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23 March 2017
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Archive for June, 2012

Daiva Markelis and Ellen Cassedy over a coffee at the Corner Bakery

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Ellen Cassedy

The book We are Here

Daiva Markelis 

Professor Daiva Markelis, Illinois:
Essay/review of Ellen Cassedy's book We Are Here

I’ve always been interested in Lithuanian history and, lately, in Jewish-Lithuanian history. Jews have been living in Lithuania since the 1300s, have contributed to the work of nation building throughout the centuries, suffered alongside their Christian neighbors during the reign of the tsars. Despite their once considerable numbers—over seven percent of the population at one time—and formidable achievements, I don’t remember ever reading about them in Lithuanian Saturday School vadoveliai, readers filled with patriotic poems, variations of stories about the founding of Vilnius involving a dream about an iron wolf, and photographs of storks nesting atop the thatched roofs of simple country cottages. (Every year the same stork seemed to appear in yet another edition of the book.) 

At home, my mother talked about a Jewish friend she’d had in Klaipeda.  My father remembered a Jewish peddler who sold fabric and buttons. So, yes, Jews had lived in Lithuania, but only a handful over six centuries—that’s the impression I received.  Soon after Lithuania regained her independence, I learned from my Aunt Birute about the once-thriving Jewish community in Dusetos: “This was a grocery store,” she said as we walked down Kazys Buga Street, “and here stood a bakery, and beyond that, over there, the best restaurant in town.”

I tell the Dusetos story to Ellen Cassedy, author of We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust, recently published by the University of Nebraska Press, over coffee at the Corner Bakery. She nods: “The collapse of the Soviet Union made it possible for people to speak openly about what happened during the occupation. During both of the occupations, Communist and Nazi.”

Read more…

Category : Front page

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Your parents must have told you a thousand times - don't eat so fast, slow down! Now it appears that scientific research is backing them up. At the recent joint International Congress of Endocrinology and European Congress of Endocrinology in Florence, Italy, a research team from Lithuania presented their research showing that people who eat their food quickly are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than those who take their time during meals.

The research team led by Dr Lina Radzeviciene from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences scientifically determined for the first time the role that eating speed has as an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is a very common disorder caused by high levels of sugar in the bloodstream. It affects approximately 6.4% (285 million) of the worldwide population and is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke and damage to the eyes, feet and kidneys.

Europe alone counts more than 25 million people with diabetes. In most countries, diabetes is now one of the leading causes of death through its effects on cardiovascular disease: 70% to 80% of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease. Diabetes is ranked among the leading causes of blindness, renal failure and lower limb amputation, and type 2 diabetes represents between 85% and 95% of cases of diabetes. The total cost of caring for people with diabetes in Europe is estimated between EUR 28 billion and EUR 53 billion per year.

Dr Lina Radzeviciene commented: 'The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing globally and becoming a world pandemic. It appears to involve interaction between susceptible genetic backgrounds and environmental factors. It's important to identify modifiable risk factors that may help people reduce their chances of developing the disease.'

This is not the first time that Dr Radzeviciene's team made a breakthrough in the area of diabetes research. They previously found that coffee consumption (four or more cups a day) significantly decreased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They also found that smoking and egg consumption (more than five eggs a week) increased the risk.

Category : News

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Vilnius – the city built
on human bones


Remains of a Grand Armée Soldier buried in Vilnius.
The skull of a Napoleonic soldier, who died during the French army's
1812 retreat from Moscow, discovered on a Vilnius construction site.

Picture: AFP/CNRS/Universite de la Mediterranee/Pascal Adalian

Vilnius, venerable capital of Lithuania, is sometimes called 'the city built on human bones'. It stands in the main Berlin to Moscow corridor, which for over 200 years has been the battlefields of the armies of Napoleon, the Tsars of Russia, Hitler and Stalin, as well as Poles and Prussians - hence its sinister description.

Early in 2002, while bulldozing some ugly Soviet barracks on the outskirts of Vilnius, municipal workers uncovered a mass grave. Thousands of skeletons were discovered there, laid out neatly in layers. Where did these bones come from? Were they those of Jews, massacred by the Nazis? No. For here's a metal button, with '61' stamped on it. Here's another, stamped '29'. And here's a patch of an ancient uniform, once blue. Also to be seen is a gold 20-franc coin from Napoleonic times, and a 'shako' (a French infantryman's helmet), squashed flat.

