Lietuva in brief - 2007-02-07

  • 2007-02-07
Israel plans to establish an embassy in Lithuania, Israel's ambassador to Latvia and Lithuania residing in Riga, Chen Ivri, told the Lithuanian daily Kauno Diena. "Israel intends to open embassies in all three Baltic states. But it is a question of time, budgeted money and different organizational works. We will have our honorary consulate in Vilnius soon, which, I believe, will become an excellent basis for opening an Israeli Embassy [there] in the near future as well," the ambassador said. Ivri also said that visits to Israel by Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas and Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas are scheduled.

Some 34 Lithuanian citizens applied for work in Northern Ireland's police force. Lithuania's Ambassador to Great Britain Vygaudas Usackas told the BNS news agency that 19 applications for a public competition for employment in the force were received from Lithuanians living in Lithuania and 15 from Lithuanians residing in Northern Ireland. Official data based on the number of employment permits issued show that more than 4,000 Lithuanians reside in Northern Ireland; however, it is estimated that some 15,000 Lithuanians in fact reside there.

Prime Minister Kirkilas believes that a complete ban on smoking in all public places in the country may be considered. "My position on this issue is positive. We have to do this 's we have to make our environment healthier. On the other hand, there will still be people who will smoke," the prime minister, who smokes a pipe, said in an interview to radio station Ziniu Radijas. But he also stressed that special smoking areas should be equipped if complete ban is introduced. On Jan. 1, 2007, Lithuania introduced a ban on smoking in restaurants, bars, cafes, clubs and other establishments where food is served.

Arunas Matelis' film documentary "Before Flying Back to the Earth" won a Directors Guild of America Award, beating out two Academy Award nominees, "Deliver Us From Evil" and "Iraq in Fragments." The film is a 52-minute documentary about children suffering from cancer. Matelis' film had earlier scooped the main prizes at the 2005 Leipzig and Amsterdam film festivals. The 46-year-old has directed some 10 documentaries and produced around 20 films.