Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Europe > Lithuania

Lithuania

Yearbook 1997

Lithuania. The political situation in Lithuania was stabilized in 1997, which bourgeois politicians attributed to their successful results in both the municipal and parliamentary elections in 1996. The political scandals of recent years that have become a sign of the country sounded out during the year. But not entirely: new Finance Minister Rolandas Matilauskas demanded resignation after a few weeks because of allegations of dishonest business during his time at a now closed bank. The government's fight against crime and corruption was described as successful.

1997 Lithuania

A strict fiscal and monetary policy was pursued by the new Conservative government (most important parties: the Federation of the Federation, Tevynės Sajunga and the Christian Democrats, Lietuvos krikscioniuokratu partija) as opposed to the previous left government's policy under the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party, Lietuvos Democratine Darbo Partija. GDP rose while inflation, unemployment and budget deficits fell. Privatization has been accelerated and foreign investors have shown a growing interest in Lithuania, which has always felt disadvantaged compared to the other Baltic republics.

Foreign policy occurred in several important events. As Lithuania signed the Geneva Convention on Refugee Rights at the beginning of the year, many countries, including Sweden, abolished the visa requirement. The countries that abolished the visa requirement for Lithuania are now also entitled to return refugees to the Baltic Republic. The agreement with Sweden was signed in Stockholm by Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius, who made his first official visit to Sweden.

According to Digopaul, Lithuania President President Algirdas Brazauska's visit to Moscow was the first Baltic state visit since the Russian troops left the Baltic. Brazauskas and his Russian colleague Boris Yeltsin signed a border agreement regulating Lithuania's 30-mile border with the Russian enclave Kaliningrad and where the border goes in the Baltic Sea. The agreement was the first of its kind with a Baltic state and was interpreted by many as an expression of Moscow's satisfaction with how the Russian minority in Lithuania is being treated. So, for example, the Russian population of Lithuania citizenship without the demands of the other Baltic republics. However, Lithuania declined the Russian offer of security guarantees. For Lithuania, as for the two other Baltic republics, membership in NATO and in the EU is the most important foreign policy goal.

The Lithuanians accepted that the country did not join in the first round of NATO enlargement but protested loudly when the EU Commission placed Lithuania and Latvia, in contrast to Estonia, in the second group in the Union enlargement negotiations. Lithuania started a broad diplomatic campaign in which the message was that the European Commission's analysis of the country's preparedness was based on outdated information and pure inaccuracies. The joy was therefore great when the EU Heads of State and Government decided at their summit in Luxembourg that the accession and negotiation process should be started jointly for all candidate countries.

The year ended with the first round of presidential elections, in which the incumbent president, 65-year-old Algirdas Brazauskas, did not run for office. Seven candidates, all men, competed for the country's highest office. The three most important were according to opinion polls the 44-year-old former prosecutor Arturas Paulauskas, the returning 72-year-old US citizen Valdas Adamkus and third place the 65-year-old music professor and freedom hero Vytautas Landsbergis. Paulauskas and Adamkus won in the first round with 44.7 and 27.6% of the votes respectively.

Other Countries in Europe

Arist Countries Copyright 1997 - 2020 All Rights Reserved