What changed in Lithuania after its accession to the European Union? Part 1
the Previous my trip to Lithuania where I lived 30 years, before collapse of the USSR, took place almost right after a referendum on the entry of the republic into the European Union which took place on May 11, 2003. Then the vast majority of the population voted for the entry of Lithuania into the European Community. Inhabitants stayed in a condition of euphoria, considered that life in Lithuania will be fantastically fine, the rich European countries will give help, a stream the capitals will begin to flow, expected such “ western paradise “ in the near future. Especially attracted an opportunity to move worldwide without any visas. One colleague on former work directly told me: “ Now - that I will visit all countries where I will want, there and I will go! “. I then did not begin to dissuade her, to prove that besides desire it is necessary to have still and material resources.
In a year after a referendum, in May, 2004, Lithuania became the member of the European Union, having kept at the same time the national currency - litas. Introduction of single European currency was planned since January, 2007, but the European Commission and the European central bank considered that Lithuania is not ready to it from - for too high rate of inflation. The republic effective date in a uniform monetary zone of the EU is removed for January 1, 2010. In April of this year the European Commission fined Lithuania (as well as Latvia with Estonia) 3,182 million euros for surplus of stocks of agricultural products: dairy, meat, vegetables, rice, wines which they saved up before the accession to the EU for a rise in price case. Though all again entering countries undertook not to create stocks of products, but in the majority of the countries - beginners of the EU such stocks were found. The republic is obliged to pay a penalty no later than May, 2010.
And here, again I go to Lithuania where remained many relatives and friends. There is a wish to see with own eyes what changed in Lithuania whether life became better? Recent poll showed that 28,6% of citizens assess changes in the country which became the member of the EU positively, and 71,4% - are negative. After a trip I decided that I will adjoin 28,6%, I have more positive impressions. In - the first, for the Russians going to Lithuania it is not necessary to make out a transit visa through Latvia now. Earlier, to get from St. Petersburg to Vilnius, it was necessary to make out the Latvian visa to journey in the short way through Daugavpils. Or to go by train St. Petersburg - Kaliningrad which travels about across all Belarus and time in way to Vilnius increases for 8 hours! Of course, now to go much more conveniently. Border and customs control of passengers became much more loyal.
Very much the regeneration of park of cars is evident after arrival to Lithuania. Practically you will not meet on our roads “ " Zhiguli; or “ Volg “. All cars of foreign production: European, Japanese, American. And all cars clean, are not present the car splodgy with dirt because the police of dirty creatures fines. There is a lot of cars, in the evening near houses not to pass, not to find places to park though gasoline is much more expensive, than at us, in Russia.
The public transport works very well, buses go one by one. A set of share taxis in which fare is not much higher, than in the bus or it is even identical. From Vilnius to Klaipeda (330 km) travel by the bus costs from 48 to 52 litas, depending on bus type, and on a minibus - 50 litas, and time in on about 40 - 50 ways of minutes is less, than in the bus. Yes, ratio of ruble and litas about 1:9,5. For 9,5 rubles give one litas, but it is difficult to change rubles for litas, many exchange offices rubles do not accept, only euro, dollars, pounds and other currencies of the European countries.
The highway from Vilnius to Klaipeda is constructed 70 at the end - x - the beginning 80 - x years of the last century, and it was, without exaggeration it is possible to tell, the best road to the USSR (went, saw). Now the roadbed actively is under repair, some sites extend. On both sides highways appeared the gas stations of the different oil companies equipped at the high European level. Before it was not. Platforms for rest also became very comfortable, with free toilets, with small cafes. In general on all route such large number of cafe and restaurants, generally with ethnic cuisine, and small hotels, is simply amazing! Paradise for travelers!
Here and almost native Klaipeda! Already on entrance silhouettes new local " are visible; skyscrapers “ - recently built buildings to 30 and 33 floors. Before the highest buildings were to 12 floors. In the downtown two buildings to 21 floors, an original design are built (see. picture). When you see them from the gulf, they remind letters E and C, say that it is as if a symbol of belonging to the European Union. On 20 - m the floor of one of them - cafe through which windows the fine panorama of the city and the Curonian Bay opens. Klaipeda reminds a huge building site: build houses, hotels, cafe, shops, entertainment centers. Old houses, especially " are reconstructed; five-storey apartment blocks “ and later, panel. Orderly, with use of the bank credit, change in all apartments of a window for metalplastic at once, glaze loggias and balconies (there is no that diversity in windows as in St. Petersburg when on a facade of one house it is possible to count several different types and designs), establish new entrance doors with on-door speakerphones, lateral walls warm and cover with vinyl lining or a siding, and houses become very attractive. Even at all schools and other educational institutions of a window too now are put new, with double-glazed windows. And, of course, the city is buried in verdure, everywhere is very pure, it is a lot of flowers. In old, medieval part of the city, with very narrow streets, there is a reconstruction, it is a lot of openly small cafes and little shops with souvenirs of local masters.
In 25 kilometers from Klaipeda there is all the known resort of Palanga. From bus station there each 15 minutes go share taxis or buses, the price, again - identical. In minibuses there are cash registers, passengers are given tickets.
What attractive became Palanga! And what populous! Four years ago it struck with desolation - walking in the park counts Tyshkevichey, at the Museum of amber, I hardly found the person that he photographed me at the well-known sculpture “ Egle is the queen of ears “. Now everything changed, the resort recovered again, here come not only from all Lithuania, but also from other countries - both tourists, and vacationers. Basanavichyus Street conducting from a church to the sea became the pedestrian zone, is paved by beautiful stone plates. On both sides numerous booths, little shops with amber products and souvenirs of local Lithuanian production. It I to the fact that, having somehow come in Florida into the souvenir shop, we could not find any souvenir made in the USA - everything is made in China.
And, of course, a set of the enterprises of a public catering of a different profile, with reasonable prices, tasty food. Well, and the Palanga beach, with its white smallest sand, above any praises! Even despite not really warm, rather windy weather, on the beach it is full of vacationers. And dunes, along all beach, from the sea walking bridge and to Tyshkevich`s park, among magnificent pines, are followed by a walking path which - where decorated with wooden carved sculptures. In a word, the son told words of an old song: “ I do not need the coast Turkish, and Africa is not necessary to me... “ it is necessary to us, to inhabitants of northern latitudes to come to have a rest here, on the coast of Baltic! “.
Well, and how negative factors? About them in the second part. And I advise readers - go in the summer, it is better in June or August (July is often very rainy), to Palanga, you will not regret!