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Lithuania economy minister quits over private flight to Kazakhstan

30 may 2013, 13:17
0
Lithuanian Economy Minister Birute Vesaite. Photo courtesy of delfi.lt
Lithuanian Economy Minister Birute Vesaite. Photo courtesy of delfi.lt
Lithuanian Economy Minister Birute Vesaite agreed to resign Tuesday after the premier said she made "a mistake" in accepting a cheap flight from a private company seeking a favour, AFP reports.

"We have agreed the minister would submit her resignation letter... she will perform her duties until Monday," Evelina Butkute, spokeswoman for Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius, told AFP.

To get to an economic forum in the Kazakhstan capital Astana last week, Vesaite used a plane chartered by a private firm seeking to become the supervisor of a low-tax free economic zone in Lithuania.

"The economy minister made a mistake. It was a mistake to decide to fly on a private plane," Butkevicius told national radio on Tuesday.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite had on Monday said the minister should resign, criticising her decision to accept the trip as bearing "obvious signs of political corruption."

The resignation comes a month before Lithuania takes over the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union as of July 1. Lithuania joined the EU in 2004.

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