Archive for June, 2009

Nordic, Baltic PMs agree EP election results boost chances of extending Barroso’s EC presidency

Is the BNS informs on 18 June the Nordic and Baltic prime ministers agreed in Brussels that the victory of centre-right parties in the recent elections to the European Parliament (EP) boost the chances of a second tenure for European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

“In these obscure times, at least something should be clear. Europe needs strong mustering leadership. Jose Manuel Barroso is perfectly suitable for the position,” Lithuania’s government cited Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius as saying.

Earlier on 18 June, Kubilius met with his Nordic and Baltic counterparts to discuss the stances taken by the countries before the start of the European Council. Heads of Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian governments attended the meeting.

The prime ministers shared their evaluations of the economic situation in their countries and the region, as well as plans of overcoming the downturn, discussed the election of EC’s new president and enforcement of the Lisbon Treaty.

Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis presented the steps of his government to reduce the budget deficit.

According to the press release, the Nordic and Baltic prime ministers expressed support to Latvia’s difficult but necessary steps and agreed that the frequent proposals to devalue national currencies would not solve the problems but, instead, create new ones.

Source BNS

June 19, 2009 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

Barroso agrees on the Grybauskaite’s replacement in the European Commission

As the BNS writes the Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso agrees to Lithuania’s proposal to appoint its Finance Minister Algirdas Semeta as Commissioner responsible for financial programming and budget.

“To be honest, I didn’t take part in the conversation; the two of them conversed alone. Today I exchanged a few words with Barroso, who said the candidate is suitable and all official procedures will kick off shortly” Kubilius in the late hours of Friday told members of the press after meeting with European Union (EU) leaders in Brussels.

The current EC term will be up in October, with its President Barroso aiming for a second five-year term, with backing of EU leaders.

“I am sure that will be of considerable benefit to the whole European Union and our region in particular. The commission will have a man coming straight from the hardest font line, Kubilius said in Brussels on 18 June.

“Semeta is perfectly aware of all the problems we and many other states are having. His experience and skills should prove useful in the new post as well,” he said to the BNS.

The prime minister expects that Semeta will stay in Brussels for the next five years after the term of the incumbent European Commission ends in November.

“Our region’s problems will definitely not be over by the start of the New Year. I think that Semeta should stay in the EC and be given a portfolio related to finances in one or another way,” he said.

Asked by Lietuvos Rytas if he was not afraid of taking up the post in Brussels in which Grybauskaite had shone so brightly, Semeta said, “I am used to working anywhere where there is work to be done. After that work we have done in Lithuania in the past half-year, I am no longer afraid of anything.”

Asked by Lietuvos Rytas if he was not afraid of taking up the post in Brussels in which Grybauskaite had shone so brightly, Semeta said, “I am used to working anywhere where there is work to be done. After that work we have done in Lithuania in the past half-year, I am no longer afraid of anything.”

It needs to be reminded that this is the second time as the Finance Minister of Lithuania for Semeta.  He was running Lithuania’s finance from 1997 to 1999.  Especially in 1999 Lithuania was experiencing the worst effects of the Russian financial meltdown of 1998.

June 19, 2009 at 10:53 am Leave a comment

Online museum to guide visitors through Communist regime crimes

An online Global Museum on Communism is being launched on Tuesday in view of shedding a light on the history of the Soviet regime and the inherent crimes against humanity, and commemorating victims of the regime writes BNS.

The Lithuanian government was among donors that contributed to the project in question, earmarking 15,000 litas (EUR 4,300). The website launch will be webcast on Tuesday evening from the US capital Washington.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas says that such projects help the humanity retain the historic memory, loss of which makes “reconciliation impossible.”

“We cannot forget the crimes against the humanity committed by the two largest totalitarian regimes of the 20th century – Fascism and Stalinism. Symbolically, the project is being launched this year, which does not only mark 20 years since the fall of the Berlin wall but also 70 years since the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact,” Usackas told BNS on Tuesday in comment of the project.

Victims of the Communist regime and their families will be invited to register in the website and share their experience. The museum will also feature papers by historians, also film recordings from key historic events.

The project was initiated by a Washington-based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, established in December of 1993 by the US Congress in view of immortalizing the memory of those fallen victim to communism and those who fought to resist it.

Project donors include governments of other Eastern European states as well as private foundations and individual contributors.

The Lithuanian government previously allocated funds to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation back in 2007 for an underway memorial in Washington erected to pay homage to victims of the regime.

June 19, 2009 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

Memorandum on Baltic interconnection plan signed in Brussels

As the BNS writes the leaders of all Baltic Sea countries and European Commission President Barroso signed in Brussels on June 18 a memorandum of understanding on the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan, thus marking the launch of the implementation of this action plan.

Lithuanian Deputy Energy Minister Romas Svedas, who is a member of the EU’s high-level group on developing the plan, confirmed the signing of the memorandum.

“This is an unprecedented fact in the European Union’s energy policy history: such an important document has been worked out within such a short period of time — eight months. The annexes [of the document] set out how and when a Baltic energy market will be established and integrated into the Nordic market,” he told BNS.

Svedas pointed out that the document identifies concrete projects, amounts of money and the main companies responsible for their implementation.

