Lithuania. In January, the 20-year anniversary of the
attack on the TV tower in Vilnius was celebrated when 14
people were killed and hundreds injured when Soviet soldiers
attacked a crowd defending the tower. According to
Countryaah official site, the government
declared that Lithuania will claim damages from Moscow for
what happened in 1991.
In the local elections in February, the governing
Conservative Federation of Allies returned to the
municipalities, while the Social Democrats went ahead and
became the largest party. However, Prime Minister Andrius
Kubilius's party was considered to have performed relatively
well given the two-year deep economic crisis with severe
In March, a Russian company was commissioned to build a
nuclear reactor in Belarus, near the border with Lithuania
and less than five miles from Vilnius. This increased the
pressure on the Lithuanian government in the energy issue.
The opposition demanded the energy minister's departure for
the failure to procure for the construction of a new
Lithuanian nuclear reactor. However, the Minister won the
vote of confidence in Parliament.
During the year, a hot debate was held about the status
of the Polish minority in Lithuania. The government was
accused by Poles of discrimination in language and education
issues. Local Polish leaders, in turn, were accused of
inciting hatred between the ethnic groups, and the conflict
grew to a political level between Lithuania and Poland.
In May, a former member of Soviet special forces was
sentenced to life imprisonment for involvement in the
murders of seven Lithuanian border police and border guards
in July 1991, a few weeks before Lithuania's independence
from the Soviet Union was recognized. Three other suspects
are in the Russian Federation, which has not extradited them
In June, after years of debate, the Lithuanian Parliament
decided that the state should pay the equivalent of SEK 340
million in compensation to the Jews of Lithuania for
property seized by German and Soviet occupiers. The money
will be paid out over a ten-year period from 2013.
After the economy recovered from the crisis in 2010, GDP
grew by just over 6% in the first three quarters of 2011.
But the majority of the coalition was fragile and there was
strong opposition in Parliament against plans to raise the
retirement age, introduce property tax and progressive
income tax. The government's target was a budget for 2012
with a maximum budget deficit of 3% to make Lithuania ready
for the euro in 2014.
In November, Snora's bank went bankrupt, following
suspected financial crime by the owner, the Russian
financier and former Saab speculator Vladimir Antonov. The
equivalent of SEK 9 billion was missing in Snora's bank, and
Antonov and his business partners were arrested in London.