November 5th, 13.30 antinuclear activists will be protesting at Lithuanian embassy in Berlin, Charitéstr. 9. They will demand Lithuanian politicians to make amendments to pronuclear laws, in line with the results of a referendum held on October 14th 2012.
By law the referendum is legally binding. While there are two types of referendum in Lithuania – mandatory and consultative (deliberative) – both have the legal force. The difference between them is how they should be implemented, not whether or not they should be implemented. For a mandatory referendum, the legal act itself is presented as a question for a referendum, while after consultative (deliberative) referendum the Parliament has to amend legal acts in accordance to a referendum result within one month after its announcement.
The problem is that Lithuanian politicians are prepared to ignore their citizens’ votes against a new nuclear power plant in the referendum. The referendum in Lithuania was the first referendum on a new nuclear power plant (NPP) in Eastern Europe. Voter turn-out was 52,58 percent . Of these, 62,6 percent rejected the statement “I support the construction of a new nuclear power plant in the Republic of Lithuania”. President Dalia Grybauskaite played down the results. She claimed that only less than 30 percent of the citizens opposed the new NPP. Lithuania’s Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius has gone so far as to say that people, who voted against a new nuclear power plant, did not know what they were doing. Ignoring the results of the referendum, the politicians still discuss the further development of Visaginas NPP project.
“Most of Lithuanian politicians would like to ignore the Law on Referendum – they say the result of the referendum was not legally binding. The article 8 of the Law on Referendum states that the Parliament has to identify means to implement the result of the consultative (deliberative) referendum within one month after its announcement”, – explains antinuclear activist Laura Gintalaite, – “The nation has decided to get rid of a dangerous technology. The Parliament must pass the applicable laws. It is ridiculous that we even have to make this protest – in a democratic country it should be evident that if there was a referendum, result of it has to be implemented.”
The action at the Lithuanian embassy in Berlin is organized by the association “Zali.lt“ (LT Greens) and „AntiAtomBerlin“. Activists also prepared a petition on Avaaz community petitions, urging politicians to implement the result of the referendum.
Lithuania planned to build a new NPP in Visaginas together with Japanese American company “Hitachi-GE”, Latvia and Estonia. The estimated costs of building 1,350-MW Hitachi-GE Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) at Visaginas site are 5 billion EUR. Planned start of operation was in 2020-2022.
Zali.lt (LT Greens)
Phone: +49543987137 (in English)