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2020.01.20 10:55

MPs propose replacing May 1 holiday with January 13 in Lithuania

BNS 2020.01.20 10:55

Two lawmakers from the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats have proposed making the Freedom Defenders' Day on January 13 a public holiday instead of the International Workers' Day on May 1.

On January 13, 1991, 14 civilians were killed when Soviet troops tried to topple Lithuania's government after the country declared independence on March 11, 1990.

The day "lets all generations to realise that freedom should not be taken for granted," MP Laurynas Kasčiūnas said in a statement.

Read more: Lithuania commemorates Soviet aggression of January 13, 1991 – photos

The other initiator. MP Dainius Kreivys, said it's important to preserve the historical memory.

"Therefore, it’s very important to make January 13 a public holiday," he said. "The people would have [more] free time [...] to participate more actively in the events marking the Day of Freedom Defenders," the MP said.

The proposed bill's explanatory note states that the average number of public holidays in EU member states now stands at around 12, compared to 15 in Lithuania. The MPs say an additional holiday would be a burder on the economy, and therefore, May 1 should be taken off the list.

MPs have previously tried to replace May 1 with the second All Souls' Day on November 2 as a public holiday.