President Dalia Grybauskaite on Jan. 3 announced she will run for re-election, reports ELTA. “I want, and I must, help Lithuania to become a country of possibilities for honest people, for Lithuania to stay together, for our freedom and well-being not to be stolen or exchanged. Duty to Lithuania and its people is of a higher importance to me than personal peace. Therefore, without hesitation I choose to work for you and I will run for election to the office of the Lithuanian president as an independent candidate once again,” she said. “We became more self-confident. After many challenges we finally achieved success,” said Grybauskaite. The list of candidates also includes MEP Zigmantas Balcytis, a candidate of the social democrats, MP Arturas Paulauskas, nominated by the Labor Party, Bronis Rope, a candidate of the Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union, MP Linas Balsys, nominated by the Lithuanian Green Party, jobless Alfredas Aliukevicius and Vilnius Mayor Arturas Zuokas.
A state of emergency, due to an outbreak of African swine fever, has been imposed on six municipalities in southern Lithuania: the districts of Alytus, Lazdijai, Varena, Salcininkai, Trakai and Druskininkai, reports ELTA. On Jan. 29, the government approved the proposal by Minister of the Interior Dailis Alfonsas Barakauskas, with efforts now to control the boar population. The population in Lithuania will have to be reduced by 90 percent, while in areas infected by the African swine fever, complete extermination should take place. It is planned to reach this goal within a year. The Ministry of Environment has already forbidden feeding animals within a 10 kilometer zone from the Lithuanian-Belarusian border. On Jan. 30, Russia announced a ban for pork and pork products crossing the border from European Union countries in wake of the swine fever outbreak in Lithuania. Meanwhile, according to the VMVT, to control the disease, excluding payments for hunted wild boars, 7 million litas (2 million euros) are necessary.
Lithuania’s capital is among the top 10 EU capitals which have the most positive attitude towards foreigners, reports ELTA. Eighty-four percent of citizens of Vilnius show a kindly spirit about the fact that there were foreigners in the city. Fifty-four percent of Lithuanian citizens said that foreigners living in Lithuania’s capital had successfully integrated into the society. Results were revealed by a Flash Eurobarometer survey carried out by TNS LT. “This survey shows that the residents of the capital, the city in which the greatest number of foreigners are coming to and living, show a kindly spirit to them,” said representative of TNS LT Ruta Matulaitiene. A similar attitude towards foreigners was possessed by the citizens of Estonia’s capital Tallinn (81 percent). The residents of Latvia’s capital Riga were more inhospitable to foreigners, where 62 percent of residents of Riga showed a kindly spirit to foreigners.