Lithuania Can Adopt Euro Without Referendum, Prime Minister Says

Lithuania, which seeks to adopt the euro in 2015, can join the currency union without holding a nationwide referendum, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said, contradicting a coalition partner.

“There are no fears and there is no need to organize any referendum,” Butkevicius said today on Ziniu radio in Vilnius, the capital. “We already committed to adopting the euro when we joined the EU in 2004, in our accession treaty.”

The stance is disputed by some members of the four-party government that took office in December, according to Rolandas Paksas, head of the coalition party Order & Justice. Given concerns about the common currency’s future in many European Union countries, “Parliament should take the initiative to call a referendum on adopting the euro,” Paksas said March 2 in an article on the news portal

Among Lithuanians, 57 percent had either a very or somewhat negative attitude to euro adoption in January, compared with 32 percent of respondents who were positive and 11 percent without an opinion, pollster Baltijos Tyrimai said on Jan. 31. The survey of about 1,000 people for ELTA news service gave no margin of error.

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