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Lithuania: President Vetoes Restitution Law

Vilnius, 17 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas announced today he will veto a controversial property restitution law.

The law enables Lithuanian citizens to reclaim real estate nationalized during the half century of Soviet rule, including residential properties now occupied by tenants.

Analysts estimate the legislation if implemented would result in about 10,500 families being displaced. The law would require the state to provide alternate accommodation.

The Lithuanian news agency ELTA quotes Brazauskas as saying the new law, by violating the rights of heaseholders, contravenes the constitution, under which all citizens are proclaimed equal.

Brazauskas is sending the law back to parliament with suggestions for reworking, thereby avoiding an automatic override by speaker of parliament Vytautas Landsbergis.

Parliamentary Speaker Vytautas Landsbergis and his Conservative bloc has overridden four of the president's six vetos since the new parliament convened last December.