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2020.07.29 15:20

Lithuanian government agrees to make January 13 a day off, but wants to scrap another holiday

LRT.lt2020.07.29 15:20

Lithuania's government has endorsed the proposal of having a national holiday on January 13. A day off would cost the government 50 million euros, the cabinet says, so another holiday must be scrapped.

A parliamentary commission has proposed to make January 13, the Freedom Defenders' Day, a day off in tribute to people killed during the Soviet coup attempt in Vilnius in 1991.

The government said on Wednesday it was in favour of including January 13 in the list of National Holidays, but added that it would mean giving up some other holiday.

The government estimates that every additional day off diminishes tax revenue by 50 million euros.

Last week, the Lithuanian Tripartite Council, which includes representatives from the government, employer organisations and trade unions, decided to have January 13 a day off instead of All Souls' Day on November 2.

Lithuania currently has 16 Public Holidays which are also days off, one of the biggest number in the EU. However, at least some of them fall on weekends every year.

The proposal to make January 13 a day off will be decided by the parliament in its autumn session. If passed, it would come into effect in 2021.

The Freedom Defenders’ Day commemorates January 13, 1991, when the Soviet forces drove through an unarmed crowd gathered around Vilnius TV Tower, killing 14 and injuring more than 500 people.