Lietuva in brief - 2006-08-30

  • 2006-08-30
Former Economy Minister Kestutis Dauksys was elected as new leader of the Labor Party. A total of 611 delegates voted for Dauksys during the party's congress on Aug. 26. Other candidates for the post 's acting head of the party Loreta Grauziniene and Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Vydas Gedvilas 's were supported by 454 and 102 delegates, respectively. Viktor Uspaskich, founder and former chairman of the party currently hiding in Russia, called participants in the congress, urging them to vote for Grauziniene.

Parliament's ombudsmen's office opened a probe into Vilnius Mayor Arturas Zuokas after he wed a couple and gave his blessings. The probe was opened following media publications of a wedding ceremony conducted by Zuokas. According to the report, Zuokas solemnized the marriage of his former subordinate and her fiance at the end of July. Zuokas publicly announced plans to continue with the practice because he liked it. Seimas Ombudsman Virginija Pilipaviciene said that the duties of a city mayor were not compatible with the functions of Lithuania's registry office. She said she had asked Zuokas to provide an explanation.

Eight people, including seven Lithuanian citizens, were killed in a car crash in Szczebra, Poland on Aug. 24. The accident occurred when a truck carrying milk drove into the oncoming lane and collided with the passenger minivan, a police spokesman Jacek Dobrzynski told the Baltic News Service. Both vehicles rolled into a roadside ditch. The truck crashed into a tree, killing the driver on the spot. Dobrzynski said the minivan driver and his six female passengers also died. The seventh female was rushed to an Augustow hospital with fractures in both legs. Her life was not in danger. According to information available to the authorities, the majority of passengers were from Klaipeda.

The government approved a Pazaislis Monastery ensemble preservation program that aims to include the ensemble in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The preservation of Lithuania's most famous baroque architectural monument also calls for improving the site for tourism purposes and presenting it to the world. Projects on the adjustment of the monastery's ensemble to cultural tourism needs are planned for this year, and should receive support from EU structural funds. Work at the ensemble of Pazaislis Camaldolese Monastery will span 2007 's 2010.

The British TV series, "Elizabeth I" about the English Royal family of the 15th century was triumphant at the U.S. Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Awards on Aug. 27. "Elizabeth I" won the following awards: best film, best directing, best actress and best supporting actor. Five more statuettes were awarded to decoration and costume artists, hairstylists, casting specialists and editors. The series was filmed in Lithuania last summer. Although British artists were announced as nominees, the making of costumes and decorations primarily involved Lithuanian specialists.