Lietuva in brief - 2008-05-01

  • 2008-05-01
The Municipal District Court issued a warrant to detain Vilnius Vice-Mayor Evaldas Lementauskas of the  Order and Justice Party on Friday, April 25. The politician was escorted to the court building by masked policemen. In court, Lementauskas accused the government of playing political power games. The politician claimed that his arrest is related to the intrigue around construction of the national stadium in Vilnius. The Special investigation service of Lithuania (S.I.S.) and Vilnius District Attorney's Office have launched the investigation of at least three episodes of alleged criminal activity in regards to Lementauskas and the Chairman of the Municipal Commitee for Environment and Healthcare Audrius Butkiavicius. Deputy Head of City Development Gintaras Kazakas was also apprehended along with Lementauskas. Delfi reports that S.I.S. had installed eavesdropping devices in the Vilnius mayor's offices prior to the arrests.

The government intends to give a 10 percent salary raise to Lithuanian teachers in May, while in September, a further increase of 15 percent will be implemented. Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas told the press on April 24 that 180 million litas (52 million euro) needed for the raises will be re-allocated from the Privatization Fund. The government has signed a long-term program to increase teachers' salaries in Lithuania by 29.5 percent in 2009 with 10 percent inflation adjustments in 2010 and 2011. 

The Ministry of Finance stated that in 2004-2006 Lithuania was allocated 3.09 billion litas of EU re-structuring funds. From this amount, 2.2 billion litas have already been appropriated. This accounts for 71 percent of the total European financing amount in accordance with the General Program Document. 1,264 re-structuring projects are underway while 2,266 projects have been completed in Lithuania. In 2000-2006 the European Cohesion Fund has allocated 2.85 billion. litas to finance 53 projects in the area of transportation and environment protection in Lithuania.

Spinter Tyrimai polling company researched the preferences of Lithuanians regarding their choice of country in which to reside if they are forced to emigrate. The poll was conducted among a group of 1,007 respondents dispersed among regions of Lithuania. A total of 78 percent of respondents would prefer to go west, while 14 per cent would consider resettling to Russia. Russia is a potential migration destination for elderly people, most of whom reside in small towns, have a modest income and no college degree. The disparity in preferences grows with age.  Political motivation was fairly low on the respondents' scale of preferences.