Lietuva in brief - 2013-06-13

  • 2013-06-12

Chairman of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) and former Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius says that the new government came unprepared, and is having problems with the coalition partner the Labor Party (the Laborites Party), which is currently in court, reports ELTA. Kubilius says that in 20 years he does not remember that the Seimas would have sittings for only half a day. “It shows what we have been talking about at the very beginning about the new government, that it came completely unprepared, with its people and ideas. This lack of readiness is backfiring on us right now. The Seimas has nothing to discuss,” says Kubilius. The chairman also says that the Social Democrats created problems for themselves by making a coalition with the Labor Party. Kubilius notes that this is one of the main reasons why the government is working inefficiently and cannot make decisions. There are many political tensions and hustle in the coalition.

Fuel-efficiency would be the top priority if Lithuanians had to choose to buy a new car today, reports ELTA. Expectations for price as well as the reputation of a dealer and car service have grown among drivers in the past few years. Moreover, a driver’s personal experience begins to play a more important role while choosing a new car. These factors were revealed in a poll conducted by TNS LT Car Brand Health research in the Baltic States. The poll revealed that Lithuanians are attracted to sedans more than any other Baltic country - 29 percent of surveyed Lithuanians would choose this kind of car. Fifty-five percent would buy a car with a diesel engine, except in Vilnius, which showed lower interest. Nineteen percent of respondents would choose a new car with a petrol engine, also more popular among many elderly people. Fourteen percent would choose an automobile with a hybrid engine, and only 5 percent preferred electric cars.

The financial behavior of households shows that the expectations of Lithuanian residents are improving, says the SEB Bank review Household’s Financial Assets Barometer, reports ELTA. Resident decisions on accumulating and holding assets, or taking out loans show that residents tend to make long-term financial plans; they also expect a more favorable economic situation, or at least a stable one in the near future. The Q1 statistics show that there are some signs of improving expectations: consumer confidence is improving, the emigration flow is reduced, households are bolder with their money - they invest in riskier financial or other assets - and are bolder when borrowing. Yet the growth rate in consumption is still low. The expectations that increasing minimal wages and that domestic consumption will grow faster though have not come true; therefore, it is too early to conclude that the well-being of the majority of residents is improving, says the family finance expert at SEB Julita Varanauskiene.