The drivers of the bulldozers stopped in their work. This was news - archaeological news - and these were the remains of some of the men that Napoleon had led into Russia in his pursuit of world supremacy in 1812.

Read more…

Category : Front page / Historical Lithuania

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A stubby Napoleon Bonaparte waves his characteristic bicorne hat in an impassioned signal to hundreds of troops, launching a rerun of France's failed invasion of Russia two centuries ago, writes LETA.

"Vive la France, vive la Pologne," cries the French emperor on horseback to the enthusiastic cheers of hundreds of troops decked out in 19th-century military garb.

The emperor and his troops were poised for action Saturday on the banks of the river Neman in Kaunas, central Lithuania: more than a thousand history buffs re-enacting Bonaparte's June 24, 1812 assault on Tsarist Russia.

This time around they were under the command of Oleg Sokolov, a professor in Paris at the Sorbonne University.

"Events like this are my life," Sokolov, who is Russian, told AFP, resplendent in a division general's dark blue uniform with a red stripe and golden epaulettes.

"Recreating a battle with cannons, horses and sabres is much more serious stuff than theatre or a movie," Lithuanian history enthusiast Arvydas Pociunas, the Tsarist Russian chief-of-staff for the day, told AFP. "You must keep a sharp eye out every second," he explained.

The spectacular re-enactment drew more than 1,000 participants from France, Russia and across the region, including Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Latvia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic, organisers said.

The original crossing of the river Nemunas in Lithuania was Napoleon's first step on what in the end was a doomed march through western Russia. For Lithuania the French general's arrival raised hopes that it could break free from imperial Russia.

"The arrival of Napoleon army brought a real and tangible hope for Lithuanians the Russian empire could be defeated", Lithuania's Defence Minister Rasa Jukneviciene said in a welcoming address ahead of Saturday's re-enactment.

"By losing the battle in Russia, the emperor rushed back to France – and with him went Lithuania's unfulfilled hopes to restore its lost independence with the help of France", she added.

Category : News

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The tense Polish-
Lithuanian relations


The tension will continue, until Poland will treat Lithuania again as a sovereign and independent country

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Category : Opinions

I had thought the “Polish problem” did not exist anymore. I was obviously wrong

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Peter Modeen

Very good and interesting article. I had thought the "Polish problem" did not exist anymore. I was obviously wrong. Seems the demands of the politicians of the Polish minority's are very unjustified, and the Polish government's accusations ridiculous, neither of them being in the real interest of the Polish minority in Lithuania. It would be interesting to know how Poland it treating its ethnic minorities!

Kind regards,
Peter Modeen
Finland/Spain

Category : Opinions

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Statistics Lithuania informs that, based on the final data obtained from customs declarations, VAT returns and Intrastat reporting data, exports in 2011 amounted to LTL 69.6 billion, imports – LTL 78.8 billion.

Exports of goods of Lithuanian origin amounted to LTL 45.9 billion. Foreign trade deficit of Lithuania amounted to LTL 9.2 billion.

In 2011, against 2010, exports and imports grew by 28.8 and 29.3% respectively. Mineral products excluded, exports and imports grew by 25.4 and 27.3% respectively. An increase in exports was influenced by an increase in exports of petroleum products – by 39.8%, ground vehicles – 42.8%, fertilisers – 61.1%. An increase in imports was influenced by an increase in imports of crude petroleum – by 27.6%, ground vehicles – 54.3%, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances, parts thereof – 34.4%. 

In 2011, the most important partners in exports were Russia (16.6%), Latvia (10.2%), Germany (9.3%), and Poland (6.9%), in imports – Russia (32.1%), Germany (10%), Poland (9.1%), and Latvia (6.6%).  

In 2011, the largest share in exports and imports fell within mineral products (25.5 and 34.3% respectively), machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipment (10.4 and 12.3%), products of the chemical or allied industries (9.2 and 10.3%).  

In 2011, against 2010, exports of goods of Lithuanian origin increased by 25.1%, mineral products excluded – 20.5%. The increase in exports of goods of Lithuanian origin was influenced by an increase in exports of petroleum products – by 35.5%, fertilisers – 63.4%, furniture – 21.4%, plastics and articles thereof – 18.8%, wood and wood products – 24.8%. 

As for exports of goods of Lithuanian origin, the largest share in exports fell within mineral products (36.1%), products of the chemical or allied industries (8.8%), miscellaneous manufactured articles (7.3%), and plastics and articles thereof (7.1%). 

