February 16th, 2021

February 16: view from 2021

Today we had national holiday: 103 years ago group of people said that they are restoring independent Lithuanian state. It was rather Biblical situation: the independent state was occupied by foreign power and in fact only two - three years later the state materialized (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.).

The Second Republic lived short and complicated life. It lived surrounded by adversary countries. It lived almost friendless. And it was poor. Around 1930 Lithuania was the poorest among all the neighbours: salaries in Lithuania then were 2-2,5 times lower than in neighbouring Latvia and Poland, 6 times lower than in (then) neighboring Germany. In US salaries then were 10  times higher. Then Lithuania had poor human rights record: it was autoritarian state with rather mild but anyway censorship and many other not pleasant things. But this period laid the foundations for Third Republic: without February 16, 1918 there would be no March 11, 1990. These 20 years where long enough period to develop mentality of modern nation which allowed to survive all that long soviet period (I remember one comment of Lithuanian journalist  to Radio Svoboda who wrote in Russian about 10 years ago: posle dvadcatiletija vse razgovory pro proletarskij duch, pro bratskij sovetskij narod vse eti dolgije desitiletija kak ot gusia voda).

So what are the results of February 16 today ? Today likely the first time in history we have the highest salaries among all neighbors - slightly hgher than in Poland and Latvia and significantly higher than iin Belarus and Russia. Difference between Germany and US now is not  6-10 times but 2-3 times. Today this country has the best human rights and democracy record among all neighbours. Still we have too high corruption level but also lowest comparing to all neighbours. Today this country is member of most influential international organizations and has a lots of friends and alliants. The passport is constantly ranked among 10 most powerfull passports in the world taking into the account the possibilities it gives.

For all this big thank to the people who on February 16, 1918 made a historic decision !