A group of activists on Monday handed more than 61,000 signatures in support of a legislative initiative aimed at cutting alcohol consumption in Lithuania over to the Central Electoral Commission.
The commission has 15 days to check the signatures to make sure that the initiative is supported by 50,000 citizens, the minimum number needed for the proposed amendments to be put before the Seimas.
The activists propose to impose a complete ban on alcohol advertising, to allow selling alcoholic beverages only in specialized stores and to raise the minimum legal age for purchasing alcoholic drinks to 20 years, from the current 18 years.
The World Health Organization ranks Lithuania among the top three alcohol consuming nations in Europe. Calls to restrict alcohol consumption have been sparked by a series of shocking violent crimes committed by heavy drinkers.