Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuva), officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublika) is a country in Northern Europe, the southernmost of the three Baltic states. Situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, it shares borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland, and Memel Territory (until is annexation in 1930) and East Prussia to the southwest. Across the Baltic Sea to the west lies Sweden and Denmark.
Kaunas is the temporary capital. The officially declared capital is Vilnius (Polish: Wilno), under Polish Control. Conflicts with Poland and East Prussia have burdened Lithuania's international diplomacy. Domestically, however, they fed the development of national identity and cultural awareness, displacing German and Polish influence.
The Conference of Ambassadors, with the agreement of the LoN, transfered the mandate of Memel Territory in 1930. By the Memel Convention signed between France, on behalf of the LoN, and Lithuania it establishes the former mandate has an autonomous region of Lithuania (Klaipėda Region, Lithuanian; Klaipėdos kraštas).
Constitution and government
The Constituent Assembly of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Steigiamasis Seimas), assembled at Kaunas, drafted and adopted the Constitution of 1922. It establishes a parliamentary republic, all power resides in the people of Latvia thru their elected representatives, referenda and popular initiatives. All citizens (men and women) over 25 years old have political rights.
- The legislative resides in the Seimas, an unicameral body, elected every four years.
- The President, is elected by the Seimas, for a period of four years is the Head of State. The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers are in charge of the government. The Prime Minister is suggested by the President and confirmed by Seimas.
Lithuania was divided into counties (Lithuanian: singular – apskritis, plural – apskritys). The counties were governed by a county governor (Lithuanian: apskrities viršininkas), appointed by the Minister of Interior. The counties are subdivided into municipalities (Lithuanian: plural – savivaldybės, singular – savivaldybė).
In 1930 the Memel Territory (Klaipėdos kraštas) was incorporated has an autonomous region (divided in three counties) with limited self rule. The Memel Convention grants a separate parliament (seimelis/landtag), two official languages (Lithuanian and German), capacity to raise its own taxes, charge custom duties, manage its cultural and religious affairs, allowed a separate judicial system, separate citizenship, internal control of agriculture and forestry, as well as a separate social security system.
Traditionally, Lithuania grows grain (wheat, rye, barley, and feed grains), potatoes, flax, and sugar beets, and it has developed dairy farming, meat production, and food processing. Lithuania is second world exporter of flax. An abundance of limestone, clay, quartz sand, gypsum sand, and dolomite, provide raw materials for making high-quality cement, glass, and ceramics.
The acquisition of Klaipėdos kraštas (Memel Territory) in 1930 gave sea access by the port of Klaipėda (German Memel). Investment in the modernization of cargo capacity was made thanks to private French and Nordic investments. It also supported the creation of fishing and shipbuilding industries. Its major cargo are timber and flax.
After the War, Lithuanian Railways reconstructed the tracks, connecting them into a complete network. In 1930 the Klaipėda region was annexed by Lithuania and the port of Klaipėda became a part of the Lithuanian railway system.
Since 1938, along Finland. Latvia and Lithuania, is member of the Trade Cooperation Board, making them preferential trade partners with the International Community of Socialist States (ICSS).