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Lietuva in brief

May 01, 2014

The Parliament intends to refer to the Constitutional Court asking it to clarify whether the resolution announcing the referendum on the sale of land to foreigners on June 29 contradicts the Constitution, the Constitutional Act on Membership of Lithuania in the European Union, some other articles and the constitutional principle of the rule of law, reports ELTA. The draft resolution submitted by Member of Parliament Julius Sabatauskas was supported by 51 members of Parliament, while 32 voted against and 11 abstained. Although some parliamentarians resented the idea, the social democrat Member of Parliament Algirdas Sysas supported the proposal and said it would be better both for members of Parliament and the voters if the Constitutional Court clarified the situation. Lithuania committed to allow selling agricultural land to foreigners when it signed the EU accession agreement. A seven-year transition period had been established which was in effect until May 2011, but was later extended to May 2014.

President Dalia Grybauskaite removed Tatyana Mitkova, the representative of the Russian state media, from the list of persons awarded with the Medal of January 13, as Mitkova had rejected the medal herself, reports ELTA. According to the Russian media, Mitkova rejected the medal since she wanted to demonstrate solidarity with her colleague Dmitry Kiselev, who was stripped of the medal several weeks ago for discrediting the name of an awarded person. Kiselev, a Russian citizen, is included in the EU list of persons who are banned from entering the EU and whose foreign accounts are frozen. The Medal of January 13 was issued to commemorate the tragic events that took place in Vilnius on Jan. 13, 1991 and to honor persons, citizens of Lithuania and foreign nationals for outstanding performance in defending the freedom and independence of Lithuania from January - September 1991.

Fifty-six percent of Lithuania’s adults are dissatisfied and 34 percent satisfied with how democracy functions in the country, while 10 percent have no opinion on the matter, shows a survey commissioned by ELTA news agency and conducted on March 24-31 by opinion poll and market research company Baltijos Tyrimai. Satisfaction with democracy in Lithuania has not changed in the last month. Year-on-year, the number of those dissatisfied has increased by 5 percentage points. More often dissatisfied with how democracy works were men, people older than 50, residents of rural areas, workers, the unemployed and the retired, people of the Polish and Russian ethnic minorities, those with the lowest monthly household income of up to 1,500 litas (435 euros). However, more often satisfied with how democracy functions are people younger than 30, elementary and high school students, residents of cities, people with higher education, directors, specialists and civil servants, and people who work in state institutions or companies.

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