Luxembourg. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Luxembourg include Independence Day (June 23) and New Year (January 1). The state railway company CFL took on the blame for a train crash that happened on the other side of the border with France in October. The accident then happened that personnel in Luxembourg accidentally directed a passenger train onto the same track as a freight train. Six people were killed and several were injured when the two trains frontal crashed.
Due disagreement over the plans for privatizations, taxes and pensions, the New Union Party withdrew from the government coalition in mid-2001, and the government survived by a small margin a vote of confidence in parliament.
In June 2002, Lithuania committed to the EU to close the Ignalina nuclear power plant. Its reactors were of the same type as the Chernobyl power plant and had been declared unsafe by Brussels. The closure will be implemented in the period 2005-09, and the country will receive greater financial assistance from the EU so that the closure will not have major economic and social consequences. The plant supplied 70% of the country’s electricity consumption.
The second round of the presidential election on January 5, 2003 was won by Rolandas Paksas of the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party with 54.9% of the vote. He is a former prime minister and mayor of Vilnius, beating Adamkus, who had led the polls and, as prime minister, had led the country from communism to join the EU and NATO. Parkas had led an aggressive campaign that promised the Lithuanians a better life and a continuation of the country’s pro-Western foreign policy.
On 10-11. In May 2003, a referendum was held on Lithuania’s accession to the EU. It was won by supporters with 91% of the vote. Still, turnout was surprisingly low. Only 64% voted. After the first day of voting, the electoral authorities expressed doubts as to whether the turnout would exceed the 50% required for the result to be valid. Both Paksas and Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas therefore went on TV to urge the nation’s citizens to vote.
In a November 2003 military intelligence report, President Paksas was accused of having links with the Mafia and Russian intelligence, illegal arms sales and international terrorist financing. Parliament set up a commission of inquiry which in its report subsequently concluded that the president had violated the constitution and provided information that jeopardized the security of the state. He had, among other things, illegally granted Russian Yuri Borisov Lithuanian citizenship. It was he who had funded his successful election campaign the year before. Borisov, in turn, was put on trial for illegal arms trafficking and for having blackmailed the president for the purpose of obtaining a trusted position in that office. In December, parliament opened a lawsuit against the president.