The Lithuanian Tribune would like to wish you all a very happy 2011 and thank you for being with us. 2010 were intense and let us hope that the light that we see in the year 2011 tunnel is not the light of an approaching train. We would like to mark the most important events of 2010.
Lithuanian top brass media representatives and political scientists said to the Baltic News Service that death of the former Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas was the most important event of 2010. The failed tender for the selection of a strategic investor into the Visaginas new nuclear power station was the second most important event in Lithuania in 2010, the survey reveilles. The third most important event was the never ending Kedys story followed by the bronze medals at the World basketball championship in Turkey in September won by the Lithuanian national basketball team. The squall in August that took four lives was in the number five according to the survey.
The Lithuania Tribune would like to add a few more events to the list. One of them that despite advises and prediction from the renowned world specialist and media outlets Lithuania did not devalue its currency, and through internal devaluation managed to bounce back.
The eye opening change of Lithuanian Polish strategic relationship and the rumours of sale of Orlen Lietuva oil refinery plant (former Mazeikiu Nafta) to the Russians were hotly debated in the Lithuanian and Polish media in 2010.
2010 was the first year when Lithuania had to learn to live without the Ignalina Nuclear Plant electricity. All doomsday predictions of a drastic price increase and shortage of electricity did not materialised. The prices did go up but moderately, and Lithuania is successfully purchasing the lacking power from abroad.
Changes made in the Lithuanian energy system; the creation of the power exchange BaltPool, successful implementation of NordBalt electricity grid between Lithuania and Sweden, unification of the Western and Eastern Power Network Grids into one company LESTO and other reforms in this sector were important in 2010.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite’s refusal to respond to Barack Obama’s invitation to celebrate the START treaty in Prague was one of the biggest blunders of this year. The same could be said of the energy and time invested in nurturing relations with the Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenka; Lithuanian and the West once again stepped on the same rake and were fooled by Lukashenka.
Survival of the Andrius Kubilius Government despite all odds is another remarkable event of 2010. The Lithuania Tribune is convinced that the successful re-elections of the ruling coalition in Latvia will also have a strong effect on the Lithuanian politics. Kubilius’ and the ruling Conservative Party could follow a great example of survival skills of the Latvian Government, which managed to gather enough votes to form a very similar ruling coalition.
Extension of the EAGLE GUARDIAN NATO contingency plan form Poland to the Baltic States was an another important event which will have implications for the security of the Baltic region. Acceptance of Estonia into the Euro club is also very important to Lithuania, especially in the long run.
Lithuania for the first time scored five points out of ten in the Corruption Perceptions Index and came in the 46th place among 178 countries.