Most goods of Lithuanian origin were exported to Germany (12.3%), the Netherlands (8.9%), Latvia (8.5%), Poland (7.2%), Estonia (7%), and France (5.8%).  

Table 1. Foreign trade balance, LTL million

  Exports Imports Balance
2010 54038.8 60952.8 -6914.0
I quarter 10519.1 12046.0 -1526.9
II quarter 13090.8 14609.8 -1519.0
III quarter 14405.3 16486.4 -2081.1
IV quarter 16023.6 17810.6 -1787.0
       
2011 69576.8 78812.2 -9235.4
January 4964.7 5749.0 -784.3
February 5158.7 5872.9 -714.2
March 5674.3 6555.5 -881.2
I quarter 15797.7 18177.3 -2379.6
April 5193.8 6280.6 -1086.8
May 6122.7 6890.5 -767.8
June 6068.8 6716.7 -647.9
II quarter 17385.4 19887.9 -2502.5
July 5716.1 6381.6 -665.5
August 6026.3 6800.3 -774.0
September 6341.7 7096.9 -755.2
III quarter 18084.1 20278.8 -2194.7
October 6094.0 6954.8 -860.8
November 6196.0 7035.4 -839.4
December 6019.8 6478.1 -458.3
IV quarter 18309.7 20468.2 -2158.5
Category : News

Weekly “Veidas” names richest people in Lithuania

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Lithuanian weekly magazine “Veidas” has published the 8th list of the richest Lithuanians.


Nerijus Numavicius.


At the moment, not having even a close rival, the richest person in the country is Nerijus Numavicius, holding 60% of Vilniaus Prekyba (VP) Group shares.

Counting directly or indirectly managed companies, Numavicius has around 60% shares in all companies constituting the large VP Group, including NDX Energy which is outside the Group. The total holding, according to the financial reports for 2011, is worth around LTL 5.9 billion (EUR 1.7 billion). The most valuable company of the Group isMaxima Group (worth LTL 3.8 billion/EUR 1.1 billion), the Vilnius-basedAkropolis shopping mall alone is worth approximately LTL 1 billion (EUR 290 million), writes LETA/ELTA,

Second on the list of the richest in Lithuania are Lyda Lubiene, widow of long-term Achema head Bronislovas Lubys, and his daughters Viktorija Lubyte and Jurate Zadeikienewho together have Achema shares worth LTL 930 million (EUR 270 million).

Zilvinas Marcinkevicius with 14% of VP Group shares (worth LTL 815 million/EUR 236 million) came third on the list.

Source: http://www.baltic-course.com

Category : News

If Poles remain committed to a “greater Poland” then they have the freedom to re-settle in Poland

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Tony Mazeika

This is an outstanding objective historical review by Gureckas. It would appear that current position of the small but radical Polish minority is untenable as it is dangerous to the youth attending Polish language only schools. We have the same parallel here in California where significant numbers of Mexican immigrants (legal & illegal) condemn themselves to unsuccessful economic futures for failure to embrace the English language. The fact Lithuania offers full educational opportunities in the Lithuanian language ( second languages for advancement include English, German, Russian) indicates the nation's commitment to its nation's future. If Poles remain committed to a "greater Poland" then they have the freedom to re-settle in Poland. I agree with the author that official Polish foreign policy cannot afford to rattle the cage on formalized boundaries as Germany could use that opportunity to rev-visit the Polish annexation of German territories in 1945. The Commonwealth cannot be recreated. It is nothing more than an illusion. Poland needs Lithuania as a NATO partner/ally and a strong buffer against Russian political adventures.

Tony Mazeika,
California

Category : Opinions

OPINIONS

Have your say. Send to:
editor@VilNews.com


By Dr. Boris Vytautas Bakunas,
Ph. D., Chicago

A wave of unity sweeps the international Lithuanian community on March 11th every year as Lithuanians celebrated the anniversary of the Lithuanian Parliament's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. However, the sense of national unity engendered by the celebration could be short-lived.

Human beings have a strong tendency to overgeneralize and succumb to stereotypical us-them distinctions that can shatter even the strongest bonds. We need only search the internet to find examples of divisive thinking at work:

- "50 years of Soviet rule has ruined an entire generation of Lithuanian.

- "Those who fled Lithuania during World II were cowards -- and now they come back, flaunt their wealth, and tell us 'true Lithuanians' how to live."

- "Lithuanians who work abroad have abandoned their homeland and should be deprived of their Lithuanian citizenship."

