Lietuva in brief - 2008-05-14

  • 2008-05-14
Spinter Tyrimai conducted a survey on political parties' influence in Lithuania. The respondents' preferences were split between three leading parties: Order and Justice received 11.9 percent of respondents' votes, the Social Democrats finished with 11.4 percent and The Union for Fatherland garnered 11.3 percent. The Labor Party trails behind with 7.8 percent of the votes, which still qualifies the party for seats in the parliament. Other parties are supported by a smaller percentage of the poll respondents: The New Union with 6.1 percent, The Union of Liberals and Center at 4.5 percent, The Farmers Union with 3.8 percent and The Liberal Movement with 2.3 percent. Looking at presidential candidates, 27 percent of respondents cast votes for Eurocomissioner Dalia Gribauskaite, while 12 percent preferred existing President Valdas Adamkus. Among other candidates, respondents highly regarded Andrius Kubilius, Arturas Zuokas, Kazimira Prunskiene, and Arturas Paulauskas. The poll was conducted among 1,001 respondents between 18 and 75 years of age on April 14 's22, 2008.

Auto Tyrimai reports that 2,907 new vehicles were registered in Lithuania in April 2008. This is 55 percent more than in April 2007 (1,880 vehicles). Volkswagen remains the market leader in Lithuania with 379 new cars registered in April. Skoda and Toyota trail behind with 254 and 253 new vehicles registered, respectively. Demand for used cars in Lithuania is going down. Signs of an impending crisis appeared last autumn, when considerably fewer buyers from Kazakhstan came to Lithuania to buy used cars. For years, the Kazakhs had bought about half of the used cars sold in Mariampole.  The Kapratas auto dealer stated that the used car volume sold to Kazakhstan buyers in the first quarter of 2008 was one tenth that of the same period in 2007. The hard times started when Lithuania joined the Schengen zone and buyers from Kazakhstan encountered problems with the Schengen visas needed for travel to Lithuania.

The Department of Statistics has published year-on-year inflation data in Lithuania and found that the figure for April was 11.7 percent. Inflation was mostly driven by the price hike for groceries and soft beverages (17.5 percent), utilities (18.3 percent), and transportation services (13.9 percent).

The Vilnius Police Department reports that in January 's April 2008 95 security video cameras installed at key locations in Vilnius have recorded 604 criminal offenses. The video records have helped to identify 752 offenders. Most offenses involve public drinking (70 cases, 191 offenders), disorderly conduct (22 cases, 42 offenders), illegal peddling (5 cases, 7 offenders) and falling asleep under the influence in public places (144 cases, 148 offenders). Another category of offenses is car accidents (110), and traffic violations (239).