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17 Jan, 2009 14:21

Lithuania’s parliament pelted with eggs and bottles

Several thousand people have gathered in Lithuania’s port town of Klaipeda outraged by the country’s economic policies. It follows Friday’s events when thousands have tried to storm the parliament building in Vilnius.

The protest in the capital turned violent when several hundred protesters began to throw eggs and empty bottles at the building, smashing several window panes.

Police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators. Thirteen have been reported injured and about 150 detained.


According to preliminary estimates, about 580,000 euros damage has been done.

“In October the centre-right political forces won the parliamentary elections in Lithuania. They formed a government coalition that started to work one month before the end of the year. Since the crisis was progressing, they decided to choose anti-crisis measures,” Interfax correspondent Kazis Ustima explains. “According to our domestic observers, they miscalculated those measures. Trade unions believe that the governing coalition decided to shift the biggest economic burden onto the shoulders of the common people.”

The riots follow similar unrest this week in the capitals of Latvia and Bulgaria with dozens injured in the clashes and almost two hundred protesters arrested.

Latvia's Prime Minister has announced he's ready “to step down if it would help to improve the situation in the country.”