Could such stereotypical, emotionally-charged accusations be one of the main reasons why relations between Lithuania's diaspora groups and their countrymen back home have become strained?

Read more...
* * *


Text: Saulene Valskyte

In Lithuania Christmas Eve is a family event and the New Year's Eve a great party with friends!
Lithuanian say "Kaip sutiksi naujus metus, taip juos ir praleisi" (the way you'll meet the new year is the way you will spend it). So everyone is trying to spend New Year's Eve with friend and have as much fun as possible.

Lithuanian New Year's traditions are very similar to those in other countries, and actually were similar since many years ago. Also, the traditional Lithuanian New Years Eve party was very similar to other big celebrations throughout the year.

The New Year's Eve table is quite similar to the Christmas Eve table, but without straws under the tablecloth, and now including meat dishes. A tradition that definitely hasn't changes is that everybody is trying not to fell asleep before midnight. It was said that if you oversleep the midnight point you will be lazy all the upcoming year. People were also trying to get up early on the first day of the new year, because waking up late also meant a very lazy and unfortunate year.

During the New Year celebration people were dancing, singing, playing games and doing magic to guess the future. People didn't drink much of alcohol, especially was that the case for women.

Here are some advices from elders:
- During the New Year, be very nice and listen to relatives - what you are during New Year Eve, you will be throughout the year.

- During to the New Year Eve, try not to fall, because if this happens, next year you will be unhappy.

- If in the start of the New Year, the first news are good - then the year will be successful. If not - the year will be problematic.

New year predictions
* If during New Year eve it's snowing - then it will be bad weather all year round. If the day is fine - one can expect good harvest.
* If New Year's night is cold and starry - look forward to a good summer!
* If the during New Year Eve trees are covered with frost - then it will be a good year. If it is wet weather on New Year's Eve, one can expect a year where many will die and dangerous epidemics occur.
* If the first day of the new year is snowy - the upcoming year will see many young people die. If the night is snowy - mostly old people will die.
* If the New Year time is cold - then Easter will be warm.
* If during New Year there are a lot of birds in your homestead - then all year around there will be many guests and the year will be fun.

Read more...
* * *

* * *
VilNews
Christmas greetings
from Vilnius


* * *
Ukraine won the historic
and epic battle for the
future
By Leonidas Donskis
Kaunas
Philosopher, political theorist, historian of
ideas, social analyst, and political
commentator

Immediately after Russia stepped in Syria, we understood that it is time to sum up the convoluted and long story about Ukraine and the EU - a story of pride and prejudice which has a chance to become a story of a new vision regained after self-inflicted blindness.

Ukraine was and continues to be perceived by the EU political class as a sort of grey zone with its immense potential and possibilities for the future, yet deeply embedded and trapped in No Man's Land with all of its troubled past, post-Soviet traumas, ambiguities, insecurities, corruption, social divisions, and despair. Why worry for what has yet to emerge as a new actor of world history in terms of nation-building, European identity, and deeper commitments to transparency and free market economy?

Right? Wrong. No matter how troubled Ukraine's economic and political reality could be, the country has already passed the point of no return. Even if Vladimir Putin retains his leverage of power to blackmail Ukraine and the West in terms of Ukraine's zero chances to accede to NATO due to the problems of territorial integrity, occupation and annexation of Crimea, and mayhem or a frozen conflict in the Donbas region, Ukraine will never return to Russia's zone of influence. It could be deprived of the chances to join NATO or the EU in the coming years or decades, yet there are no forces on earth to make present Ukraine part of the Eurasia project fostered by Putin.

Read more...
* * *
Watch this video if you
want to learn about the
new, scary propaganda
war between Russia,
The West and the
Baltic States!


* * *
90% of all Lithuanians
believe their government
is corrupt
Lithuania is perceived to be the country with the most widespread government corruption, according to an international survey involving almost 40 countries.

Read more...
* * *
Lithuanian medical
students say no to
bribes for doctors

On International Anticorruption Day, the Special Investigation Service shifted their attention to medical institutions, where citizens encounter bribery most often. Doctors blame citizens for giving bribes while patients complain that, without bribes, they won't receive proper medical attention. Campaigners against corruption say that bribery would disappear if medical institutions themselves were to take resolute actions against corruption and made an effort to take care of their patients.

Read more...
* * *
Doing business in Lithuania

By Grant Arthur Gochin
California - USA

Lithuania emerged from the yoke of the Soviet Union a mere 25 years ago. Since then, Lithuania has attempted to model upon other European nations, joining NATO, Schengen, and the EU. But, has the Soviet Union left Lithuania?

