Vilnius News

EU Comission: Lithuania “Ready to Join Euro” In 2015

Aug 14th, 2014

Lithuania is ready to adopt the euro currency on January 1st 2015, after the European Commission announced that Lithuania had met the criteria for joining the single currency, the euro.  In January 2015 Lithuania will have become the 19th…

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Baltic Pride Parade Might Take Place In City Centre

Apr 12th, 2013

As the online news portal Lithuania Tribute reports, the municipality of Vilnius and the organizers of Baltic Pride 2013, the Lithuanian Gay League (LGL), have to negotiate the location of the march again. The Regional Administrative Court nullified…

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Lithuania to turn Google Street View on tax cheats

Feb 22nd, 2013

According to AFP press agency Lithuanian tax authorities announced they would use the Baltic state's recently launched Google Street View platform to track tax cheats by identifying the real value of property holdings. "It will help ascertain which…

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Dispute Boils, Hill Disappears

Dec 19th, 2012

The only capital city mountain available for skiers and snowboarders, Liepkalnis, has long been a very poor condition. Its tracks and service quality have been complained on by those who meet for winter entertainment. At least, winter sports lovers…

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Vilnius Manuscripts join World Digital Library

Nov 28th, 2012

A raft of manuscripts from the Vilnius University Library has been added to the online collection of the World Digital Library. The elegantly written manuscripts, penned in Old Belarussian and Polish, were created shortly after the so-called…

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Amber country out of amber?

Nov 16th, 2012

Sources report that Lithuania the self-called amber country imports most of its amber from neighboring Kalliningrad, Russia, rather than obtaining the "Lithuanian gold from domestic sources. According to Albertas Petkevičius, leader of Palanga…

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Lithuania investigates war criminals

Jun 24th, 2012

An investigation by a Vilnius-based academic centre has pinpointed over 1000 possible Lithuanian war criminals believed to have actively taken part in the Holocaust. Although this number is likely to double by the time that the investigation ends…

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Following in Napoleon's Footsteps

Apr 30th, 2012

History aficionados from across Europe gathered in Vilnius in late April, before setting out on an epic trek following Napoleon's 1812 retreat from Russia. Led by Dutch enthusiast Joost van Hvell tot Westervlier, the participants are raising…

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Courage triumphs at Vilnius Film Festival

Mar 30th, 2012

Polish director Grzegorz Zglinski triumphed at the 17th Vilnius Film Festival in late March, in what was one of the most buzzing years for the event to date. Courage (Zmyk) tells the tale of two brothers, Alfred and Jerzy, who are at odds with…

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Soviet collaborators unveiled

Feb 26th, 2012

The Lithuanian government has published the names of 238 citizens who collaborated with the KGB during Soviet rule over the country. The unmasked figures had already informed a government commission of their activities, but authorities have…

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Vilnius bans begging

Dec 29th, 2011

Begging has been banned in the Lithuanian capital, with both beggars and donors set to be penalised if they break the new law. Giving money to people on the street is wrong," said Mayor Arturas Zuokas, as quoted by the Associated Press. "By…

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Vilnius mayor suggests buying Greek island

Oct 30th, 2011

The mayor of Vilnius has proposed buying an island from debt-stricken Greece, in an attempt to both help bail out the Mediterranean country and create an oasis for Lithuania in the sun. Arturas Zuokas hopes that big-hitting local businessmen…

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Ignalina power plant a museum?

Oct 25th, 2011

Community representatives of Visaginas, 70km north-east off Vilnius expressed they would like to see the closed Ignalina nuclear power plant turned to an atomic energy museum, with the use of EU funds. They hope thus to attract guests from all over…

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Shoah commemorated in Vilnius

Sep 28th, 2011

Young and old inhabitants of Vilnius have taken part in a special ceremony commemorating victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania. Volunteers took turns to read names from a vast list that records ever single inhabitant of the former Vilnius…

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Mayor mashes up Mercedes in publicity stunt

Aug 21st, 2011

In a bid to crack down on illegally parked vehicles, Vilnius mayor Arturas Suokas took part in a decidedly forthright publicity campaign. In pictures that have now graced the pages of newspapers worldwide, Mr Suokas is seen riding gleefully over…

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Revealing relics of a lost Jerusalem

Jul 27th, 2011

Lithuania's prime minister Andrius Kubilius has visited the newly revealed remains of the Great Synagogue of Vilnius. The house of worship, built in 1633 on the site of an older synagogue, was heavily damaged by the Germans during World War II…

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Lithuanian cracks ice cream record

