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Lithuania

Yearbook 1998

Lithuania. According to Countryaah, Lithuania's new president became the returning 72-year-old American citizen Valdas Adamkus. Unlike the other two Baltic republics, the head of state in Lithuania is elected in referendums. Adamkus is his representative Algirdas Brazauska's opposite: Adamkus was a conservative in the United States when Brazauskas was a communist in the Soviet Union. In common, they have an interest in the home country and the environment. Adamkus wants to reduce the bureaucracy and the number of ministries, he is positively committed to nuclear power but wants to close the Ignalina nuclear power plant, which at least abroad is seen as a permanent danger. Also during the year, the nuclear power plant was forced to close on a couple of occasions after various errors occurred. According to the country's constitution, the prime minister must return power to the newly elected president, but one of Adamkus' first tenure was to reappoint Gediminas Vagnorius as head of government.

1998 Lithuania

The most notable departure of the year was the Minister of Transport Algis Zvaliauskas. He had used one of the state's aircraft to travel home from a hunting trip in Sweden. This flight turned into a scandal in Lithuanian press. Another notable dismissal was that of Interior Minister Vidmantas Ziemelis. He was not considered sufficiently energetic to fight crime and was therefore dismissed. The Lithuanian police succeeded in arresting a league of professional occupational killers. The league was responsible for a series of murders, explosions, kidnappings and armed robberies.

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