“This project is expensive and risky and I think there is no agreement on that with Latvia and Estonia. Our party calls to vote against the construction of the nuclear power plant at the referendum,” Algirdas Butkevičius, leader of the Social Democratic party, said at live political debates organized by BNS and Lietuvos Ryto TV channel.
“We call on all Lithuania’s citizens to vote no. You tell me: if that project is really that competitive and useful, why don't Estonians and Latvians, let alone Poles, take part in this project,” Valentinas Mazuronis, vice-chairman of the Order and Justice party, said.
Leaders of the ruling Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (Conservatives) and the Liberal Movement said that they would support the new nuclear facility project while Viktor Uspaskich of the Labor Party said that he would support the project if Latvia and Estonia specifically agreed to join it.
“If Latvia and Estonia sign this project [before the referendum], I believe that the Labor Party will vote for it. I personally will vote for it,” Uspaskich said.
According to Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, leader of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, talks with Latvia and Estonia on participation in the new nuclear facility project are very intensive.
“It is absolutely obvious that we will not build the new facility without Latvians and Estonians,” Kubilius said.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Eligijus Masiulis, leader of the Liberal Movement, warned that the authorities did not give enough regard to consumer interests now.
“In this discussion, while speaking in support of the nuclear power plant, I lack arguments reflecting the consumers’ views. We, the Liberals, propose to let Lithuania’s private companies and individuals invest when raising funds [for the construction of the new facility] so that they can also participate in the project and assume some risks,” Masiulis said.
In his view, the project would be viable with such investments.
The general elections and the advisory referendum will take place on 14 October. Voters will be asked to respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the statement, “I support construction of a new nuclear power plant in the Republic of Lithuania”.