Jun 20th, 2011

A 21-year-old Lithuanian man has munched his way into the Guinness hall of fame by breaking the world record for speed-eating ice cream. Mindaugus Puodzhyus managed to scoff 350g of ice cream in just twenty-nine seconds. I love ice…

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Vilnius convicts former Soviet commando

May 26th, 2011

The domino-effect which brought the Soviet Union to its knees twenty years ago is often hailed as a bloodless victory. But there were immediate casualties of those heady events, and a Vilnius court endeavoured to enact justice this month for…

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Homer's beer habit prompts fine for publishers

Apr 25th, 2011

It's a classic.Homer no function beer well without. So spoke Homer Simpson, one of the world's best-loved goofy Dads, in an episode of cult cartoon The Simpsons. But Lithuanian authorities failed to see the funny side of Homer's soft spot for…

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Customs seize WWII machine gun

Mar 27th, 2011

A fully operational WWII machine gun with rounds of live ammunition turned up in an unprepossessing package at Vilnius airport last week. The 20 kilogram parcel had been packaged in Lithuania and was destined for Germany. Customs officials…

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Chomp your way through a room of chocolate

Feb 24th, 2011

Artists in Vilnius have pulled off a sweet feat that would make Willy Wonka proud. Visitors to Vilnius's Akropolis shopping centre will find a room constructed entirely from chocolate. The cocoa-fuelled marvel has been wowing shoppers in the…

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Lithuania Launches National Perfume

Jan 27th, 2011

The Lithuanian foreign ministry has a new trick up its sleeve.... and it smells. Lithuania, as the new scent is called, has already been dispatched to dozens of embassies. The idea was to create a product that captured the spirit of the land and…

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Lithuanian Breaks Guinness Record With Mighty Beard

Dec 30th, 2010

A Lithuanian man has broken the world record in the curious sport of beard-lifting. Antanas Kontrimas managed to hoist an obliging Chinese lady who weighs some 63.4 kg. Mr Kontrimas beat his own record, adding an extra 200 grams to his previously…

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Wizz Air Expands To Vilnius

Nov 23rd, 2010

The low-cost airline has announced that it is to open a new base in the Lithuanian capital. Eight new routes will operate via the carrier's new Airbus A320, connecting Vilnius with the UK, Ireland, Spain, Holland, Italy and Sweden. The service…

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Blonde Resort Raises Eyebrows

Oct 18th, 2010

A Lithuanian travel company that plans to open an island resort staffed exclusively by blondes has sparked a predictable reaction amongst feminists and arbiters of modern taste. Olialia Group hopes to open the resort in the dreamy Maldive…

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Banga wins Lithuania's baby race

Sep 16th, 2010

A nine-month-old tot by the name of Banga has triumphed in Lithuania's annual baby race. The yearly competition pits the fastest crawlers in the land against each other in a 5-metre dash. 25 babies lined up for this month's clash, with parents…

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For Zappa fans, it's Vilnius and bust

Jun 16th, 2010

Well, Frank Zappa's been in Vilnius since 1996. His statue, not his ghost.Hes attracted tourists from all over the world but now Frank will embark on his own journey. The city is preparing to ship a copy of Zappas bust to Baltimore, Maryland, his…

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Blow against illegal cigarettes producers

Apr 23rd, 2010

Lithuanian Customs officials have shut down a factory that produced counterfeit cigarettes for smuggling. The European Anti Fraud Office (OLAF) discovered the factory based in Vilnius that had the capacity to produce about 1,000 cigarettes per…

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Amnesty Condemns New Homophobic Law

Aug 3rd, 2009

Amnesty International, the Human Rights watchdog, has strongly condemned last month's passing of a law that effectively bans any discussion of gay issues within schools, by the country's government.The parliamentarians claim that the new law on…

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Steer Clear of Sausages in Vilnius

Jul 5th, 2009

While sausages arent exactly famed for their health promoting properties, you really might want to give them a wide berth if youre in Lithuania anytime soon, after one variety has been condemned by a food watchdog.Middle Europe is renown for its…

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The Lights go out across Lithuania

Jun 13th, 2009

If you're planning a trip to the country's capital you might want to pack some candles, after a tourist trade protest snuffed out the lights in the nation's hotels and cafes. The protest was held against a massive tax hike on businesses in the…

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Register Today to Race

May 30th, 2009

As of today 30 May youve just over 100 days left before the gun fires and its off from the starting blocks at Vilniuss Annual Marathon. So no excuses, theres plenty of time to get into that extensive training routine of, er, staggering home from…

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A Royal Visit

Apr 24th, 2009

It's been announced that Vilnius will be visited by a Couple of very prominent guests: His Majesty King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, accompanied by a delegation of representatives of the Royal Household, diplomacy and the media. The…

