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Archive for April, 2013

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The economic argument is over -
Paul Krugman won

Lithuania’s former prime minister, Andrius Kubilius (left) is a staunch austerity advocate - for those who want to cut spending to reduce deficits and "restore confidence."

"Stimulus" spending, Paul Krugman (right) argues, would help reduce unemployment and prop up economic growth until the private sector heals itself and begins to spend again.


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Category : Opinions

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Trondheim is Norway’s technology capital, with exceptionally strong Viking era roots.

Wizz Air opens two new routes from Vilnius –
to Trondheim and Ålesund in Norway

Low-cost airline Wizz Air is celebrating the 2 year anniversary of its base at Vilnius. Wizz Air's Lithuanian base opened on 16th of April of 2011 and has since grown significantly, Reported LETA / ELTA the airline.

Currently, there are 2 Vilnius based aircraft with 22 local pilots and 40 local cabin crewmembers that operate on 14 routes flying 2:08 countries including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Ukraine.

"During our two years of operations in the Lithuanian capital as a local base, Wizz Air has carried over 800,000 passengers and the staffing of the base with Lithuanian professionals was also good news for the local job market. Wizz Air is Continuously opening new Lithuanian low fare routes. Recently we announced two new services Alesund and Trondheim starting in early June as well as the route connecting Vilnius with Kiev that will start operating from early July, and we look forward to further grow in Lithuania, "said Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air Daniel de Carvalho.

Ålesund is Norway’s
Jugend Style capital.
Category : News

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The land I
lead you to is

But great is its truths. To be. To survive. To testify by itself to the abundance and variety of the world’s nations, to the value of man’s life in freedom in his homeland.

Each blade of grass here sprouts from a drop of blood or a tear.


Gail VanWart

Randy Jackson
My future country. Understanding the people and their history is something I'm working on. Thanks for this poem.
Category : Opinions

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Lucintel estimates moderate growth for Lithuanian economy through 2018

The economy of Lithuania is expected to reach $57.3 billion by 2018. Economic growth of the country declined in the wake of economic crisis, but recovered impressively due to factors such as government stimulus packages and export growth. Slow growth rate was mainly caused by service sectors as construction, real estate, and financial intermediaries witnessing low productivity against increasing labor costs.

Lithuania is lagging behind Europe’s leading economies in terms of economy size and per capita income.

The study reveals that Lithuania is extremely dependent on trade with other European countries. Hence, change in the external demand may affect the economic situation.

Secondly, the population in Lithuania has been constantly decreasing over the last decade, as young people are emigrating to other countries for jobs and better livelihoods.


Category : News

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The land I lead you to
is Lithuania

But great is its truths. To be. To survive. To testify by itself to the abundance and variety of the world’s nations, to the value of man’s life in freedom in his homeland.

Each blade of grass here sprouts from a drop of blood or a tear.

In the sandy soil of a hillock it grows both grain and graves marked with crosses.

It went from uprising to uprising, from exile to exile, from deportation to deportation. A great number of its people were laid to rest in the permafrost of Siberia, some of their bones were flown back to their native soil, the survivors lost their health in slave labour, but returned home.

Over each hillock, over each forest and over each lake it looks the same and different. It is just like our folk song: Though over the Nemunas river it seems to be sung in a different manner, it is nevertheless filled with the same longing and poignant emotion.

Justinas Marcinkevičius

Category : Culture & events / Front page

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Justinas Marcinkevičius

Justin Marcinkevičius Važatkiemio in his native village in 1986.
Photo: Romuald Rakausko.

Marcinkevičius was born in 1930 in Važatkiemis, Prienai district. In 1954 he graduated from Vilnius University History and Philology faculty with a degree in Lithuanian language and Literature. He joined the Communist party in 1957. He worked for a number of years as vice-chairman of the board of the official Union of Lithuanian Writers. He died in Vilnius on the 16th of February 2011.

