Inflation down in Lithuania - but could make a comeback

Inflation down in Lithuania - but could make a comeback Vilnius  - The level of inflation in Lithuania fell to 8.5 per cent year-on-year in December from 9.1 per cent in November according to official figures released by the national statistics office in the largest of the Baltic states on Monday.

The 12-month inflation average for the whole year stood at 10.9 per cent. Lithuania's is the largest of the three Baltic economies and until recently was among Eastern Europe's strongest.

Latvia and Lithuania seek new start on energy and borders

Latvia MapRiga- The foreign ministers of Latvia and Lithuania met in the Latvian capital, Riga, on Friday in a bid to resolve long- standing uncertainties concerning their mutual sea border, and plan how to link the Baltic states' energy systems to the larger European grid.

Newly-installed Lithuanian Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas admitted that he was already acquainted with his Latvian counterpart, Maris Riekstins.

Architecture and light - Vilnius is reborn as EU cultural capital

Vilnius  - The year 2009 is a very special one for Lithuania and the capital Vilnius for a number of reasons. First of all, the largest of the Baltic states celebrates its millennium anniversary since the name Lithuania was first mentioned in the monastic annals Annales Quedlinburgensis (or Annals of Quedlinburg) in 1009.

The New Year also marks the first occasion that a metropolis in a former communist-ruled republic has been awarded the title of European Capital of Culture. Both the city and the country are keen to show themselves as authentic, hospitable destinations and look forward to a sizeable influx of visitors.

Lithuania has high hopes in Vilnius culture capital role

Lithuania has high hopes in Vilnius culture capital roleVilnius  - As one of Europe's two Capitals of Culture for 2009, the Lithuanian capital Vilnius hopes it can raise its profile and repeat what happened exactly 1,000 years ago, when the name "Lithuania" was first recorded in writing.

"We have two reasons to celebrate - first Vilnius will become the European Capital of Culture and the second, even bigger reason is that Lithuania will celebrate the millennium of its name," Vilma Janulyte, head of communications for the Vilnius 2009 organization told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Baltics look on the bright side of life for 2009

Riga/Tallinn/Vilnius  - Economists are predicting doom and gloom for the Baltic states throughout 2009 and beyond. with jobless figures rising in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and swingeing public spending cuts already starting to bite.

According to Neil Shearing, a Baltic expert with London-based Capital Economics, the recession in the Baltics looks set to deepen. "We now expect output to contract by 5 per cent next year and by up to 1.5 per cent in 2010," he said.

However, after surviving 50 years of Soviet occupation, which they only threw off in 1991, Balts have a longstanding reputation for stoicism in difficult circumstances.

Lithuania has no need of bailout, says IMF

IMF LogoVilnius - Lithuania's recently-installed government won a thumbs-up from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Tuesday for austerity measures designed to rescue the Baltic state's economy from the threat of a serious recession.

Catriona Purfield, the head of the IMF team that has been in Lithuania for the last week, confirmed that Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius had not asked for a loan from the IMF.

"Lithuania has not requested such assistance," Purfield said.

Neighbouring Latvia has already joined Ukraine, Hungary and Iceland in seeking an IMF bailout, while on Monday Estonia said it did not need similar help.