I arrived to Helsinki just prior the media `nuclear bomb` exploded in Latvia - the maire of Ventspils was arrested yesterday whilst driving to see the doctor in Linezers. Finally!
Another chapter of the Latvian post-soviet development can be turned now, because Latvian state is switching from Weberian traditional to the legal - rational authority type. It was not easy and who said that a life is a rose garden:)
My assumptions are that Messrs Andris Skele and Ainars Slesers might follow into the tracks of Aivars Lembergs. If prosecutor´s office has found the `black book` of Ventspils Inc. it means that Aivars Lembergs in his interrogations would disclose also the rest of misadventures of the oligarchs. The only test here is the ability of Latvian public to stay calm and not to become the mob on the streets. Perhaps it should stay this way but overheated economy does make me cautios.
This week shall be crucial in forming possible way out for incumbent government. The popular referendum shall take place anyhow and the 150 000 signatures of Latvian electorate should start to be collected on April 3´d. There is no coherent response from the governing elite and it means that either they are flabergasted or they are retreating in order to make an offensive? Anyway, one thing is clear - until July 2007 Latvian society shall see constitutional wrangling amidst economic downturn in action. At the end the winner takes it all - in this case either parliament (power of nomenklatura) or president (power of folks) must yield:)
In the meantime I thought about the university education in Latvia today whilst walking past the university main building next to Kaisaniemi metro station. There was a street sweeper having his own coffey brake. It flashed in my mind that this men in his 40´s was probably happy about having a job in a rather expensive Helsinki. It made me think about the problem of labour shartages in Latvia and the root causes of this problem - collapse of the proffesional education in Latvia. I see many students in my classes who´s parents or sponsors have paid for they studies but they are not properly prepared to study at the university level. But in the meantime they also have no other option than labour market, and there their parents and personal instincts say that education is their ticket for socially upward mobility.
Anyway, it is humane that common folks want to be moving upward and its the role of the state to make this transition thus smooth that it would not imperil the balance of social fabric. The role of the state in Latvia during last 15 years have beeen inadequate and today´s crisis is the price we pay for unfinished works of Latvian governments.
It is not easy to teach common folks that the only explotation on the mother Earth is the explotaation of the ignorance!! If government in Latvia thinks that it is easier to lead the herd of sheep, so be it, but then they should not be surprized about such crisis or to put it more academically they should not be surprized about their dwindling legitimacy. For the Latvian politicians the present crisis gives another lesson - in today´s world where best governance practices are emulated from Mogadishu to Quito the only EXAMPLE to emulate is the comprehesive education system of the society! Any state that invests and so empowers single indiviuduals makes also the state EMPOWERED, and those states that leave their subjects disempowered are doomed to fall into pieces.
Lets wait & see, and hope for the active participation of the Latvian electorate!