Žilvinas Šilėnas tops the list of Lithuania’s most influential opinion leaders, a market research company “Kantar TNS” announces. Reaching the audience of 37 million in the first half of 2017, Šilėnas has forged ahead the incumbent representatives of the banking sector.
After three years of decline, illegal trade in alcohol is on the increase, shows a research by the Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI). According to LFMI, this year the shadow economy occupied 24% of the spirits market in Lithuania, representing an increase by two-percentage points since 2015.
Politicians should ask themselves if depriving citizens of their right to choose high quality reasonably priced services while putting private businesses at a competitive disadvantage is the path Lithuania should follow.
Lithuania has long been praised for its rankings in the categories of starting a business, registering property, and enforcing contracts, but it has also been criticized for a heavy administrative burden and red tape pervading the areas of dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, and paying taxes.
The 2008 financial crisis, geopolitical tensions, and other macro factors have slowed down SOE privatization. In some CEE countries, the trend has even reversed. Estonia nationalized its railways in 2007 and Lithuania bought out private investors in its energy companies.
The Lithuanian Social Democrats have withdrawn from the governing coalition led by the Peasant-Greens, making it a minority governmnent. Of the three Social Democrats Ministers, only Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius will leave his party to remain in the government.
Creating robotic Twitter accounts which generate automatic content on a selected topic became one of the most useful tools in the Kremiln’s disinformation propaganda. Over 80% of Russia-language tweets and almost half the English-language tweets on the NATO presence in Eastern Europe is created by pro-Kremiln robotic accounts.
I am not questioning the values of politicians. If they believe that the means of production should belong to the state, it is their right to do so. However, we are living in an independent Lithuania and so members of the parliament must at least be objective and impartial.
The development of an in-depth understanding of the European values as well as individual responsibility among young people rests upon raising their social awareness and the advancement of critical thinking on social phenomena. A proper account for social reality requires an integration of economic, political, and moral perspectives.