Having grown up during the post-war period, Marcinkevičius evokes in his poetry a romanticized version of childhood spent in the Lithuanian countryside, of first love, of man's relationship with nature. In his poetry specific and solid peasant thinking is combined with a mind seeking to draw broad general conclusions, and the tradition of Lithuanian poetry singing the Earth's praises with contemporary modes of poetic thought. As a poet, he has sought to grasp the essence of national experience and give it fresh artistic expression. In his lyrical verse Marcinkevičius strives to comprehend the real meaning of what is going on inside man and society and moves the reader with his ardent lyrical confessions.

For most his life Justinas Marcinkevičius lived and wrote during the complex times of Soviet totalitarianism. He defended the cultural self-awareness of his nation. The poet brought back humanistic idea in describing a man, continued on the romantic and lyric poetry tradition, valued the aesthetic side of literature, as opposed to the heroic and propagandistic style of socialist realism. Marcinkevičius wrote poems in a romantic and modern style. Justinas Marcinkevičius is regarded as one of the most prominent members of Sąjūdis.

Category : Culture & events / Front page

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The world is about to
discover Lithuania!

Until recently, Vilnius was often called Europe's best kept secret. Very few knew that here lies one of the world's best-preserved cultural treasures, namely Eastern Europe’s largest and most attractive old town. Few knew that Vilnius is considered the world's most Italian city outside Italy and the world’ most Baroque city north of the Alps. This is now changing rapidly. The world population has become aware of both the city and the country and the number of travelers here is the sharp increase.



Now, five years later, they still talk about the wonderful experience they had in Lithuania
My wife and I usually travel with friends from Germany. We decided to go to Lithuania and asked our German friends if they would like to go with us. They were hesitant, but did agree to go. We took a private tour of the country, starting and ending in Vilnius. After 8 days we returned to Germany and talked about our experience. They told me their reluctance came from their experience in other ex-soviet countries, which was not good.

They were very surprised at the beauty of Vilnius, and the other places we visited. Everything they saw and experienced there was positive, and, now, five years later, they still talk about the wonderful experience they had there. Our tour was inexpensive, the hotels first class, the food wonderful, the beer out of this world, and the variety of other drinks was simply world class. I will never forget this trip, as my friends also will not. I would highly recommend Lithuania as a must see for any traveler.

Bernard Terway
Category : Opinions

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Without immigration policy, Lithuania will no longer be of interest for people who want to live here

Unless Lithuania adopts a sensible immigration policy, it is heading towards a demographic disaster – in 10 or 20 years, it will be a country of old men.

Canadian economist Arthur DeFehr, who has a business in Lithuania, offers the experience of Manitoba province in his native Canada as an example to follow. When it faced depopulation, the prairie province started importing foreigners it needed to revive the economy. The results more than met expectations – unemployment started shrinking and remained below the national average even during the downturn.

DeFehr, who has a degree from Harvard School of Economics and a wealth of international experience, knows what he is talking about. He was a godfather of the initiative aimed at attracting immigration to Manitoba. Over a decade ago, he became a member of the Trilateral Commission, has been in the World Economics Forum for many years, and has been developing a furniture business for almost five decades.

“If you're concerned about depopulation, you must think what to do,” DeFehr tells 15min. “People are moving to the city, so maybe Vilnius could keep its population. But if people continue to emigrate, both Vilnius and Kaunas will start shrinking. Social problems will surface – nothing new happening, universities shrinking... A country that has lost almost one third of its population over twenty years is facing a disaster in another 10 or 20 years. Lithuania will no longer be interesting enough for people to want to live here, it will become a place for pensioners.”

Read more…

Category : News

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Rescuing a Photo Prince
From Obscurity


Tanya Aldag slips into a closet-size room in her home in suburban Maryland. The door clicks shut. Here, surrounded by thousands of black and white prints, she goes tumbling back to Soviet-era Lithuania.

“It’s like you’re going deep into the water,” she said. “It can be hard to go there.”

Ms. Aldag, 64, is the widow of Vitas Luckus, once a prince — perhaps even a king — of the Soviet photography scene. From the 1960s to the mid-1980s, he traveled throughout the Soviet bloc, capturing peasants, performers, partiers and policemen, as well as a generation of grippingly attractive young artists. He scurried across sloping rooftops (Slide 15), camera swinging from his neck. He worked obsessively, with little care for what others thought. The secret police were a constant presence in his life, burgling his home and beating him in bathrooms and cafes.

