On Dec. 11, the government approved a proposal to grant Holocaust rescuers the status of ‘freedom fighters,’ thus rendering them qualified for the state pension, reports ELTA. The implementation of this decision will require an extra annual amount of 860,000 litas (249,000 euros). Lump-sum compensation for the families of the deceased rescuers will require 1 million litas. The Holocaust was a massive, systematic genocide of the Jews by Nazi Germany during World War II; therefore, the recognition of Holocaust rescuers as freedom fighters may be considered as subject to legal regulation. During the Second World War, the Nazis killed about 90 percent of the more than 200,000 Lithuanian Jews. The law will come into force on January 1st, 2014.
Representatives of the Lithuanian Youth Council (LiJOT) presented President Dalia Grybauskaite with the Person of the Year Award, reports ELTA. This award was presented to the Lithuanian president for her active support of youth and her attention to promoting youth employment, support for social initiatives and the law on development of non-governmental organizations as well as long-term cooperation with youth organizations. According to the Lithuanian Youth Council, Grybauskaite has always supported young people and their initiatives. The president has always sought to express her opinion on issues important to youth and to provide help when it is needed most. “She is a person whom you can trust and believe.” “Investment in the youth is investment in the future of the state; therefore, I will further seek that the youth could not only study, but also work, engage in social activities and be useful to Lithuania,” said Grybauskaite. LiJOT is the biggest non-governmental, non-profit umbrella structure for Lithuanian national youth organizations and regional unions of youth organizations.
The rate of youth unemployment in Lithuania remains high. So, from next year Lithuania will begin to implement a new initiative, according to which 6 billion euros are planned to be allocated from 2014-2020 to increase youth employment and to effectively solve the issue of youth unemployment, reports ELTA. “The key aim of the Youth Guarantees is to ensure that all young people under 25 get a good-quality, concrete offer, including job, apprenticeship, traineeship, within 4 months of them leaving formal education or becoming unemployed,” said Minister of Social Security and Labor Algimanta Pabedinskiene. Data from Eurostat show that in October 2013, 5.6 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, of whom 3.5 million were in the euro area. In October 2013, the youth unemployment rate was 23.7 percent in the EU and 24.4 percent in the euro area, compared with 23.3 percent and 23.7 percent respectively in October 2012. Meanwhile, in October 2012 the seasonally-adjusted youth unemployment rate in Lithuania was 25.2 percent, while in October 2013 it had decreased to 22.2 percent.