Tuesday 25 October 2016

Anti-immigrant party claims victory in Lithuania


In Lithuania an anti-immigrant party claims victory.

Hundreds of thousands of Lithuanians have been lured abroad by higher wages in an alarming "brain drain" that has seen the population plummet to less than 2.6m

It has lost more than 370,000 people - of which roughly half have gone to Britain - since the eastern European country joined the bloc in 2004.

The Peasants and Green Union (LPGU) must now forge a coalition government after becoming the biggest party in Lithuanian politics, with 54 of the 141 seats in the lower-house of parliament.

The success of the party has shocked Lithuania, with many believing it would be no more than an also-ran in an election expected to be won by the Homeland Union.

But the LPGU's promise of change and the introduction of a technocratic government won over Lithuanians tired of the old parties, and frustrated with a sluggish economy and the inability of previous government to prevent people seeking a better future by moving abroad.

The problem of emigration became one of the key topics of the election campaign. Since joining the EU in 2004 Lithuania's population of around 3 million has shrunk by about 370,000, with as many as 150,000 heading to Britain: the fastest population decline in the EU.



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