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THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

27 May 2017
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Section 8: THE WORLD IN LITHUANIA
TODAY: THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FROM ALL THE WORLD ARE AGAIN LIVING IN LITHUANIA!

Lido Marine – a Norwegian success story in Klaipėda

- Posted by - (3) Comment

 
Norwegian Gunnvald Laukhammer, the main person behind the success of Lido Marine,
is not exactly thrilled with the way the Lithuanian authorities often are acting.

LIDO Marine is a Norwegian owned Lithuanian company, established originally under the name Lauremija in 2002, with roots in the maritime business back to 1977 and as own firms since 1986.  The company's founder and general director, Gunnvald Laukhammer, has long experience in building and contracting, ship interior outfitting, industrial insulation and ventilation systems in the Norwegian onshore and offshore industry.

By basing the company in the port city of Klaipeda, LIDO Marine has been able to take advantage of the wealth of experience in the ship building industry of the city.  During post-war soviet times, Klaipeda was one of the major centres of ship repair and ship building for the Soviet shipping industry.  Four major ship building yards and numerous related businesses operated in the city; even today Klaipeda is host to 43 ship-repair, building and technical services companies.

In 2006 the company also bought facilities in Kretinga, a town not far from Klaipeda, and established Baltic Marine Furniture to produce furniture and interiors to supply the mother company’s ship and offshore fitting operations.

LIDO Marine currently has a staff of around 75, mostly Lithuanians divided into teams of 5 to 30 people, who travel all over Europe (sometimes also in other parts of the world) to furnish ships and offshore platforms. Baltic Marine Furniture employs twelve persons at the factory in Kretinga.  

The authorities do nothing to facilitate or help us
Gunnvald Laukhammer is not exactly thrilled with the way the Lithuanian authorities often are acting. "Sometimes I feel they are more eager to create problems than to help out," he says. "Take as an example that our company Baltic Marine Furniture now for a long period of time has tried to get permission to extend the furniture workshop building in Kretinga.  But instead of welcoming new jobs and investments with open arms, the local authorities seem to do what they can to thwart us, and we still have not received a building permit for a rather simple building extension, on our own land, after about two years of waiting. Now another winter may come before we can start building," he says. 

Gunnvald is not overexcited when he talks about the many bureaucrats and politicians he thinks Lithuania has too many of. 

"I simply no longer allow myself to get annoyed at how poorly the systems in this country often works," he says in his laconic, Western-Norwegian, manner. 

"It is, however, strange to see," he says, "that an investor and export company like ours is getting no support or help from the local Lithuanian authorities. I feel, on the contrary, that they sometimes are attempting to cheat and take unfair advantage of us and other foreign companies here.

Read more...

Category : The world in Lithuania

- Posted by - (2) Comment

Next time you eat bacalao* in Spain or Italy

* The word bacalao is Spanish, and simply means cod. Actually, in many Latin countries like Brazil, Italy, Greece and of course Spain, the term bacalao is used for stockfish or salted cod. In Portugal, bacalao is said to be prepared in at least 365 different ways – one for each day of the year.


Reidar Inselseth is General Director of the Espersen fish factory in the Klaipeda Free Economic Zone, where cod from the Baltic Sea and Arctic Ocean is converted to delicious fish fillets for southern European markets.

Read more...

Category : The world in Lithuania

Lietuva is the best country in all the world for four reasons:

- Posted by - (3) Comment

Labas Aage Myhre,
I learned of your website through the British-Lithuanian Society, of which I have been a sustaining member for four years.  The B-LS does a wonderful job of promoting Lithuanian social and cultural events in the United Kingdom, and helps to promote initiatives in Lietuva through The Tiltas Trust, a registered charity.  For details, go to www.britishlithuaniansociety.org.uk.
 
I am very proud to tell you that the best man I ever knew was my maternal grandfather, who was Lithuanian.  The spelling of the family name changes from document to document, but his father's surname was Markauskus (Markowskas?  Markauskus?) and his mother's maiden name was Janusraitus (again, different spellings).  There is NOTHING that would make me happier than to be able to trace my roots within Lietuva.  If you - or anyone you know - can help me, I would be most grateful.  Do you know which part of the country people with these names came from originally?  You don't know how much this means to me.

