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Lithuania

Yearbook 1999

Lithuania. A conflict between the president and the government led to the resignation of Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius in early May. President Valdas Adamkus had then openly expressed his distrust of Vagnorius and among other things. accused him of an authoritarian leadership style. The government, consisting of the conservative Fatherland Union (Tevynes sajunga) and the Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party (Lietuvos krikeioni°okrat° partija), had a majority in parliament and the prime minister supported in a vote of no confidence. He nevertheless chose to step down, as a large majority of the population was clearly on the president's side.

1999 Lithuania

According to Countryaah official website, Vilnius Mayor Rolandas Paksas was appointed new head of government and formed a coalition with the same parties and with several unpolitical ministers. But the new government soon got into an internal battle over the sale of one-third of the country's state oil industry Mazheikiu Nafta to a US company. The deal was criticized by politicians from several parties. When a majority of the government voted in favor of the deal in October, the prime minister, the finance minister and the finance minister resigned in protest. The opposition, led by the Social Democrats, demanded a referendum on the sale, and thousands of oil workers protested in Vilnius.

President Adamkus, who until recently lived in the United States, had run the business and appointed Conservative Andrius Kubilius, the new prime minister. The tenth government since Lithuania's independence in 1991 was formed by the Fatherland and the Christian Democrats with the support of 81 of the 141 members of Parliament.

Kubilius explained that the budget had to be cut by 15% and that promises of financial compensation for the consequences of last year's Russian ruble crisis could not be fulfilled. In the first half of 1999, Lithuania's economy declined by 4.8%, and the forecast for the full year was at best zero growth.

The government decided in September that the first reactor at the Ignalina nuclear power plant will be closed in 2005. The EU has demanded earlier decommissioning, but has not made the issue a condition for Lithuanian membership. Therefore, Lithuania was present when the EU decided in December to accept seven new candidate countries. It is envisaged that negotiations on Lithuania's membership would begin in January 2000.

In August, six members of the former Soviet Communist Party were sentenced to prison for between three and twelve years for participating in the coup attempt in January 1991, when the TV house in Vilnius was stormed by Soviet troops. 14 people were killed and several hundred injured in the coup attempt.

Just before Christmas, Parliament adopted a tough savings budget, which affected all sections of society and led to protests from several professional groups. The government also appealed to government employees to voluntarily waive part of their salary in favor of the state's needs.

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