Points out Giedrius Kadziauskas of the Lithuanian Free Market Institute:
This will come as part of Lithuania's commitment to the European Union to raise its excise duties in order to reach the EU's minimum levels by 2009. But this minimal level is not minimal at all for Lithuania and other new E.U. members, where standards of living are not expected to rise to the E.U. average for another 15 to 30 years... Meanwhile, smuggling is growing in Lithuania, which is responsible for guarding 902 kilometers of the EU's external border. Every single rise in excise duties signals to smugglers that the ranks of their potential customers are swelling and that they have an opportunity to mark up prices of their goods.The price of the EU's style of heavily-taxed and heavily-regulated 'freedom' may be too much for poverty-sticken Lithuanians to bear. They're not alone in that.