Read more...

Category : The world in Lithuania

- Posted by - (1) Comment

Mark your calendars:
The Christmas Charity Bazaar will take place on Saturday 3 December!


‘Team Ireland’ at last year’s bazaar.

The 9th International Christmas Charity Bazaar (ICCB) will take place on Saturday, 3 December, 2011 at the Vilnius Town Hall (Rotuše) under the kind patronage of Mrs Alma Adamkiene. The Bazaar, organised by the International Women’s Association of Vilnius (IWAV) in cooperation with the international diplomatic and business communities and Lithuanian friends, has become the unofficial start to the Christmas season.

The 2010 event was attended by more than 5.000 visitors and raised nearly 300.000 Litas for beneficiaries, including: Kaunas Medical University Clinic, Vilnius Residential Home for Children and Youth, Ekklesia Charity Foundation, Vilnius University Children's Oncology Unit, Kijeliu Home for Severely Disabled Children (specialusis ugdymo centras), Alantos Nursing Home for the Elderly, Children-Youth Day Care Centre “Musu Namelai”, and the Training Centre for the Blind and Visually Impaired. More information is available from: www.iwavilnius.com/iccb.

Read more...

Category : The world in Lithuania

Christmas Charity Bazaar background

- Posted by - (1) Comment


Gunilla Possenius with Professor Vytautas Landsbergis.

By: Gunilla Possenius 

Vilnius´ International Christmas Charity Bazaar is approaching - but how and when did it start?

For the ninth year Vilniaus Rotuse will open its doors for the International Christmas Charity Bazaar (ICCB) on December 3. This annual event has become one of the true signs that Christmas is approaching.

But how many know today how it all really started? Over the years, inaccurate information regarding how ICCB started was circulating. So now it is time for the true story to be told.

Read more...

Category : The world in Lithuania

- Posted by - (1) Comment


Above: Signatures by VIC’s initial ‘working group’
in October 2001, 10 years ago. 

Visit the VIC web page:
http://vilnius-international-club.com/ 

Vilnius International Club (VIC) has since October 2001* been a leading club and a dynamic meeting point for local people with international interests and for expatriates from many countries. The club’s mission is to support and encourage the cultural, historic, and economic vitality of Vilnius as a capital city and of Lithuania as an outstanding historic and contemporary scene for interaction and constructive activities between fine people from many countries. Men and women from the expatriate and Lithuanian communities, working in diplomatic, business, and cultural spheres, fulfil VIC’s mission through fellowship, monthly meetings, and occasional charitable programmes.

*VIC started its activities in October 2001, and was formally established in February 2002.

***************************************************************************************************

Opinions about VIC over the years

VIC has built a new bridge...
VIC is a refreshing initiative that has built a new bridge between local Lithuanians and foreigners in Vilnius. The success of the Club is a result of good balance between many different nationalities and great variety of cultural and social activities. It is important to maintain high share of Lithuanians in VIC as expatriates do not need a club to meet foreigners..

- Bjarne-Espen Christiansen, Manager of Scandinavian Airlines (Denmark)

 

The VIC format is very unique...
I think VIC format is very unique. It encompasses many features that many other clubs/organizations, between which we share our off-duty time, lack. It has planned events schedule, as well as beautiful ad-hoc social surprises; and, most importantly, diversity of people and themes. 

- Vygandas Juras, Partner of Baltcap Management (Lithuania) 

 

Potential to integrate Vilnius community into modern Europe...
It is a creative organisation with huge potential to integrate Vilnius community into modern Europe.

- Daiva Vitkute, Managing Director, Vilnius Consult (Lithuania)

 

I am extremely grateful for Vilnius International Club actions...
I am extremely grateful for Vilnius International Club actions enhancing cultural, historical and economic life in our city. I am also thankful for charity programs set for unprivileged inhabitants of the city. The variety of activities you accomplish in the city contributes to the philanthropic movement development as well as assists with the implementation of tangible social projects in Vilnius...

- The Mayor of Vilnius City Municipality, Arturas Zuokas

Read more...

