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Lietuva in brief - 2006-07-05

  • 2006-07-05
MEP Sarunas Birutis is urging Lithuanian residents to express their opinion on the north European gas pipeline that Russia and Germany intend to build. Lithuanians are invited to say "no" to the gas pipeline, which will be built on the bottom of the Baltic Sea, at www.stopthepipeline.eu. Poland and the Baltic states, which are dependent on eastern energy sources, have criticized the North European Gas Pipeline project for disregarding the region's needs and for exposing weaknesses in forming a common European energy policy. The pipeline will cross the Baltic Sea from Vyborg to Greifswald in Germany.

The nation's average life expectancy is growing, though the difference between average life expectancies for women and men is too wide, the National Health Board said. "The positive change is that the average life expectancy is gradually increasing. Today it is at 72.1 years. However, the downside is that male life expectancy is far shorter than that of women. The indicator reflects the achievements of society and the government. The more developed the country is, the smaller the gap is," board chairman Juozas Pundzius said while presenting the annual report to Parliament. In Lithuania, women live an average of 11 years longer than men, the largest difference among all EU members. The average life expectancy for women is 78 years, while that for men is 67 years. At the beginning of 2006, women accounted for 53.3 percent of the Lithuanian population.

The majority of Lithuanians have lost hope the embattled Labor Party as a political force, shows a poll carried out on June 14-27. According to the survey published in the www.delfi.lt news portal, 71 percent of respondents gave a negative answer to the question whether the Labor Party had a future. Twenty-five percent replied in the positive. Younger respondents living in the country's largest cities with higher education and higher income were more critical of the political force, with only 10 percent believing the Labor Party's financial activities were transparent and 78.3 percent saying that the party's financial bookkeeping was filled with "faults." Some 84 percent of respondents said they would not like to see Labor Party leader Viktor Uspaskich, who recently resigned from this post and has been in Russia for almost two months now, in any state post.

Law enforcement officials arrested a Belgian citizen for growing cannabis, authorities said this week. A case has been started against Jozef Hendrik Lenaers, 56, for the unlawful growing of a large amount of cannabis in the Panevezys district. Lenaers, who temporarily lives in Lithuania, owns a local company.

Ten police officers from Warsaw have begun interning at the Vilnius chief police commissioner's office. The criminal and public police officers are interning as part of a joint project between Vilnius and Warsaw, which hopes to improve their professional training. Vilnius police will show the Polish officers how they organize their work and activities. The project also focuses on improving skills helpful in combating international crime.