The Lithuanian Parliament rejected the president’s proposal to allow people to withdraw a quarter of their pension savings. However, a similar proposal will be considered in return. Politicians are, of course, inspired only by good motives – the desire for freedom and goodness. But freedom goes hand in hand with responsibility, which is valid every day and even more so in the long run.

Lithuania ranked ninth in the International Tax Competitiveness Index 2023. This country ranked eighth last year and fourth in 2019. Why is it sliding down instead of finally rising up the pedestal? The International Tax Competitiveness Index assesses tax systems on their simplicity, transparency, neutrality – i.e., fairness to specific activities and income levels – and stability.

The Lithuanian Free Market Institute’s (LFMI) textbook “Citizen within 31 Hours” has been awarded the European Award for Innovative Education. “Citizen within 31 Hours” is a program to help teachers develop social awareness in an innovative, integrated, and fun way. It has 31 relevant and thought-provoking themes (e.g., poverty, social networks, propaganda, ecology, etc.).

The European Central Bank (ECB) has increased its base interest rates ten times before announcing a pause. During the October meeting, the Governing Council of this financial institution, which met in Athens, decided to halt the record-fast cycle of interest rate hikes. For many borrowers, the most pressing question is, “When will the reduction begin?” However, it is also worth considering the question of quantitative tightening.

Thanksgiving, celebrated these days in the United States, is often considered abroad as a turkey dinner feast. Americans travel thousands of miles – so that several generations of a family can gather around one table. Gratitude is expressed for the harvest, which in the modern world can mean economic welfare, health, fruitful relations with family and friends, and all the benefits of the year’s toil.

With many countries in Central Europe in the election season and with the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza, the war in Ukraine has somewhat disappeared from the front pages. Indeed, several leading political forces in Central Europe have become less outspoken about their support for Ukraine or have indicated an intention to scale it down, hoping to regain support from populist factions.

The Israeli-Palestinian war has stirred emotions well beyond the Levant. However, we should approach the censorship of public speech with a cooler head. The British Home Secretary has warned that waving the Palestinian flag might be deemed a criminal act. France has banned pro-Palestinian protests, and so has Germany. The Chief Minister of an Indian state directed the police to address pro-Palestinian statements on social media.

Paul Cézanne: The Artist's Father, Reading // Public domain

Europe has been built on the liberal values of democracy, rule of law, liberty, tolerance, and free markets. Yet it seems Europeans are forgetting what these values mean. “Know thyself” is a famous ancient Greek maxim, which Europeans do not seem to take to heart. A series of aggressive actions from Russia over the past decade were not enough for the EU to properly distance itself from Russian energy, until it invaded Ukraine.