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Lithuania Becomes First Country To Ratify EU Constitution


Lithuania has become the first European Union member state to ratify the bloc's new constitution.

The ratification bill passed parliament Thursday by 84 votes to four, with three abstentions.

The constitution will create an EU president and foreign minister. It is aimed at speeding up decision-making by ending national vetoes in certain policy areas, including the economy, the judiciary and education.

Supporters called ratification a "logical" and "honorable" step.

But opponents called it a blow to Lithuania's independence.

The Baltic country's president, Valdas Adamkus, was one of 25 EU leaders who signed the constitution on October 29 in Rome.

The constitution will come into effect in two years if the remaining member states ratify it.

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