Luxembourg. Parliament adopted a law on euthanasia in February, with the numbers 30 to 26. But Grand Duke Henri opposed the law with reference to his Catholic faith. Thus, a constitutional crisis arose because the signature of the head of state was required for the law to come into force. The result was that, in December, with the vote numbers 56–0, Parliament amended the constitution so that the head of state no longer has to approve laws for them to apply.
Luxembourg went in with Belgium and the Netherlands with money, totaling just over € 11 billion, to save the bank Fortis, which was hit hard when the global financial crisis blossomed in September. The bank was also divided into three parts, but the Luxembourg and Belgian parts were soon taken over by the French big bank BNP Parisbas.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of LU in general and in geography as Luxembourg in particular.
In February 1989, Sajudis called for the creation of a free and neutral Lithuania within a demilitarized zone. The same month, the local communist party’s general secretary, along with Sajudis, participated in the National Independence Day celebration. In December, the country’s top Soviet removed the article in the constitution that gave the Communist Party its leading role. It was the first such decision in a republic within the Soviet Union.
In January 1990, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachov of Vilnius declared a new law to establish relations between the Republic and the Union, but as early as March, the Lithuanian parliament declared the country immediately independent. Following violent riots, which also included clashes between Soviet and Lithuanian troops, in September 1991, the new Soviet Union recognized the independence of the three Baltic States and was followed by the immediate recognition of several other countries. September 17, 1991, the country was admitted to the UN.
Following the failed coup in August 1991 against Mikhail Gorbachov, Parliament declared the Communist Party, the Democratic Labor Party and the Lithuanian Youth Communists for illegal organizations. The following month, Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis in the UN requested the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country. Since the beginning of the year, 50,000 soldiers had been stationed in Vilnius.
The country’s new constitution was passed by a referendum on October 25, 1992. That same year, gross domestic product fell by 35% and inflation reached 1,150%.
On February 14, 1993, the former leader of the Communist Party, Algirdas Brazauskas, was elected president by 60% of the vote. In 1993-94 he continued the transition to market economics.
In 1995, it was estimated that 80% of Lithuanians were «poor», 15% belonged to «middle class» and 5% were «rich». The rising social inequality was the reason why the government parties lost the local elections that year.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Luxembourg in 2008 was 507,778, ranking number 170 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.100% yearly, and the population density was 196.0961 people per km2.