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Lietuva in brief - 2012-12-13

Dec 12, 2012

On Saturday, December 1, the tallest Christmas tree in the Baltic States was lit in Vilnius, Litovsky Kurier reported. The 25-meter tall festive tree can be seen at Cathedral Square in Vilnius. The official Christmas tree lighting ceremony was held by Vilnius Mayor Arturas Zuokas. The Christmas tree is decorated with 60 decorations, fairy lights, light elements, and baubles. The main Christmas decoration is almost absolutely ecological and environment-friendly. Vilnius municipality usually installs Christmas trees based on aluminium constructions, and natural fir decorates only the top of this tree. For the second year in a row, Vilnius municipality has decorated the Christmas tree with energy-efficient light bulbs.

President Dalia Grybauskaite attended the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Norway on Dec. 3. reports ELTA. This year the honorable prize went to the European Union for peace, reconciliation, democracy and respect for human rights. “The Nobel Peace Prize is also an evaluation of Lithuania. Lithuania regained freedom with the singing revolution and proved that the country may be defended not only with military force, but also with the unity of the people,” said the president. According to Grybauskaite, the Nobel Peace Prize shows that the model of the European Union, which is based on mutual trust, values, tolerance and respect for peace has proved to be successful. By joining the European Union, Lithuania has also chosen the path of peace and dialogue, she said.

In November, residents of Lithuania mostly trusted ten state institutions, but their order of trust has changed, reports ELTA. The Presidential Palace, which used to rank second or third, now fell to a lower level. The poll was conducted by market and public opinion research company Baltijos Tyrimai under the request of news agency ELTA from Nov. 16-23. The Fire and Rescue Service was trusted the most. Fire-fighters received 88 percent of the support. Sixty-eight percent said they were confident in the church, 65 percent in national defense, 60 percent support the police, 55 percent the Lithuanian media, 54 percent the presidential authority, 53 percent the State Social Insurance Fund Board (SoDra), 53 percent the Bank of Lithuania and 51 percent State Border Guard Service. Ratings of the Presidential Palace declined the most, by 11 percent, after the parliamentary election, whereas over the past two months the confidence in the presidential authority declined by 15 percentage points.

Next year new signs for electric vehicles will appear on Lithuanian roads. Public transport lanes may also be used by lightweight cars with no less than 4 passengers on board, Ministry of Transport and Communications said. These as well as some other changes are foreseen in the new Road rules which today have been approved by the government. In the following year three new signs associated with electric vehicles will appear in the Road rules. They will mark electric vehicle charging stations, cases where road sings do not apply to electric vehicles as well as parking spaces for all electric driven means of transportation. Renewed Road rules will allow for electric vehicles as well as lightweight cars with no less than 4 passengers on board to be driving in public transportation lanes. Such lanes will be marked with symbols of electric vehicles and 4+. “Recent change was made due to the proposal of Vilnius city municipality. It was introduced in order to encourage people to co-operate during peak hours and use fewer individual cars. Which of the public transport lanes be dedicated to such vehicles will be decided by municipalities themselves,” said minister of transportation Eligijus Masiulis. It is also foreseen in the new rules to unify the speed of lightweight cars and motorcycles on the highways and motorways.

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