Lithuanian parliament ratifies EU's key fiscal pact
(VILNIUS) - Lithuania's parliament ratified Thursday the European Union's fiscal pact aimed at enforcing stricter budgetary rules in the bloc and preventing the high public deficits that sparked the eurozone crisis.
Eighty legislators backed the measure, 11 were opposed while 21 abstained among the 112 present in the 141-member parliament.
Foreign Minister Audrionius Azubalis called approving the pact "a sign of solidarity with the entire eurozone," of which Lithuania is not yet a member.
An ex-Soviet Baltic republic of three million which joined the EU in 2004, Lithuania hopes to adopt the European single currency in 2014.
Driven through by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and signed by 25 of the European Union's 27 member states, the fiscal pact aims to enforce stricter spending rules across the bloc and prevent the high public deficits that touched off the eurozone debt crisis.
The pact is due to come into force when 12 of the 25 countries have ratified it.
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