Luxembourg. According to
countryaah, the Luxembourg people voted in a referendum
in July for the Treaty on a New EU Constitution. Unlike
several other EU countries, Luxembourg, despite voters in France and
the Netherlands, previously voted no to the Treaty. The
result was seen as a victory for Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who had threatened to resign at a no. All parties
in Parliament supported the treaty, but the jas side
nevertheless received no more than 56% of the vote. The
referendum was the first in Luxembourg since the 1930s.
2008 Economic crisis
The global economic crisis, like the other Baltic
countries, hit Lithaun hard. The country's economic
development since its accession to the EU in 2004 was
largely loan-financed, and the crisis therefore hit both the
private economy and the social economy severely. GDP fell by
16.8% in 2009 and unemployment continued to rise during the
year. By December, it had reached 15.8% and youth
unemployment had reached 30.4%. During the first 3 quarters
of 2009, construction activity declined by 46.8% and retail
sales fell 30%.
The Conservative government's response to the crisis was
the firing of public servants and the decline in wages. In
the third quarter of 2009, Lithaun EU had a record when
wages as a whole fell by 10.9%. Conservative politics led to
frequent demonstrations. In January 2009, two major
demonstrations were convened by the trade union movement.
Both demonstrations were attacked by police with rubber
bullets, lace and tear gas. In April, new demonstrations
came. This time by police, fire departments and border
police in protest of the wage cuts. Some policemen
participated barefoot in the demonstration in protest of the
widespread poverty in the country.
The May 2009 presidential election was won by independent
Dalia Grybauskaitė, who received a landslide victory with
68.2% of the vote. She became the country's first female
president. Due. the country's deep economic crisis, she
declared that she would receive only half of the salary the
president had received until then.
In July, Parliament passed a law banning all mention of
homosexuality in the media, schools and public places. The
law was to enter into force in March 2010. The EU objected
to the law that violates human rights. The Union also
pointed out that it can impose sanctions on Member States
that violate its common values.
Last fall, it was officially confirmed that from 2004-05,
Lithaun had participated in the CIA's "rendition program" -
incarceration, interrogation and torture of terror suspects.
Lithaun had built a special secret prison in Antaviliai
outside Vilnius. At least eight terror suspects had been
deployed and interrogated in this prison in 2004-05, flown
in by the CIA on unregistered flights and outside the
immigration authority. Lithaun had secretly participated in
the United States torture program.