Week in Lithuania: President calls for 90% vaccination target, IMF warns Lithuania about its economy

Last week, the top news in Lithuania were the call by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda to achieve a 90% Covid-19 vaccination coverage and the International Monetary Fund’s warning about the Lithuanian economy’s possible overheating. Also this week, 28 years since Russian army’s withdrawal were marked.
President calls for 90 percent vaccination target
 President Gitanas Nausėda said on Monday, August 30, that he supported compulsory coronavirus shots for some professions and called for raising the overall vaccination target to 90 percent of the population. Official statistics show that 69.5 percent of Lithuania’s adult population have received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot.
Energy ministry hails updated LNG contract Norway’s Equinor
Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys praised on Monday, August 30, amendments to the agreement with Norwegian company Equinor on supply of liquefied natural gas. According to Ignitis, part of Lithuania’s state-owned energy group Ignitis Grupė (Ignitis Group), the amendments would allow saving 14-17 million euros during the remaining period of the effective contract, i.e., from 2022 until the end of 2024.
Lithuania marks 28 years since Russian army’s withdrawal
Lithuania on Tuesday, August 31, marked 28 years since Russia completed the withdrawal of its remaining troops from the country’s territory. On this occasion, a ceremony of raising the Lithuanian national flag took place in Lukiškės Square in Vilnius and a minute of silence was observed in honour of the fallen.
IMF warns Lithuania about potential risks of overheating
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Wednesday, September 1, Lithuania about potential risks of overheating – both in particular sectors and in the economy as a whole. Among the risks, the IMF mentioned uneven recovery of the country’s main trade partners, geopolitical tensions, disruptions to the vaccination process and a lagging absorption of the European Union’s (EU) economic recovery funds.
Lithuania receives first shipment of flu vaccine
Lithuania received on Wednesday, September 1, the first shipment of flu vaccine, a total of 100,000 doses, for the upcoming flu season, the National Health Insurance Fund said in a press release. As part of preparations for the upcoming flu season, Lithuania has already acquired a total of 257,000 doses of tetravalent vaccine, nearly 5 percent more compared to 2020, for more than 2.2 million euros. The second shipment of flu vaccine is scheduled to be delivered to Lithuania late in October.
Read also: BNN ANALYSES | Tensions grip Lithuania, but will they trigger rise of nationalists?
Two Kaunas lawyers suspected of bribing judge
Two Kaunas lawyers and a member of a law firm’s staff are suspected of bribing a judge, Lithuania’s Special Investigation Service (SIS) reported on Wednesday, September 1. According to the pre-trial investigation, B. L., a former judge turned lawyer, conspired with V. G., another lawyer working in Lithuania’s second largest city, that she, acting in concert with T. G., a member of her law firm’s staff, should pass an unlawful payment to Rimantas Grigas, a judge with Kaunas Chamber of Kaunas District Court.
Lithuania’s parliamentary parties sign education policy pact
Representatives of Lithuania’s parliamentary parties on Wednesday, September 1, signed an education policy pact at the Seimas. The document outlines eighteen specific commitments in the area of education, eight success targets as well as three financial targets. The agreement stipulates that the average wage of schoolteachers is expected to go up to 130 percent of the national average wage and that of lecturers, scientists and other researchers – to at least 150 percent until the end of 2024.
Court finally dismisses Russian pop star’s appeal against entry ban
Lithuania’s Supreme Administrative Court on Wednesday, September 1, dismissed Russian pop star Philipp Kirkorov’s appeal against the Lithuanian Migration Department’s decision to ban him from entering the country for five years. On June 14, Vilnius Regional Administrative Court dismissed Kirkorov’s appeal and upheld the Migration Department’s decision.
Cabinet backs proposal to raise minimum wage to 730 euros
The Lithuanian government on Wednesday, September 1, approved in principle the Social Security and Labor Ministry’s proposal to raise the minimum monthly wage by 88 euros to 730 euros from January 1, 2022. Social Security and Labor Minister Monika Navickienė told the Cabinet that the proposal was in line with the Finance Ministry’s updated economic development projections. The Cabinet will likely adopt its final decision in October before sending next year’s draft budget to the parliament for approval. The minimum monthly wage was last increased last January, to 642 euros (before tax), from 607 euros.
Lithuania set to move all migrants out of border stations this month
Lithuania’s authorities will move all 1 400 irregular migrants out of border stations and municipal premises by the end of September, Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė said on Thursday, September 2. These migrants currently number around 1,400, according to the minister. Vulnerable people will be accommodated in the Rukla refugee reception center and in a temporary hostel in Naujininkai, a district of Vilnius, according to the minister. Others will be accommodated in Medininkai and in the Foreigners Registration Center in Pabradė, close to the capital. Single men, who now live in a tent camp in the Rudninkai military training area, will be moved to a former correctional facility in Kybartai.
Court obliges Luminor to convert Swiss franc loans, change interest rates
The Court of Appeal of Lithuania on Thursday, September 2, obliged Luminor Bank to amend loan contracts of its customers, who took out loans in Swiss francs from Nordea Bank before 2009, to convert those loans to euros at the rate at the date such loans were granted, and to replace CHF LIBOR with EURIBOR as the reference rate.
Lithuania reports 819 new coronavirus cases, nine deaths
Lithuania registered on Friday, September 3, 819 new coronavirus infections and nine deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, the country’s statistics office said. Overall, 301,167 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Lithuania since the start of the pandemic. The number of active cases has increased to 7,621. A total of 4,593 people have died from COVID-19 in Lithuania so far, including 39 fully-vaccinated persons. The overall number of deaths directly or indirectly related to the coronavirus has reached 9,292.