A Lithuanian company plans to set up a holiday island in the Maldives run entirely by blondes - the latest project in a growing blonde movement in the Baltics. The Lithuanian company Olialia, pronounced "ooh-la-la", is setting up a holiday resort in the Maldive islands. The firm plans to pull in the tourists by employing only blonde staff, and offering direct flights to the island crewed entirely by blondes, including the pilots.
Olialia is run and staffed by blonde women, and already operates in 75 different business sectors, making products from computer software and food products to pop music. Olialia's blonde managing director, Giedre Pukiene, says she wants to break the stereotype that blonde women are less intelligent. "Our girls are very smart and they have degrees," she says.
"All of them want to do something with their lives. They have lots of business ideas." The project was officially unveiled this weekend at a party with a blonde dress code, in a new nightclub in Vilnius opened by Olialia. But the resort, scheduled to be opened in 2015, has been heavily criticised. When it was announced on the Maldivian news website "Minivan" in September, many readers condemned it as discriminatory by potentially excluding non-white Maldivians.
"This is racist and should not be allowed in the Maldives," wrote one reader identified as Ablo. Local laws could make things difficult as resorts in the Maldives are required to hire at least 50% local staff. In Lithuania itself, which is a member of the EU, there is the question about whether stipulating blonde hair as criteria for a job applicant contravenes EU employment laws.