed his pledge to rein in the edging up prices.

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