Lithuania Dismisses Calls for Higher Spending in Revised Budget

The Lithuanian government approved a revised 2011 budget draft for the second reading in Parliament, rejecting lawmakers’ calls to increase overall spending.

The Cabinet raised planned expenditure by 50 million litai ($19 million) for investment projects, bonuses for customs officers fighting smuggling and the European Basketball Championship, Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said at a press conference in Vilnius today. Extra spending will be financed by cutting in other areas, he said.

The Baltic nation’s lawmakers sent the budget draft back to the government for review after the first reading on Nov. 23 and proposed additional spending of 1 billion litai, or about 1 percentage point of gross domestic product. The government kept the goal today to narrow the budget deficit to 5.8 percent of GDP from an estimated 8.1 percent this year. The second budget reading is scheduled for Dec. 7 and final approval for Dec. 9.

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