After a meeting with Minister of Education and Science Dainius Pavalkis, President Dalia Grybauskaite criticized his ministerial order for refusing a unified Lithuanian language school leaving exam and emphasized that the Lithuanian language cannot become a subject of negotiations and political agreements, reports ELTA. The ministerial order on National Minorities’ Schools would allow facilitated requirements of the Lithuanian-language examination for graduates. The president’s spokesperson, Daiva Ulbinaite, said after the meeting that “The president draws the minister’s attention to the fact that different conditions of examination are unfavorable, not only for Lithuanians, but also for the children of national minorities who have chosen to study in Lithuanian schools. Lithuania has always been, and will continue to remain, a multi-ethnic state, and all are the citizens of Lithuania; therefore, no one has any special privileges. All Lithuanian citizens must be equally literate.”
The travel portal SmarterTravel.com included Lithuania and its capital Vilnius in a list of Europe’s most affordable travel destinations, along with its neighbor Riga and such famous travel spots as Prague and Budapest, reports LETA. The Lithuanian capital is praised for its exquisite atmosphere, good hotel prices, and lots of attractions - the remarkable baroque old town was mentioned as one of them. The challenges mentioned by SmarterTravel include only a relatively expensive air fare for American guests; however, cheaper tickets can be bought via so-called budget companies.