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Litouwen houdt wellicht referendum over deelname aan euro (en)

Met dank overgenomen van EUobserver (EUOBSERVER), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 10 juni 2005, 9:48.
Auteur: | By Elitsa Vucheva

The Lithuanian parliament will vote on whether or not to hold a referendum on the introduction of the single currency to the country, according to news agency AFP.

The Lithuanian opposition Liberal Democrat party has gathered the necessary 36 signatures required for the parliament to vote on the matter.

It has now to do so within a month, as under Lithuanian law, lawmakers have to vote within one month after a proposal is introduced, says the press agency.

After the EU Constitution was rejected by France and the Netherlands, the euro has found itself at the centre of debates.

Following the No votes, Roberto Maroni, Italian labour minister called on Italy to ditch the euro and go back to the Italian lira.

And the German Stern magazine, after the French No, published news that Germany's exit from the common currency was discussed - something denied both by Berlin and the national bank though.

Lithuanian Liberal Democrats say they are not against the idea of introducing the euro, but think citizens should have their say.

"Liberal Democrats are not against the introduction of the euro in Lithuania, but we think that the decision on this issue of national importance, which will have a great impact on future life of the state, should be taken by all citizens of the country" said Rolandas Paksas, the head of the party.

"We should not repeat a situation such as that when the parliament ratified the EU constitution without finding out whether it has a support of the Lithuanian people", he added, referring to the ratification of the EU Constitution by the Lithuanian parliament.

Lithuania, which is one of the ten member states that joined the EU on 1 May 2004, was the first member state to ratify the document on 11 November 2004, just under two weeks after the treaty was signed (on 29 October 2004).

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