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Vilnius Cinema Spring

Mar 27th, 2009

14th Vilnius International Film Festival, also known as Cinema Spring (Kino pavasaris) is in session! As usual, the festival is a great event, extremely popular among the true cinema fans. Most of the films screened during the festival have already…

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Vilnius Cinema Spring

Mar 27th, 2009

14th Vilnius International Film Festival, also known as Cinema Spring (Kino pavasaris) is in session! As usual, the festival is a great event, extremely popular among the true cinema fans. Most of the films screened during the festival have already…

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New Labor Exchange in Vilnius

Feb 24th, 2009

All of the Vilnius residents who have lost their jobs can sleep tight - there is hope! A new labor exchange was opened in Vilnius Bernardinai church, where both the unemployed and businessmen who are looking for employees can meet and exchange…

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Verdict About Polish Street Names In Vilnius

Jan 29th, 2009

According to Lithuania’s Supreme Administrative Court decree, street signs with Polish names on them which are put next to the ones with Lithuanian names of the streets are breaking the law. Now, the Vilnius district authorities have to get…

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2009 Cultural Calendar

Dec 17th, 2008

Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, is the first Baltic city to be honored with the Cultural Capital title. "Vilnius is the most important city for Lithuanians. I believe that next year, when Lithuania will celebrate the millennium anniversary of its…

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Make Up Store In Vilnius

Nov 26th, 2008

Over 100 euros have been invested into building a huge Make Up Store shop in Lithuania's capital. According to Kristina Tripolskaja (head of the company Kristyle, which represents Make Up Store in Lithuania), opening the famous international retail…

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Restoration of Jewish properties

Oct 24th, 2008

Petras Vaitiekunas, Lithuanian Foreign Minister, stated that the government needs to take care of the Jewish property restitution issue. The discussion took place during his meeting with Rabbi Andrew Baker - the director of the international affairs…

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Creating The Capital Of Culture

Feb 6th, 2008

Whilst Liverpool, home city of the Beatles, is donning the crown of European Capital of Culture in 2008, next year will see Vilnius step into the spotlight. It's a big occasion for the Lithuanian capital, and all kinds of inspiring ideas are…

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Euro Challenger On His Way To Vilnius

Nov 13th, 2007

If you've been backpacking around Europe then you'll no doubt have met a few crazy travellers along your way. The travelling community is well known for its association with footwear-espousing hippies, who hitchhike around the continent with a banjo…

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Gay Rights Rally Up In Smoke (Again)!

Oct 29th, 2007

When the Brussels-based, EU-backed International Lesbian Gay Association (ILGA) chose Vilnius as the host city for their annual conference, they did so for just this reason. Because, as documented on this site and elsewhere, homophobia is…

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Grave Concerns Over Jewish Cemetery

Oct 19th, 2007

This news story is long overdue, we know. The fact is, this issue has been idling for months and we're all waiting for...something to happen. Well, nothing has except for further protests which have successfully brought this very local issue…

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LT Throws KGB Files in Russia's Face (And Yours)

Sep 11th, 2007

On September 3rd, the Lithuanian Genocide and Resistance Centre launched a public website which allows visitors to view formerly confidential KGB documents online. Kgbdocuments.eu displays documents from various KGB departments as well as…

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Baltic Ballers

Sep 3rd, 2007

In another case of Lithuanians chasing after silly superlatives (see 'Centre of Europe'), top politicians gathered in Vilnius Wednesday for the unveiling of the 'first monument in the world honouring basketball.' Though proper research would…

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'Stock Up On Booze This Friday' Says LT President

Aug 28th, 2007

It's no secret that Vilnius has some of the least inhibited students in Europe. Undoubtedly they are to credit for much of the city's atmosphere and energy. And its silly alcohol restrictions. On September 1st, alcohol sales will be prohibited in…

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Russians Seek Aid of Lithuanians to Sexually Satisfy Their Wives

Aug 2nd, 2007

According to Lithuanian newspaper, Lietuvos Rytas, Russian diplomat Alexander Zemzerov has been whisked back to Russia following a rather unusual sex scandal in Vilnius. Zemzerov, first assistant to the Russian defense attache in Lithuania, was…

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Hooligan Happy Violence at Vetra

Jul 10th, 2007

Local football side, Vetra Vilnius' 'Vetra Stadium' saw some of the most violent scenes of its brief history this weekend when a match between the home team and Legia Warsaw erupted into violence. With Ventra leading 2-0 going into halftime of their…

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A Carny's Life is the Life For Me

Jun 25th, 2007

Good to know that the profession of 'illusionism' is still alive and well in Lithuania, as brother and sister circus duo Arvydas and Diana Gaiciunas proved this week when they broke the world record for holding their breath underwater in a…

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No Love For the Haters

Jun 5th, 2007

Turns out that Vilnius Major Juozas Imbrasas may have actually been protecting homosexuals when she quashed Vilnius' first-ever attempt at any sort of public gay rights event, claiming her fear that it might spark violence in the city. Still, her…

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Vilnius Downloadable PDF Guide!

