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2009 to be a big year for the Baltics

  • 2008-12-31
  • TBT Staff

The Baltics welcome the New Year with style

As famed pyrotechnician Gert Hof lights up the Vilnius NewYear's night, many Balts are thinking ahead to what 2009 will bring.

 For Lithuaniaand especially Vilnius,2009 promises a slew of happy positive events and business outlooks.

The most talked about is of course the Vilnius EuropeanCulture capital, the first former Soviet city to be named. With a budget of 85  million euro, Vilnius and Lithuanian residents will witness900 events over the course of the coming year.

Despite the worry that they may have had to cancel the culture capital due tolack of funding, Vilniuscity officials are boldly marching on.

 Lithuaniais also celebrating 1000 years since the name of the country was firstmentioned in monastic texts and getting ready for its song and dance festivalto be held this summer. Officials expect over 30,000 performers and 400 choirsto participate.

As Lithuania celebrates itsculture capital, Latviais gearing up for 2009 Eurovision song contest. Already the 20 top nationalcandidates have been announced, including pop stars Aisha, Olga and DJ Ella. Ofthe twenty candidate songs, two are in Latvian.  

 Even Estonia,in the midst of what looks to be a depressing start to the year had somethingpositive to add. PM Ansip in his year end speech said that compared to itsEuropean neighbors, Estoniais doing quite well and had the highest employment in 2008 since 1991.