Lithuanian Seimas (Parliament)  passed the law on national budget for 2015, the first year of the country’s Eurozone membership, with an emphasis on the increased defence spending

The budget was passed by a vote of 79 to 33, with 23 abstentions. It was adopted by the votes of the ruling Social Democratic majority, with opposition lawmakers voting against the bill.

Next year’s budget provides for increasing national defence spending by a third, continuing to compensate for pension cuts made during the crisis, raising salaries for the lowest-paid government employees by 5 percent from March, and increasing the minimum monthly wage to 325 EUR from July.

Unemployment benefits are to be raised to the pre-crises level of 301 EUR.

The Seimas instructed the government to cut state administration expenses and debt servicing expenses by almost 26 million EUR in 2015 and allocate these funds to culture sector, school students and farmers.