Category : The world in Lithuania


OPINIONS

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


  • Comments to our article 'Look to Norway'

    http://vilnews.com/?p=5843



    "During my visit to Lithuania in January 1991, while the Soviet troops surrounded the Parliament and the TV tower in Vilnius, our Norwegian delegation brought with us a letter from Oslo's mayor confirming that Oslo was ready to be Vilnius' first sister city in the west. Later, many Lithuanian and Norwegian cities, municipalities and counties have established friendship agreements. But in most cases only with words, little action."
    Aage Myhre

  • And that was how things started during the collapse of the USSR and the dawn of Lithuanian freedom!



    I was invited to serve as the economic reform expert (actually to lead the effort) by The International Baltic Economic Survey Commission, a "blue ribbon" advisory formed by the Swedish PM Mats Karlsson; we worked out of the Swedish PM Office with very frequent travel for field work to the Baltics, esp. Estonia and Latvia in my case.
    However, the Lithuanian reforms were since 1992 effectively hijacked (using the brainwashed, Sovietized older voters, esp. vulnerable to propagation of the Soviet kolkhozes by Brazauskas, etc) by the Soviet nomenklatura for a reason: to create a Russian/Latin American style oligarchic, mafia-style system that would fully allow bolsheviks to continue rent-extracting policies (A. Kruger and M. Voslensky term) and to rule Lithuania for the nomenklatura benefit (beggaring the people of course) long after the USSR collapse as they obviously did with minor exceptions since, almost totally excluding younger (nationally and Western minded) generations from any governance roles in the society and brutally driving them to leave the country.
    Valdas Samonis

  • The same people who were used to the Soviet style of thinking and work ethic kept their jobs, even if they were doing nothing or even doing harm


    Former president and prime minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Brazauskas. who died last year

    The idea is excellent, but the problem is that the majority of the people in the positions where the change could be initiated were from the Soviet times. The fact that Brazauskas was really good at public relations and was able to retain his power for so long meant that the same people who were used to the Soviet style of thinking and work ethic kept their jobs, even if they were doing nothing or even doing harm. To them, changing the way how things are done meant undermining their own position, so of course they did nothing.

    My hope is that with time the things will clean up, and these changes will occur. It will take time, though.
    Tautietis

  • Greetings from Venezuela!

    Dear Mr. Aage Myhre:

    Kindest regards from Venezuela! First of all, let me introduce myself: my name is Vytenis Folkmanas and I'm writing you from Venezuela. As you might realize from my name, I'm son of a Lithuanian emigrant who arrived with his parents and sister to Venezuela in 1948. I'm very proud of my Lithuanian heritage and actually I'm the President of the Lithuanian Community of Venezuela, in an effort to rescue the traditions, customs, and language within our small community.

    I'm also very happy to be one of the worldwide privileged receiving VILNEWS. Right now, I've just finished reading your wonderful article "LOOK TO NORWAY" and it makes me sadder because I compare it to what is happening here in our country Venezuela and find a similar situation. Although our country could be one of the richest countries in the world just thanks to oil income, the internal situation doesn't reflect it AT ALL!!! I think that it couldn't be worse!! As you mention the situation with Lithuania and how Norway has tried to help them, here is the same. Our country is seeking help and support from countries as Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Libya, and China in economic, social, energetic, tourism and industrial topics instead of from developed countries. Just with the tourism, Venezuela could gain the same or more income than with the oil production, as we have one of the most blessed countries, geographically speaking, in the world, but our governments have always been blind to this industry (tourism)...That is just a small example. How I wish that they could see the example of Norway, Finland, and other countries, especially if they offer their cooperation. Here we say that is a "false pride" not to receive support and advice from others!

    And speaking of Lithuania, is also true , specially the comment of Mr Sliupas when he wrote:

    "One of my American colleagues, who was sincerely trying to help Lithuania, said "Sending e-mail to Lithuania is like sending it to the black hole of the universe. Everything goes one way and nothing comes back". That is so true. I myself wrote emails to Lithuania, to the ministries, etc offering to help them promote Lithuania as a tourist destination here in Venezuela, as here is almost as unknown country and never had no answer at all. Is very sad, and I love everything what Lithuania means.

