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 budgetary tightening.
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 to Lithuania.
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.