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Lietuva in brief

Jul 03, 2014

A poll conducted in May shows that 15 percent of respondents thought the economic situation in Lithuania improved in the past two months, while 56 percent said the situation remained the same and 26 percent said it worsened, reports ELTA. Based on a poll carried out from May 14-23 by pollster Baltijos Tyrimai, a majority of respondents have not changed their opinion regarding the economic situation. Meanwhile, in May 2013, 19 percent of the polled thought the economic situation was improving, 4 percent more compared to 2014. The economic situation was well-perceived by men, students, people younger than 50, city residents, people with higher education and monthly income above 2,500 litas (725 euros). Meanwhile, those most dissatisfied with the current situation were respondents over 50 years old, residents of towns or villages, the unemployed, people without higher education, farmers, the retired and respondents with income lower than 1,500 litas.

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Parliament Speaker Loreta Grauziniene says she is surprised that the Seimas is regarded as one of the most corrupt institutions and says she does not see how this is possible, reports ELTA. In an interview with radio Laisvoji Banga, the head of Seimas said, “I am slightly surprised, especially because of the Seimas and assessment of MPs. I see no possibilities for corruption in Parliament. Perhaps it is just an opinion that has formed.” She specified that she had in mind that Parliament is a legislative, and not executive, body and does not participate in distribution of funds or implementation of decisions related to money. According to the Parliament speaker, MPs even avoid meeting business people so as not to be under suspicion. Twenty-six percent of the polled in the study the Map of Corruption in Lithuania 2014 believe that Parliament is corrupt. In 2011 the number stood at 47 percent.

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On June 18 the government decided to allow foreigners residing in Lithuania to become members of political parties, reports ELTA. Previously such provisions were absent from Lithuania’s legislation. Lithuania had been informed by the European Commission that legislation restricting the right of EU citizens residing in Lithuania to participate in the activities of political parties did not meet the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. This prompted a draft law which, if not passed, could have resulted in financial sanctions. The draft law adopted will ensure the right of foreigners residing in Lithuania to become candidates in municipal or European Parliament elections on the same conditions as the citizens of Lithuania. Only citizens of other EU countries who have legally resided in Lithuania for the past five years will be authorized to become political party

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