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Lietuva in brief - 2013-02-21

Feb 20, 2013

Under the initiative of President Dalia Grybauskaite, amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code were drafted and submitted to the Seimas in order to speed up criminal proceedings in courts, reports ELTA. “It is unacceptable that a break in court proceedings may take from spring to autumn, instead of a few hours or days. Prolonged criminal proceedings are not only a cause of public frustration with the courts, but also lost cases that are expensive for a state to have in the Strasbourg Court. Artificial breaks cannot prevent justice,” says the president. Over the twenty years of re-independence, Lithuania has lost 68 cases in the European Court of Human Rights, nearly one-third of them were lost due to a prolonged duration of court proceedings. Accordingly, the president suggests introducing a maximum interval between hearings - one month. Longer breaks will be made only in exceptional cases. This rule is applied in other European countries.

On Feb. 11, representatives of the International Monetary Fund met with Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius and noted that Lithuania had successfully recovered from the crisis, but pointed out that Lithuania’s income redistribution through the budget was the lowest in the European Union and encouraged him to increase it, reports ELTA. “It is important to emphasize that Lithuania has stepped forward from crisis of 2008-2009. The economy has attracted a lot of investment and a number of vulnerable areas in the economy have decreased. Lithuania has successfully laid the foundation for economic recovery, and it is already visible. We hope that the Lithuanian economy will continue to recover in 2013,” said the head of the IMF mission in Lithuania Julie Kozack. Kozack encourages increasing levels of income redistribution through the state budget. “Lithuania’s rate of collected revenue and GDP is the lowest in Europe and there is certainly room for change,” says Kozack.

Over a period of one month, the number of Lithuania’s residents surveyed who think that economic situation in Lithuania is getting worse fell by 5 percent, reports ELTA. Compared to the results of a public opinion survey conducted in January of 2012, the number of people saying that the economic situation is deteriorating dropped by 27 percent. Market and public opinion research company Baltijos Tyrimai conducted a poll from Jan. 3 - 11 under the request of news agency ELTA. Slightly more than one-tenth - 12 percent - of respondents said that Lithuania’s economic situation has improved over the last two months. Every second one - 50 percent - said that it has not changed, while one-third - 34 percent - of respondents said that the country’s economic situation has worsened over the past few months. Four percent of respondents had no opinion on the matter.

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