Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius says the drafting of the National Agreement has been the proper form of dialogue with social partners and reminds the organizers of the recent protest that the wage bill for teachers has been cut less, compared to most social groups, reports ELTA. "The wage bill for numerous institutions is being cut by 10 percent, whereas the wage bill for teachers is reduced by only 5 percent," said Kubilius. He says he understands that protests were not so much about the salary problems, but an opportunity for the protesters to express their grievances to politicians who don't listen. Kubilius doubts whether the situation where trade unions fight among themselves makes it possible to reach constructive decisions. He met Oct. 21 with teachers, librarians and doctors to listen to their demands, a meeting which produced little in the way of a mutual understanding. More peaceful protests are promised.
A conference on the Lithuania-Poland power link project was held discussing progress and one of the key stages - launching an environmental impact assessment, reports LETA. An overview was presented on the environmental assessment process, the importance of consulting with public and state institutions, and issues of land owners. Representatives of environmental organizations presented new technologies which have been used in similar energy projects elsewhere. Input from local communities was heard. Those currently working the land "will be able to continue use for agricultural and other purposes while observing special conditions for the land and forest," said Division of Environmental Protection of Lietuvos Energija Head Vidmantas Baliukonis. The power line between Lithuania and Poland is of strategic importance for both countries, increasing the security of electricity supply. The EU considers this as a priority project. For the first time in history it will connect the Baltic States with the common EU energy market.