The Lithuanian Government on Monday withheld support for proposals to raise the minimum legal age for purchasing alcoholic drinks to 20 years from the current 18 years and to allow selling alcoholic beverages only in specialised stores.

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Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas said that an 18-year-old person is regarded as fully responsible for his or her actions.

"The government does not back such radical proposals as specialised stores (for alcoholic drinks)," the minister told reporters after the Cabinet's meeting.

"It did not approve of the proposal to raise the minimum age to 20 years either. That would raise a question about the adequacy of the law, because an 18-year-old citizen is legally considered an adult under our legislation," he said.

The minister said that it is proposed to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages online, to give the right to local authorities to ban alcohol sales in certain places, and to prohibit outdoor alcohol advertisements, including for price discounts and special offers.

Gustas said that the government did not approve of a proposal to reduce the number of hours during which alcohol can legally be sold to four as it was not backed up with arguments.

The government was asked by the Seimas to provide its opinions on legislative amendments drafted by a group of activists to restrict access to alcoholic beverages in the country.

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