October 29, 2012 - 12:40 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Opposition parties planning to form Lithuania's next government back adopting the euro in 2015, the leading candidate for prime minister said on Monday, setting a less ambitious pace than the man he hopes to replace, according to Reuters.
Algirdas Butkevicius spoke after a second-round election on Sunday, Oct 28, left his Social Democratic Party, the Labor Party and the party of an impeached former president on a combined 78 seats in the 141-seat parliament.
"I think we will have the euro in 2015 ... I am optimistic," Algirdas Butkevicius told Reuters in an interview.
"I think they have the same opinion," he said of his putative planned coalition partners.
He added that he expected the country's relations with former imperial master Russia to improve.
The three parties combined beat Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, who came second in a ballot that served as a referendum on the tough austerity program he introduced.
Kubilius, who had backed adopting the euro in 2014, won plaudits abroad for cutbacks of the kind that eurozone states like Greece have reluctantly followed. But at home his popularity slid as wages fell and unemployment shot up.
The alliance headed by Butkevicius has said it would aim to increase the minimum wage, make the tax system fairer and boost investment, while also being fiscally responsible and stick to the outgoing government's budget deficit goals.