May 31st, 2007

We know you've spent a lot of wishful hours thinking, "Dang, Vilnius Life is the cat's pajamas - I just wish I could take it with me!" Well sweetheart, now you can. Our new Vilnius Life pdf can be downloaded and printed out with the coy click of a…

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LT and EU Face Off Over Homosexuality

May 22nd, 2007

The latest in a veritable deluge of homophobia in Lithuania's capital, the country now seems to be ready to go head-to-head with the EU over gay tolerance after banning the EU's 'anti-discrimination truck' from entering Vilnius. Sexual tolerance…

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Rainbow Bus Busted by Homophobes

May 15th, 2007

Overt homophobia has reared its unsexy head once again in Lithuania's capital. After years of closeted meetings and hush-hush efforts, Vilnius' gay rights organisations are finally stepping into the public eye as part of a ramping up for the…

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Giraffes Gone Wild!

May 10th, 2007

In a seldom seen square-off between man and beast, a giraffe has been both accused of and applauded for attacking three intoxicated trespassers in its habitat at the Kaunas Zoo. Celebrating a festival nearby the zoo Monday, May 7th, the drunken…

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New Interactive Vilnius Map!

May 4th, 2007

It gives us great pleasure to introduce to you our brand-spankin' new, hot-off-the-pixels Vilnius map. Go ahead there, give it a whirl - click at will, drag it around - it's frickin' unstoppable! The new Vilnius Life map is fully interactive; it…

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Honey, Come Home...

Apr 19th, 2007

According to a poll published April 17th, more than half of all Lithuanian citizens want to bring their troops home from Iraq. The survey showed that 56.3 percent of Lithuanians support the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, while 31.2 percent said the…

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Lithuanians Accused of Something...

Apr 19th, 2007

Making international headlines today was the almost informationless story of a group of drunken Lithuanians pummeling passengers on a bus bound from Kaliningrad to Tallinn, Estonia. According to outraged passengers, the incident occurred near…

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Lithuania Opposes GM Crops

Apr 5th, 2007

This week Lithuanian authorities held up their position on genetically modified food by rejecting the application of a German company seeking to grow genetically modified rapeseed. Despite the affirmation that the rapeseed would be grown only for…

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Dinosaur Demands Female Philologist Sacrifice

Apr 5th, 2007

On April 14th, at 15:00, an enormous green dinosaur will emerge from its hiding place for its annual feast upon the flesh of a female philology student. To accommodate the rampaging behemoth, Vilnius officials will block traffic, keeping civilian…

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In Praise of iPods

Mar 29th, 2007

Some Vilnius commuters now have a new aggravation to look forward to. A new project, called Learning By Moving, subjects commuters already unpleasantly (and perilously) crammed into trolleybuses 2 and 19 to an inescapable repeating voice recording…

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Fit To Be Tied

Mar 22nd, 2007

On March 19th, Vilnius residents awoke to find that the statues in their good city had been "silenced." White ribbons and banners were tied around the mouths of several statues and monuments as part of a protest against the lack of freedom of speech…

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Focus On Vilnius 2009

Feb 24th, 2007

The Vilnius European Capital of Culture 2009 Bureau has announced its team and plans for the celebrations. The event is a momentous challenge for the crew, who are looking to raise the profile of Vilnius across the world. "As a new member state…

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Hannibal the Cannibal

Feb 13th, 2007

Lithuania serves as the unlikely backdrop for blockbuster movie of the moment Hannibal Rising. The multi-million dollar movie is a prequel to Red Dragon, casting creepy light on Dr Lecter's little known past. As you might have guessed, Hannibal…

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Aer Lingus Lithuania Bound

Jan 10th, 2007

Ireland's national airline 'Aer Lingus' has announced that they are launching a new service to Lithuania. Aer Lingus will be providing the service from May onwards, beginning with thrice weekly flights from Dublin to Vilnius. The move comes in…

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Christmas Concerts

Nov 27th, 2006

Exploring Vilnius's churches is always a delight, and this Christmas, travellers have the opportunity to enjoy them in an especially festive fashion. A handful of the capital's most evocative churches will be hosting Christmas concerts, beginning on…

