Thursday, March 8, 2007

Turbulent times for Latvia

February 2007 was simply switched out of my life due to the busy work schedule. Right at this moment I am staying in Viimsi with Allar & Kati. I came to Tallinn to lecture within ERASMUS programme in Tallinna Ülikool and finished my lectures yesterday. I had to lecture about Latvian foreign policy within Baltic Sea area and had to condense my lectures due to the structural shortcomings, which are natural in the post-Soviet space:) In addition, thanks to my academic grandfather Margus Sardis I also lectured on the Latvian topicality to the Korp! Revelia fellows in the Estonian Museum of Photography yesterday. This jovial lecture was very much helped by very thoughtful insights of Jaan Väljaots and later followed by quick beer in Estonian-German-Austrial beer garden. Ok, thats it for the introduction and now I must turn to the problems that exist in Latvia.

FIRST and most urgent problem for Latvia is its overheated economy that breeds the seeds of authoritarianism!! Latvian government coalition and prime minister proposed their plan to curb inflation and solve the problem of ever increasing spread of the current account deficit yesterday. Not just Pauls Raudseps in Diena editorial today and numerous economists in the `Kas notiek Latvija` TV emission concluded that the governmental program is timid to say the least.

Yesterday´s announcement about rising PM´s and other ministers salaries is a public relations BLUNDER or cynicism at its highest possible level!!! I am afraid that folks might start flocking to the streets starting from now on, and teachers labor union (LIZDA) announcement is the first ringing of the bells. In the meantime I pray that I would be wrong in my assessments.

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