Read more…

Category : Culture & events / Front page

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Lithuania leads the EU in industrial growth

In January 2013 compared with January 2012, industrial production decreased by 1.3% in the euro area (EA17) and by 1.7% in the EU27, according to estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Based on these estimates, Lithuania is among the countries with the highest growth of industrial production in the EU.

Among those countries for which data are available, industrial production fell in eleven and rose in seven EU member states. The largest decreases were registered in Sweden (-5.9%), Finland (-5.4%), Greece and Spain (-5%), with the highest increases in Bulgaria and Lithuania (8% each) as well as Estonia (5.5%).

In January 2013 compared with January 2012, production of durable consumer goods fell by 5.5% in the euro area and by 4.3% in the EU27. Intermediate goods production dropped by 3.1% and 3.4%, respectively. Capital goods production decreased by 2.6% in both zones. Production of energy increased by 0.9% in the euro area and remained stable in the EU27. Production of non-durable consumer goods rose by 3.1% and 2.2%, respectively.

Category : News

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Estonians to develop four office buildings in Vilnius for EUR 44m

Estonian E.L.L. Real Estate property development and management group that is majority-owned by Estonian businessman Toomas Annus plans to develop four office centres in Vilnius with a total leasable area of 44,000 sq.m at a cost of EUR 44 million euros, writes Äripäev with reference to news2biz LITHUANIA.
First in line is the smallest project of the four, a 4,300 sq.m, 7-storey, class A building very close to Vilnius' central business district. E.L.L. has already hired Lithuanian Baltic Engineers consultancy to design the technical project and find architects.
The building will be located next to a residential multi-unit house developed by E.L.L. earlier, and overlooking E.L.L.'s biggest project in Lithuania to date, the 65,000 sq.m Panorama shopping and business centre.


Category : News

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Lithuania’s best future lies in a Nordic union

“Russia can turn the lights out on Lithuania and the other two Baltic states any time it pleases. And they can't turn them back on without Russia’s permission. Not only does this small, central European nation, as well as its neighbors Latvia and Estonia, not have access to the Russian owned-switch, but, to a large extent, it also depends on energy supplies from Russia to power its electricity generating plants; power that is needed for energy and economic independence.  Lithuania as well as the other Baltic countries, being poor in energy resources, are facing a tough future and are seeking solutions.”

This was what Dr. Stan Backaitis wrote here in VilNews in 2011. We have also published articles stating that Lithuania’s dependence on Russia, to a certain degree also EU, should be reduced. We have stated that the neighbours to the north in many cases would be much more attractive partners.

I heartily agree
Bravo! I heartily agree. In pondering the often sad history of Lithuania I seem to always come to the conclusion that a small country like Lithuania needs to come to some close relationship with some combination of neighbors in order to gain long term stability and security. The Grand Duchy was probably the best example.

Today, association with NATO and the EU has gone far to secure a degree of that security and prosperity but with the various issues in Europe and even questionable engagement of the US, something deeper must be developed.

Scandinavia seems to be, and in fact has evolved as a strengthening partner and role model which I think many Lithuanians probably accept.

Not to take away from other efforts and positive, even close, relations with other neighbors (Poland, even Russia), closeness with Scandinavia and emulation of its institutions would serve Lithuania well.

Rimantas Aukstuolis
Category : Opinions


Have your say. Send to:

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?

* * *

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.

* * *

* * *
Christmas greetings
from Vilnius

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

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.

* * *
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.

* * *
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.

* * *
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.

* * *
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.

* * *
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
* * *

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
* * *
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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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

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.

* * *

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.

* * *
Click HERE to read previous opinion letters >

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مبلمان اداری صندلی مدیریتی صندلی اداری میز اداری وبلاگدهی فروشگاه اینترنتی گن لاغری شکم بند لاغری تبلیغات کلیکی آموزش زبان انگلیسی پاراگلایدر ساخت وبلاگ بوی دهان بوی بد دهان