“This is a conceptual and phenomenal document and a good example for other EU regions, defining the energy development policy. This is a long-term document that is integrated into the period of Sweden’s presidency of the EU, which means that a focus will be given on a strategy for the whole Baltic Sea region, encompassing science, culture, energy and transport,” the official said to the BNS.

“The Baltic states, which are an energy island, must be integrated into the EU’s internal energy market and the energy island label has to be eliminated,” he said.

The European Commission’s president and the leaders of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Sweden signed the memorandum on the eve of the European Council meeting in Brussels,

The memorandum underlines the need for a further development of the electricity and gas markets in the Baltic Sea region and their integration into a wider EU energy market, as well as for promoting investments.

According to the document, the three Baltic countries aim to create a level playing field in the electricity market, open up to free international trade, and establish free competition and pricing policies.

In the gas market, their main goals are to find the cheapest solution for linking Finland and the Baltic countries to an integrated European gas network and new sources of supply, as well as to accelerate the opening of the market.

The European Union has earmarked 175 million euros for the planned power interconnection under the Baltic Sea from Sweden to Lithuania. Another 100 million euros should be provided for a second interconnection between Estonia and Finland.

The countries are to submit their joint application for the EU’s funds by Jul. 15.

Source BNS

June 18, 2009 at 11:32 am Leave a comment

Grybauskaite confirms Lithuanian Minister of Finance as her successor in EC

As most of the Lithuanian media outlets informed Lithuania’s president-elect Dalia Grybauskaite has confirmed Finance Minister Algirdas Semeta as her successor and Lithuania’s new European Commissioner. “The future will show how he manages. It is essential for Lithuania to retain the current EU financial programming and budget chief mandate,” Grybauskaite on Monday told the press.

Grybauskaite went on to mention Lithuania’s Ministry of Finance Undersecretary Ingrida Simonyte as a candidate to replace the finance minister.

Kubilius, on the other hand told journalists on Sunday that had has a conversation with the EC president Borrosso but refused to reveal the name of the candidate. “I agreed with Barroso that the information is confidential,” the prime minister told journalists. Nevertheless, Kubilius will be accompanied by Finance Minister Algirdas Semeta to the European Council’s meeting on Wednesday, however, refused to say whether the minister would be proposed for the EC writes the BNS.

The speculations of possible Semeta’s ‘exile’ to the Brussels began after Grybauskaite won Lithuania’s presidential race. Semeta was Grybauskaite’s choice even though PM Kubilius was maintaining that Mr Semeta is needed more in Vilnius than in the Brussels. Mr Semeta is known as not only a good Kubiliu’s friend but one of the most trustworthy Cabinet members. Mr Kubilius regards his friend Semeta as a financial genius, almost irreplaceable during this crisis.

June 15, 2009 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

Lithuania needs time and strength to recover from crisis – Prime Minister

As the BNS wrote the Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said on 10 June that it would take much time and strength for Lithuania to overcome the current economic crisis.

“This forum is taking place here in Vilnius in a time of challenges. We can say from our experience that the global economic chaos is not over yet. Certain rays of hope have emerged already, but, of course, it will take time and global strength before we will be able to say that we are on the road to recovery,” Kubilius said in his opening address to the two-day World Forum for Direct Investment.

The forum, which is being held in Vilnius for the first time, has brought together more than 150 business leaders from around the world for discussions about foreign direct investment issues. International companies are to present their expansion strategies.

At a reception held on the eve of the forum, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus thanked Red Hot Locations for choosing Vilnius as the first host for the forum in “New Europe”. “Lithuania indeed is one of the most open and flexible economies in Eastern and Central Europe, which has been confirmed on many occasions by international organizations,” the President said.

“I can assure you Lithuania will continue to pursue a market regulation policy based on eliminating excessive business restrictions and building the groundwork for economic recovery,” he said to BNS.

The head of the investors’ forum Ms Ruta Skeriene was pleased with Prime Ministers speech in which he said that Lithuania is the best place to invest. Even though there is a lot to do but it is great that we starting to realise that we are capable country. His optimism shows that the Cabinet has a road map and is determined to achieve this Ms Skeriene said.

However, some complained that there was not enough attention from the Lithuanian high-ranking officials to the forum. As many observed only the mid and low ranking officials actually stayed in the forum all time.

Forum participants include representatives of Accenture, HewlettPackard, ComTrade, Intercell, BTG, Firstsource, Lindorff, iSoftStone, Transcom Worldwide, S3 International, Programeter and Electronic Arts.

In recent years, forums have been held in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Bologna and Valencia.

June 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm Leave a comment

The latest results from Lithuania for the European Parliament elections

The latest results from Lithuania for the European Parliament elections at 23.20 LT time.  The numbers below show results from 1765 constituencies out of 2035.  That is about 75% off all constituencies.  According to this result so far only 20% citizens came to vote.

Conservatives got 26% and will receive 4 mandates
Social Democrats almost 19% and 3 mandates
Order and Justice 13% and 2 mandates
Labour party 9% and 2 mandates
Polish Election Action 8% one mandate
Liberal Movement 7% one mandate

The rest of the parties will not have representatives in the European Parliament.  The closest to 5% came the Liberal and centre party with 3.3%

June 7, 2009 at 11:20 pm 1 comment

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