Week in Lithuania: Pažaislis Monastery wins European reward, Lithuania U-turns on mandatory vaccination for some professions

Last week, the the top news in Lithuania were Pažaislis monastery being awarded a prestigious European reward, Lithuania rejecting mandatory vaccination for some professions and the discussion of Interior ministry dismissed part of ombudsman’s scathing information about migrants’ detention conditions
Lithuania cautious about EC proposal on fishing in Baltic Sea in 2022
With the European Commission proposing to continue limiting fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea next year, Lithuania’s Agriculture Ministry called on Monday, October 4, to maintain a fair balance between a cautious stance and the sector’s stability. For 2022, the Commission has proposed to prohibit commercial targeted cod and salmon fishing in the Baltic Sea, to reduce herring quota by half and leave the sprat quota unchanged from 2021. It has also proposed to restrict recreational salmon and cod fishing. The final decision will be made on October 11-12.
KN launches operations of LNG terminal in Brazil
KN Acu, a company established by Lithuania’s state-owned oil and LNG terminal operator Klaipėdos Nafta (Klaipėda Oil, KN), launched on Monday, October 4, commercial operations of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in the Brazilian Port of Acu. The terminal was launched simultaneously with a natural gas-fired thermoelectric plant, the first such facility in the port in the northern region of Rio de Janeiro. KN was appointed the operator of the LNG terminal in Acu back in 2020 for the initial term of 13 years, which might be extended upon mutual agreement.
Pažaislis monastery wins coveted European reward
The Pažaislis Church and Monastery Complex near Kaunas, Lithuania’s second biggest city, has won the Best European Filming Location award, public institution Kaunas IN reported on Tuesday, October 5. The Location Award 2020 by the European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN) was given to the complex for helping to recreate the splendid and tumultuous reign of Empress Catherine II of Russia (Helen Mirren) in the HBO and Sky Atlantic miniseries Catherine the Great in November 2018.
Read also: BNN ANALYSES | Lithuania moves forward with 100-euro prod to get seniors jabbed
President exhorts EU to reduce dependence on China
The European Union (EU) shall look for ways to reduce dependence from China, in particular by concentrating manufacturing in Europe or cooperating with the countries sharing similar values, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said on Wednesday, October 6. Lithuania has recently announced plans to open a trade office in Taiwan, which China considers to be a rebellious province. The bilateral relations between Vilnius and Beijing further deteriorated in May after Lithuania left China’s 17+1 economic and political cooperation forum with Central and Eastern European countries.
Cabinet approves 100 payment euro to vaccinated seniors
The Lithuanian government approved on Wednesday, October 6, a proposal to offer a one-off payment of 100 euros to newly vaccinated seniors aged 75 years and over and those who take their booster shots. The Cabinet was submitting the respective draft law to the parliament, asking it to debate the bill under a fast-track procedure.
Lithuania backs out of proposal of mandatory vaccination
The Lithuanian government proposed on Wednesday, October 6, that the parliament amend the law to require unvaccinated workers in certain areas to pay for their COVID-19 tests. Yet the proposal to introduce mandatory vaccination against the coronavirus for some workers was removed from the agenda of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting. It was decided instead that the state will continue to pay for tests for workers who cannot take the jab for medical reasons and if vaccines are not available.
KN posts 25% drop in Jan-Sep revenue to 44 million euros
Lithuania’s state-run oil product and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals operator Klaipėdos Nafta saw its revenue for January-September 2021 fall by 24.8 percent year-on-year to 44 million euros. Monthly revenue for September dropped by 25 percent from a year earlier to 4.8 million euros, the company said in a statement to the Nasdaq Vilnius Stock Exchange on Thursday, October 7.
INVL raises Lithuania’s 2021 inflation forecast to 4 percent
INVL, a major Baltic investment fund, forecasts that Lithuania’s average annual inflation will reach 4 percent this year before decelerating slightly to 3.8 percent next year, Indre Genyte-Pikčienė, the company’s chief economist, said on Thursday, October 7. This is an upward revision from INVL’s previous estimates of 2.7 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, last spring. The average unemployment rate is expected to decrease to 7.2 percent this year and go further down to 6.5 percent in 2022. The company left its 2021 and 2022 GDP growth forecasts unchanged at 4.3 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.
Iraqi migrant to go on trial for possession of child pornography
A criminal case in which a 22-year-old Iraqi citizen, who crossed into Lithuania undocumented from Belarus earlier this year, is charged with possession of child pornography, has been sent to court. The Prosecutor’s Office reported on Thursday, October 7, that pornographic videos featuring children had been found in a phone owned by the Iraqi. The man was detained by the Lithuanian border guards in late July. The Iraqi national has refused to plead guilty. Possession of pornographic content featuring a child can bring punishment of up to 4 years in prison or a fine.
Ministry dismisses ombudsman’s information about migrants’ premises
Information about the accommodation conditions provided to migrants contained in a report issued by Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas is outdated, the Lithuanian Interior Ministry said on Thursday, October 7. Normantas stated in his report that the detention conditions of irregular migrants held in temporary accommodation facilities could have qualified as inhumane treatment. He pointed out that the authorities had failed to adequately ensure the asylum seekers’ rights to hygiene, clothing, as well as the right to privacy, which could qualify as prohibited inhumane or degrading treatment.
Germany’s Birkle IT AG set to open two offices in Lithuania
Germany’s IT company Birkle IT AG will open offices in Vilnius and Kaunas following expansion in Estonia, as it seeks to meet fast-growing demand in IT consulting and software development services, Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Minister Aušrinė Armonaitė and the German company’s CEO Jorn Halbauer said after their meeting in Munich on Thursday, October 7.
Lithuania reports 2,182 new COVID-19 cases, 18 deaths
Lithuania registered 2,182 new coronavirus infections and 18 deaths from COVID-19 over October 6, the country’s statistics office said on Thursday, October 7. Lithuania’s 14-day infection count per 100,000 people has risen to 852.6, which put the country according the indicator on top of all EU member states.