    Once again, thank you very much for sending me your VILNEWS, many regards and I remain here at your disposition!

    Vytenis Folkmanas

  • Listen to Scandinavian advice, not arrogantly assuming that we the Lithuanians know best



    Hello Aage
    I have just read the latest edition of VilNews, thank you for another good job. I agree with your editorial comments. In particular: "Being a Norwegian, I believe Norway and the other Scandinavian countries would have been willing to stretch to great lengths to provide help and advice for the crisis–hit Lithuania and the two other Baltic States. But they had to be asked. Our Lithuanian leaders should refrain from arrogance and avoid ignorance by seeking advice where good help and advice is to be found, domestically and internationally. Can they do that, there is every reason to foresee a bright future for this nation."

    I have two comments to make on that. First, I believe that even now it's not too late to ask the Scandinavian countries for help. But you are exactly right: the Scandinavian countries would want in return a guarantee that whatever help they give will be used wisely, listen to Scandinavian advice, not arrogantly assuming that we the Lithuanians know best. Closely linked to this is the second thing: no one wants to give help if they think it's going to be wasted corruptly. Lithuanians need to be able to give the Scandinavian aid-givers a chance to supervise what is going on, the right to inspect and audit, to make sure that the aid is being used as agreed, and not to build the villas of mafiozai and corrupt politicians and public servants on land that they have misappropriated from public forests and lakefronts.

    Which brings me back to my key theme (sorry if I'm repetitious): Lithuania will not make much serious progress until bigger efforts are made to stamp out bribery and corruption.

    Gintautas Kaminskas
    Wollongong, Australia

Easier to obtain an audience with the pope, than with a minister for foreign affairs of Lithuania

You have lived long enough in Lithuania and must realize that many of the problems of the present day Lithuania are due to their reluctance to learn from the Western countries or accept advice from Lithuanians who lived and studied in the West. The relative success of Lithuania after World War I was largely due to the replacement of Russian educated officials by those who got their degrees in the West. My own father was the first Lithuanian with a degree in forestry from a Western university and introduced major reforms in the forest management, which survived even during the Communist occupation.

Alas, after 20 years of restoration of independence to paraphrase Kipling "The East is East, the West is West and the twain shall never (so far) meet". I spoke to a number of Lithuanians with degrees from top Western universities, who don't want to return to Lithuania - according to them, the "natives" know everything better.

I might add that for me it was easier to obtain an audience with the Pope, than with a Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania.

Ambassador Algirdas Žemaitis, Vilnius – Rome



Event calendar
What's up in Lithuania's international community?

The event calendar will be constantly updated with event programmes etc from the different clubs, chambers and organisations dealing with the international community in Lithuania. Each organisation will be presented by logo, address, email, telephone – and of course the name/time of the event in question :)

Let us know about upcoming events in YOUR organisation!


IMPORTANT TELEPHONES AND ADDRESSES

Lithuania's single number for all kinds of emergencies is 112. You can call from mobile phones, fixed phones and public pay phones. Never forget this number:


BELOW:
The Foreign Ministry's list of embassies in Lithuania:


CLICK HERE:
http://www.urm.lt/index.php?-1069647731



CONSUL GREETINGS

TODAY: From Krister Castren, Honorary Consul of Finland in Klaipeda

VilNews will over the coming months invite a number of honorary consuls from different countries to write commentary articles. What we want to learn more about is what characterizes the cooperation between the countries the consuls represent and the towns/districts the consuls live in here in Lithuanis. We would also like to know more the consul's connections with Lithuania, and we are eager to listen to the his or her thoughts and opinions on current topics and news from Lithuania.

First to write, is the Honorary Consul of Finland to Klaipeda, Mr. Krister Castren.
Read his story here...



Short stories

Here you will find short stories from and about the expatriate society in Lithuania.

The stories might be short reminders about events going to take place, it might be stories with reference to some funny or sad experiences, or other information-in-brief that the editorial team for this section wants to make known to our local and worldwide readers.



VilNews e-magazine is published in Vilnius, Lithuania. Editor-in-Chief: Mr. Aage Myhre. Inquires to the editorseditor@VilNews.com.
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