During Soviet times, government was administered for the people in control, not for the local population, court decisions were decreed, they were not the administration of justice, and academia was the domain of ideologues. 25 years of freedom and openness should have put those bad experiences behind Lithuania, but that is not so.

Today, it is a matter of expectation that court pronouncements will be governed by ideological dictates. Few, if any Lithuanians expect real justice to be effected. For foreign companies, doing business in Lithuania is almost impossible in a situation where business people do not expect rule of law, so, surely Government would be a refuge of competence?

Lithuanian Government has not emerged from Soviet styles. In an attempt to devolve power, Lithuania has created a myriad of fiefdoms of power, each speaking in the name of the Government, each its own centralized power base of ideology.

Read more...
* * *
Greetings from Wales!
By Anita Šovaitė-Woronycz
Chepstow, Wales

Think of a nation in northern Europe whose population is around the 3 million mark a land of song, of rivers, lakes, forests, rolling green hills, beautiful coastline a land where mushrooms grow ready for the picking, a land with a passion for preserving its ancient language and culture.

Doesn't that sound suspiciously like Lithuania? Ah, but I didn't mention the mountains of Snowdonia, which would give the game away.

I'm talking about Wales, that part of the UK which Lithuanians used to call "Valija", but later named "Velsas" (why?). Wales, the nation which has welcomed two Lithuanian heads of state to its shores - firstly Professor Vytautas Landsbergis, who has paid several visits and, more recently, President Dalia Grybauskaitė who attended the 2014 NATO summit which was held in Newport, South Wales.
MADE IN WALES -
ENGLISH VERSION OF THE
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
VYTAUTAS LANDSBERGIS.

Read more...
* * *
IS IT POSSIBLE TO
COMMENT ON OUR
ARTICLES? :-)
Read Cassandra's article HERE

Read Rugile's article HERE

Did you know there is a comment field right after every article we publish? If you read the two above posts, you will see that they both have received many comments. Also YOU are welcome with your comments. To all our articles!
* * *

Greetings from Toronto
By Antanas Sileika,
Toronto, Canada

Toronto was a major postwar settlement centre for Lithuanian Displaced Persons, and to this day there are two Catholic parishes and one Lutheran one, as well as a Lithuanian House, retirement home, and nursing home. A new wave of immigrants has showed interest in sports.

Although Lithuanian activities have thinned over the decades as that postwar generation died out, the Lithuanian Martyrs' parish hall is crowded with many, many hundreds of visitors who come to the Lithuanian cemetery for All Souls' Day. Similarly, the Franciscan parish has standing room only for Christmas Eve mass.

Although I am firmly embedded in the literary culture of Canada, my themes are usually Lithuanian, and I'll be in Kaunas and Vilnius in mid-November 2015 to give talks about the Lithuanian translations of my novels and short stories, which I write in English.

If you have the Lithuanian language, come by to one of the talks listed in the links below. And if you don't, you can read more about my work at
www.anatanassileika.com

http://www.vdu.lt/lt/rasytojas-antanas-sileika-pristatys-savo-kuryba/
https://leu.lt/lt/lf/lf_naujienos/kvieciame-i-rasytojo-59hc.html
* * *

As long as VilNews exists,
there is hope for the future
Professor Irena Veisaite, Chairwoman of our Honorary Council, asked us to convey her heartfelt greetings to the other Council Members and to all readers of VilNews.

"My love and best wishes to all. As long as VilNews exists, there is hope for the future,"" she writes.

Irena Veisaite means very much for our publication, and we do hereby thank her for the support and wise commitment she always shows.

You can read our interview with her
HERE.
* * *
EU-Russia:
Facing a new reality

By Vygaudas Ušackas
EU Ambassador to the Russian Federation

Dear readers of VilNews,

It's great to see this online resource for people interested in Baltic affairs. I congratulate the editors. From my position as EU Ambassador to Russia, allow me to share some observations.

For a number of years, the EU and Russia had assumed the existence of a strategic partnership, based on the convergence of values, economic integration and increasingly open markets and a modernisation agenda for society.

Our agenda was positive and ambitious. We looked at Russia as a country ready to converge with "European values", a country likely to embrace both the basic principles of democratic government and a liberal concept of the world order. It was believed this would bring our relations to a new level, covering the whole spectrum of the EU's strategic relationship with Russia.

