Lithuania Demographics and History
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
Northern European state. At the 2001 census the residents were 3,483,972, but the population declines at a slow and constant rate (- 0.5 % per year in the period 2000-2005) due to the achievement of a mature demographic model, with a low birth rate. (8.6 ‰ in 2005) and a high mortality rate (10.9 ‰). The urban population amounts to 67 % of the total, and a considerable part of it lives in the capital Vilnius (553,000 residents in 2005) and in the other major centers (Kaunas, Klaipeda and Šiauliai), which in the period 2000-2005they have kept their population and hierarchical position unchanged. In particular, the port of Klaipeda (where a free economic zone was established in 2000, with tax concessions for foreign investors) plays an important role in East-West trade, and oil products from countries of the Community of States transit through it. independent.
Lithuania joined the European Union in May 2004, proving an economic vitality that has attracted numerous foreign investors; as a result, many Western companies have opened their offices in the country. In the early 21st century. GDP growth was exceptionally high (+ 6.5 % in 2003, + 7 % in 2004, + 7.5% in 2005), sustained above all by the increase in production, driven in turn by the structural reforms that have been completed, and by the development of the tertiary sector. The good performance of some sectors is matched by some negative data: the trade deficit has increased and the government has engaged in a vast program of restructuring the production system to improve competitive capabilities. In December 2004 the Lithuania closed, essentially for safety reasons, one of the two reactors of the Ignalina nuclear power plant, and the government committed itself to the definitive closure of the power plant (which supplies more than 70 % of the electricity consumed in the country.) by 2010, thanks also to contributions from the EU.
Having overcome the difficulties immediately following the detachment from the Soviet Union (1991) and the consequent disintegration of the Soviet market, in the early years of the 21st century Lithuania was increasingly involved in the process of Euro-Atlantic integration, considered an indispensable prerequisite for consolidate the economic growth started in the second half of the nineties of the 20th century. All the governments that succeeded one another at the helm of the country moved in this direction, which is still characterized by strong political instability. The center-right alignment, in power since 1996, divided over privatization policy, suffered a heavy defeat in the October 2000 elections, in which the relative majority party, Tėvnyės Sąjunga (TS, Union of the Fatherland), with a conservative orientation, won only 9 seats. The left-wing alliance, headed by Lietuvos Socialdemokrat ų Partija (LSDP, Social Democratic Party of Lithuania) and Lietuvos Demokratin ė Darbo Partija (LDDP, former Communist Labor Democratic Party of Lithuania), with 52 seats, and two parties were the winners newly formed, the liberal u ir Centro Sąjunga (LiCS, liberal Union and the center, founded in 1999by the former leader of the TS, R. Paksas), with 34 seats, and the Naujoji Sąjunga-Socialliberalai (NS-SL, New union-Social liberals, born in the same year), with 29 seats. Paksas was entrusted with the leadership of a new coalition executive, once again an expression of the forces of the center and right (in this case NS-SL and LiCS), whose duration was however very short. In June 2001yet another crisis led to the formation of a center-left majority (made up of the NS-SL and LSDP, which had just absorbed the LDPP), led by LSDP leader A. Brazauskas. The new government put a stop to the liberal policy while maintaining the commitments made in an international context in order not to compromise the country’s official entries into NATO and the European Union, which took place respectively in March and May 2004, in a climate of strong tension. For Lithuania 2017, please check mathgeneral.com.
In April the Parliament had in fact voted the empeachment of the President of the Republic Paksas (who had been elected in January 2003, defeating the outgoing president V. Adamkus, with 55 % of the votes), accused of having links with Russian criminal organizations, of violating state secrets and abusing its prerogatives for private purposes. Forced to resign, Paskas was replaced, after the presidential elections in June 2004, by Adamkus, elected in the second round with 52 % of the votes and with the support of almost all left and center parties. The legislative elections held in October saw the affirmation of the Liberal Democrat Darbo Partija (DP, Labor Party, founded in October 2003), with 39 seats, while LSDP and NS-SL recorded a decline (20 and 11 seats respectively); the TS, in which some minor formations had converged in 2003-04, won 25 seats, the LiCS 18. A painstakingly reached agreement between LSDP, DP, NS-SL and minor formations led to the establishment of a new executive (November), also led by Brazauskas, whose stability was compromised in April 2006 by the withdrawal of the NS-SL and in May by the exit of the DP. In July, a new government revolving around LSDP and LiCS was formed and led by G. Kirkilas.
In foreign policy, Lithuania aimed in this period to increase its regional role by establishing preferential relations with Western powers, while avoiding entering into conflict with Moscow.