30 years of independence: can Lithuania celebrate?
Lithuania is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its independence today. On March 11, 1990, the Baltic country broke away from the Soviet Union - the first of the Soviet Republics to do so. Lithuania's commentators examine whether there really is cause for a festive mood.
On the road to success
Verslo žinios looks back with pride at all that Lithuania has accomplished over the past three decades:
“Step by step in these 30 years Lithuania has once more laid the groundwork for an independent state: withdrawal of the occupying army, introduction of its own currency, EU and NATO accession, membership of the OECD - the club for the most developed countries - and now it's number 11 on the list of the most competitive countries in the world to boot. ... We've created a state where we can feel more secure than ever before. And all of this was achieved through a constant learning process - because there was no dress rehearsal for the overthrow of worn-out empires.”
Emigration a sign of disappointment
Lietuvos rytas laments that many Lithuanians were disappointed by the country's economic development after the fall of communism:
“After the restoration of independence there were expectations that after a few years the people of Lithuania would live like they do in Sweden. But such hopes were naive. ... The clearest evidence of the existing social problems is emigration, which has reduced Lithuania's population by one quarter. People should have foreseen that once the borders were open and Lithuanians were able to live and work legally in the rich EU countries, hundreds of thousands of them would go there in search of a better life.”