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Reunited At Last

Nov 22nd, 2006

An eighty-four-year-old Jewish lady is to be reunited with the Lithuanian family that saved her life sixty years ago. Lea Ingel and her husband Samuel escaped from the Nazis' Jewish Ghetto in Kaunas in 1943, wandering 66 miles through the…

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Talking Buses Bust Into Town

Oct 26th, 2006

On a recent trip to England, Vilnius Life's scribbler was struck by a certain robotic tendency in public places. Now, before you get the wrong impression, we're not suggesting that aliens had come down and turned the Brits into cyber-bots. No, not…

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Queen Elizabeth in Vilnius

Oct 17th, 2006

Cheering crowds greeted Queen Elizabeth II today as she began her tour of the Baltic states. Union Jacks were aflutter, and the British anthem was given a hearty rendition. The Vilnius visit marks the Queen's first trip to the region, although…

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Baring Up In Vilnius

Sep 14th, 2006

A Vilnius bus driver went on a one man parade on Monday, baring all but his absolute essentials to staff at the Defense Ministry. In a scene that was reminiscent of slapstick comedy, the driver calmly removed his shirt, jacket and trousers…

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Elton John Leads 'Capital Days'

Aug 24th, 2006

Flamboyant pop legend Elton John is set to headline Vilnius's Capital Days festival this September 1st. The eccentric British star, known for his catchy tunes, his penchant for flowers, and his colourful taste in clothes, will be playing in the…

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Simply Red Revs Up For Vilnius

Aug 9th, 2006

Surely the best kind of fame is when you have the world at your feet but you can still pass unrecognised in the world at large. Who wants to be harangued whilst taking the dog for a walk, nobbled whilst choosing a chow mein at the Chinese. It's…

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Drought Leaves Farmers Desperate

Aug 8th, 2006

The fine weather may have delighted holiday-makers, but the searing temperatures have taken a terrible toll on Lithuania's agriculture. So much so that the government has declared a state of emergency. Last week, it emerged that the damage has…

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On Her Majesty's Intoxicated Service

Aug 1st, 2006

A diplomatic immunity is supposed to come in handy when a bright spark decides to round up the men in grey suits and launch a good old fashioned revolution. More commonly though, they're simply a stalling block to regimes who lash the scape-goat…

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UEFA Smells A Rat

Jun 22nd, 2006

One of Lithuania's leading soccer teams has become embroiled in a UEFA disciplinary case. The affair harks back to last year's Intertoto Cup, when FK Zalgiras Vilnius beat Greece's Egaleo FC 3-1 in a third round play-off. The Vilnius team…

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One for the Road (Or was that 101?)

May 25th, 2006

A Lithuanian lorry-driver amazed police on Tuesday morning when it became apparent that he had drunk 18 times the national limit. "This guy should have been lying dead, but he was still driving - it must be an unofficial national record," a…

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Bradt Book Due In Shops

May 22nd, 2006

Vilnius is not the best covered city in the world when it comes to guidebooks, but travellers in search of a decent tome will have a new option this Spring. The award-winning Bradt firm is publishing their Vilnius guide this Spring, and it should…

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Lithuania Scuppered On Euro

May 22nd, 2006

Lithuania was struck by a lightening flash of bad luck last week when The European Commission and European Central Bank ruled that the Baltic country would not be joining Slovenia in the first wave of new countries to adopt the Euro next year. Li

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An Aroma Worth Fighting For?

May 22nd, 2006

A Lithuanian restaurant chain has baffled legal experts by making a bid to trademark the aroma of freshly baked pizza. The Cilija firm, which has numerous outlets both in Lithuania and neighbouring Latvia, is nervous of rivals reeling out the…

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Almost the Winners

May 22nd, 2006

As many observers were swift to point out, naming a Eurovision song entry 'We Are The Winners' seemed to be rather tempting fate. What's more, initial exposure of the sharp-suited Lithuanian boy band LT United did not appear to arbour well. American…

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Lithuania's Government Falls

May 2nd, 2006

Lithuania's government collapsed on Wednesday, hot on the heels of the country's rejection by Brussels over the single currency. However, whilst the stalling of Lithuania's bid to join the currency may have hastened the demise, it was allegations of…

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Pitt the Piddler

Feb 20th, 2006

William Pitt is a name that's known to all Britishers. Yet surprisingly, Kevin William Pitt - a British policeman who has been fined for relieving himself in public in central Vilnius - is not descended from the two Wiliam Pitts who attained the…

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