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Lithuanians vote out pro-austerity government

Press TV – October 15, 2012

Lithuania’s left-wing and populist opposition parties are expected to form a new coalition government after anti-austerity Lithuanians voted out the country’s conservative-led government.

The leaders of three opposition parties–Labour, the Social Democrats and Order and Justice parties– held a meeting early on Monday after an exit poll showed that the voters decided to evict the country’s centre-right Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius in Sunday parliamentary election.

“We’re creating a working group to start consultations on a coalition,” Labour leader Viktor Uspaskich said after the meeting.

Figures published by the national elections commission indicated that with almost half of the ballots counted, the left-wing populist Labour party secured about 23 percent of the vote.

The Baltic state’s centre-left Social Democrats came in second with 20 percent of the vote, while the ruling conservatives received about 13 percent.

The incumbent government took office in 2008 amid global economic crisis and implemented a drastic austerity package in a bid to prevent the country’s bankruptcy.

The economic output of Lithuania, which is regarded as one of the European Union countries most hard hit by the crisis, fell by 15 percent and unemployment climbed.

Meanwhile, opposition parties pledged to ease the unpopular belt tightening measures by raising the minimum wage, creating jobs and making the rich pay more income tax.

By Christian Lowe and Andrius Sytas | Reuters | October 15, 2012

VILNIUS – Lithuanians rejected a plan to build a nuclear plant to cut dependence on imports of Russian energy, in a non-binding referendum that does not kill off the project but leaves a question mark over its future.

Support for the plant in Lithuania, one of the European Union states most dependent on imported energy, waned after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last year.

With results counted from all but a handful of Lithuania’s districts after Sunday’s referendum, 62.74 percent voted “No”, while 34.01 percent were in favour. … Full article

October 15, 2012 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Comments Off on Lithuanians vote out pro-austerity government