Lietuva in brief - 2006-03-08

  • 2006-03-08
After reports that his health was failing, Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas said he felt fine and asked the press to respect his personal privacy. "Following an article in a daily, there have been allegations about my health. In order to stop speculations about it and comments on my illness, I have to tell the facts," reads a statement issued by Brazauskas on March 3. The PM said he underwent medical examinations on a regular basis, and that after a doctor expressed doubts about recent examination results, he was sent to oncologists. "I underwent an additional examination there and received treatment. Now it is over. Doctors have stated that the illness is gone and I am healthy," the prime minister said in his statement. The prime minister told reporters that he had undergone treatment for a prostate problem. Brazauskas, 73, says he understands the public's need to know about his health, but, like every person, would like to have "some privacy, especially when such sensitive issues as health are concerned.'

President Valdas Adamkus will pay a one-day visit to Kiev, where he will be presented with Ukraine's Man of the Year award in the field of public life and politics. Adamkus will leave for Kiev on March 11, where he will meet with his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yushchenko, in the Ukrainian capital and attend the awards ceremony later that day. The Man of the Year title has been granted in Ukraine since 2001. Pope John Paul II was the first laureate of the prize. In 2002, the Man of the Year went to the then Polish president, Alexander Kwasniewski. In 2003, it was granted to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili received the prize in 2004.

The life expectancy difference between females and males is higher in Lithuania than in any other EU member, shows a Eurostat report. According to Eurostat, the average life expectancy is 77.7 years for women and 66.3 years for men in Lithuania, as compared with the EU average of 81.2 and 75.1 years, respectively. An overall EU average shows that women live six years longer than men. The lowest difference in female and male life expectancies is in Malta (80.7 years for women and 76.7 years for men).

The State Border Guard Service's pre-trial investigators have targeted two Rubicon Group concern chiefs, suspected of aggressively crossing the Russian-Lithuanian state border on March 3. Zilvinas Lapinskas, the head of one of the Rubicon Group companies, has already been briefed on the suspicions. Border guards said Lapinskas drove his BMW 740 through the red customs lane at the Nida border post without stopping. Suspicions were also brought against Rubicon board member Linas Samuolis, who was in the car. Authorities plan to interrogate the third suspected border violator - Rubicon board chairman Andrius Janukonis - on and bring suspicions against him. The Lithuanian Penal Code stipulates a fine, arrest or up to two years in prison for unlawful crossing of the state border.