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Lithuania passes 2010 budget

  • 2009-12-11
  • Oskars Magone

The Lithuanian parliament passed the 2010 budget.

VILNIUS - The Lithuanian parliament (Seimas) has passed next year's budget with significant cuts aimed at helping the country avoid taking a major loan to bail itself out of the economic crisis.

The budget was passed with a vote of 81 to 56 with two abstentions in the 141 seat parliament. Those voting against the budget came from a wide variety of political parties.

The president had previously called on parties to adopt the budget with harsh austerity measures.

"All political forces in Lithuania are equally responsible for Lithuania‘s lack of readiness in this recession, for a shortage of reserves and resources," Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said prior to the vote.

The buget adoption came just two days after the parliament failed to pass a bill that would have slashed pensions in a bid to help cut back on government spending.

The vote was marked by a protest of aproximately 800 people - mostly pensioners - who were against the bill.

The budget now includes signicant cuts to social programmes, as well as a reduction of tax on corporate profits from 20 percent to 15 percent.

According to the document the deficit next year will total less than 6 percent of GDP.