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Lithuanian Parliament Passes 2013 Budget With 2.5% Gap

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Lithuania’s parliament approved next year’s budget that seeks to lower the fiscal deficit to below the European Union limit of 3 percent of economic output.

Lawmakers voted 103-2 with 28 abstentions today to back the budget in the final of the three readings, according to a website broadcast of the session in Vilnius, the capital. It foresees a deficit of 2.5 percent of gross domestic product compared with this year’s planned 3 percent gap.

The budget projects revenue, including aid from the EU and other international institutions, of 28.9 billion litai ($11.1 billion), with spending planned at 29.7 billion litai, leaving a gap of 740 million litai. GDP will grow 3.5 percent this year and 3 percent in 2013, the Finance Ministry estimates.

The four-party government of Premier Algirdas Butkevicius, which took office last week after October elections, revised the draft budget prepared by the previous government to allow for an increase of the minimum wage from Jan. 1 without changing the planned deficit.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bryan Bradley in Vilnius at bbradley13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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