Republic of Lithuania
CAPITAL : Vilnius
FLAG : Three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), green, and red.
ANTHEM : Tautika Giesme (The National Song).
MONETARY UNIT : The Lithuanian lita of 100 cents has replaced the transitional system of coupons (talonas) which had been in force since October 1992, when the Soviet ruble was demonetized. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents and 1, 2, and 5 litas, and notes of 10, 20, 50, and 100 litas; litas 1 = $0. 3336 (or $1 = litas 2.997) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is in force.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Day of the Restoration of the Lithuanian State, 16 February; Good Friday (movable); Anniversary of the Coronation of Grand Duke Mindaugas of Lithuania, 6 July; National Day of Hope and Mourning, 1 November; Christmas, 25–26 December.
TIME : 2 PM = noon GMT.
The topography of Lithuania features primarily lowland terrain with many scattered small lakes and fertile soil. Moderate highlands lie to the east and south, with a few hilly regions in the west.
Lithuania's climate is transitional between maritime and continental. Yearly, the mean temperature is 6.1° C (43° F ). The mean temperature in July is 17.1° C (63° F ). Rainfall averages from 49 cm (24 in) to 85 cm (33 in) depending on location.
In 1998, Lithuanians formed 80.6% of the population. Russians constituted 8.7%; Poles made up 7%, Belarussians accounted for1.6%; and other groups for the remaining 2.1%. Naturalization requires 10 years of residence and competence in Lithuanian.
For administrative purposes, Lithuania's 10 provinces are divided into 44 regions; as well, there are urban districts, towns, and rural administrative units called apylinkes . Each level of local government has its own elected officials.
In 2002 the active armed forces of Lithuania totaled 13,510, supported by 309,200 reserves. The army numbered 8,100, the navy 650, and the air force 1,000 with no combat aircraft. The paramilitary consisted of 5,000 border guards, a Riflemen Union of 8,850 and a coast guard of 540. Lithuania participated in peacekeeping operations in the region. The defense budget for 2001 was $231 million or 1.9% of GDP.
About 7% of the total land area consists of permanent pastureland. Livestock in 2001 included 1,748,000 head of cattle, 868,000 pigs, 5,576,000 chickens, 11,500 sheep, and 68,000 horses. Meat production in 2001 totaled 188,000 tons, of which 34% was beef, 48% was pork, 16% was chicken, and 2% other meat. Milk production exceeded 1.7 million tons in 2001, when 41,500 tons of eggs were produced.
Klaipe ˙da's fishing port is the center of the fishing industry. In 2000, the total catch was 78,987 tons, down from 470,251 tons in 1991. Principal species in 2000 included sprat, cod, and herring. Fisheries exports were valued at $33.7 million in 2000. There are two aquacultural facilities operating in Lithuania, consisting primarily of carp.
Lithuania's health insurance system is reminiscent of the Soviet era through a state-run system of coverage for all residents.
President Valdas Adamkus has been chief of state since 26 February 1998.
Lithuania has no territories or colonies.
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