Over two-thirds of Lithuanian residents said they have no trust in the current ruling coalition, according to a new poll carried out by the RAIT market analysis and research group on behalf of the Baltic News Service. Asked whether they had confidence in the coalition, which comprises the Labor Party, the Social Democratic Party, the New Union (Social Liberals) and the Union of Farmers and New Democracy Parties, 67.1 percent of respondents replied in the negative.
European Budget Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite was named commissioner of the year by the weekly newspaper European Voice. The award included a prize, which Grybauskaite will donate to charity. The year's nominees for the European of the Year Awards, held for the fifth year, were announced in September. The results of the poll of European Voice readers were revealed at a gala evening on Nov. 29. Grybauskaite was the only representative of the new EU member states and the only woman among the five nominees for the commissioner of the year award.
The government is strengthening the protection of its border with the Kaliningrad region in an effort to stem smuggling, especially of tobacco products. State Border Guard Service Commander General Saulius Stripeika gave an order to send special force groups to the State Border Guard Service's Pagegiai unit that is guarding the border with Russia.
Waste disposal and sewage treatment are improving, but Lithuania has failed to tackle car pollution and river pollution, with specialists particularly concerned about storms devastating the seaside, the State of Environment 2004 publication of the Environment Ministry said. Environmental Protection Agency Director Liutauras Stoskus noted that the environmental situation in Lithuania was "fairly good" when compared with other European countries.