Read more...
* * *

The likelihood of Putin
invading Lithuania
By Mikhail Iossel
Professor of English at Concordia University, Canada
Founding Director at Summer Literary Seminars

The likelihood of Putin's invading Lithuania or fomenting a Donbass-style counterfeit pro-Russian uprising there, at this point, in my strong opinion, is no higher than that of his attacking Portugal, say, or Ecuador. Regardless of whether he might or might not, in principle, be interested in the insane idea of expanding Russia's geographic boundaries to those of the former USSR (and I for one do not believe that has ever been his goal), he knows this would be entirely unfeasible, both in near- and long-term historical perspective, for a variety of reasons. It is not going to happen. There will be no restoration of the Soviet Union as a geopolitical entity.

Read more...
* * *

Are all Lithuanian energy
problems now resolved?
By Dr. Stasys Backaitis,
P.E., CSMP, SAE Fellow Member of Central and Eastern European Coalition, Washington, D.C., USA

Lithuania's Energy Timeline - from total dependence to independence

Lithuania as a country does not have significant energy resources. Energy consuming infrastructure after WWII was small and totally supported by energy imports from Russia.

First nuclear reactor begins power generation at Ignalina in 1983, the second reactor in 1987. Iganlina generates enough electricity to cover Lithuania's needs and about 50%.for export. As, prerequisite for membership in EU, Ignalina ceases all nuclear power generation in 2009

The Klaipėda Sea terminal begins Russia's oil export operations in 1959 and imports in 1994.

Mazeikiu Nafta (current ORLEAN Lietuva) begins operation of oil refinery in 1980.

Read more...
* * *

Have Lithuanian ties across
the Baltic Sea become
stronger in recent years?
By Eitvydas Bajarunas
Ambassador to Sweden

My answer to affirmative "yes". Yes, Lithuanian ties across the Baltic Sea become as never before solid in recent years. For me the biggest achievement of Lithuania in the Baltic Sea region during recent years is boosting Baltic and Nordic ties. And not because of mere accident - Nordic direction was Lithuania's strategic choice.

The two decades that have passed since regaining Lithuania's independence can be described as a "building boom". From the wreckage of a captive Soviet republic, a generation of Lithuanians have built a modern European state, and are now helping construct a Nordic-Baltic community replete with institutions intended to promote political coordination and foster a trans-Baltic regional identity. Indeed, a "Nordic-Baltic community" - I will explain later in my text the meaning of this catch-phrase.

Since the restoration of Lithuania's independence 25 years ago, we have continuously felt a strong support from Nordic countries. Nordics in particular were among the countries supporting Lithuania's and Baltic States' striving towards independence. Take example of Iceland, country which recognized Lithuania in February of 1991, well in advance of other countries. Yet another example - Swedish Ambassador was the first ambassador accredited to Lithuania in 1991. The other countries followed suit. When we restored our statehood, Nordic Countries became champions in promoting Baltic integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. To large degree thanks Nordic Countries, massive transformations occurred in Lithuania since then, Lithuania became fully-fledged member of the EU and NATO, and we joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2015.

Read more...
* * *

It's the economy, stupid *
By Valdas (Val) Samonis,
PhD, CPC

n his article, Val Samonis takes a comparative policy look at the Lithuanian economy during the period 2000-2015. He argues that the LT policy response (a radical and classical austerity) was wrong and unenlightened because it coincided with strong and continuing deflationary forces in the EU and the global economy which forces were predictable, given the right policy guidance. Also, he makes a point that LT austerity, and the resulting sharp drop in GDP and employment in LT, stimulated emigration of young people (and the related worsening of other demographics) which processes took huge dimensions thereby undercutting even the future enlightened efforts to get out of the middle-income growth trap by LT. Consequently, the country is now on the trajectory (development path) similar to that of a dog that chases its own tail. A strong effort by new generation of policymakers is badly needed to jolt the country out of that wrong trajectory and to offer the chance of escaping the middle-income growth trap via innovations.

Read more...
* * *

Have you heard about the
South African "Pencil Test"?
By Karina Simonson

If you are not South African, then, probably, you haven't. It is a test performed in South Africa during the apartheid regime and was used, together with the other ways, to determine racial identity, distinguishing whites from coloureds and blacks. That repressive test was very close to Nazi implemented ways to separate Jews from Aryans. Could you now imagine a Lithuanian mother, performing it on her own child?

But that is exactly what happened to me when I came back from South Africa. I will tell you how.

Read more...
* * *
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