Monday, June 18, 2007

Times of change

Exactly as it was predicted in my last article rumours about reshuffle in the Latvian government are in the air. There is a graduation ceremony of the BA students day after tomorrow and major tasks at the university for this academic year are over. I am feeling not in sync with myself now and I am getting ready to rearrange my own priorities.

When one follows political life in Estonia and Lithuania then one could notice that accross the border from Latvia they live almost perfectly. The Lithuanian minority goverment still sputters, but does not show visible signs of decline. Estonian PM is perhaps satisfied with himself, but there are dissatisfactions growing in Estonian liberal circles. When the Baltic prime miniters gathered for the energy security meeting in Riga last week the facade looked just beautiful. There were joint statements and a lots of photo ops. Andrus Ansip expressed his words of appreciation to the Latvian people even though the declaration of the Latvian parliament supporting Estonia during omenous days late this April came conspicuously late. All was nice and beautiful and Latvian PM announced that Latvia and Estonia would sign a strategic partnership in energy sector. However, disagreements about the future participation of EST, LAT, LIT and POL in the Ignalina Nuclear project seems more like the typical case of democratic horse trading - ministers have agreed that they have not agreed on anything, yet.

Latvian domestic situation in the meantime is preparing for changes in its commanding heights to use the expression of the US author Daniel Yergin. Education and welfare ministers from the Union of Greens and Farmers and the Pro Patria party Economics ministers are incapable to offer strategy for transformation of these sectors in Latvia, but they are badly needed. Governing majority People's Party (PP) is trying to recompense the existing head of the Bureau of the PM, Mr Māris Riekstiņš(he was recalled from Washington ambassadorial post in order to run for the prezident), and the rumours are out about him getting the post of the Minister of Foreign Affairs or even the PM post. Whatever plans the PP has, replacement of its popular Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Artis Pabriks would cost the party dearly, because the majority of the PP youth organization stood for Mr Pabriks as their prezidential candidate. If Māris Riekstiņš would replace incumbent PM would be a wise PR move for the governing corporation, because rating of Mr Kalvitis is in steady decline. In addition PM does not have his PR imagemaker Jurģis Liepnieks anymore, he is left out in the cold with the press, thus Latvian public is constantly forced to hear his incoherent speeches.

Major reshuffle of the government is quite a daring challenge and the question is whether it should happen before or after July the 7th? To observe the tactics of the governing coalition, whilst securing the stabilty of the present coalition popularly dubbed also the "seven fat years", my guess is that it would happen between the summer solstice and the referendum. The idea would be to show the undecisive voters that the government not only works but that it also listens to the vox populi. The question that rises here is, whether prime minister would be Mr Riekstiņš or Ivars Godmanis? In the meantime there is heavy onslaught on the Latvian public TV news department and journalists trade union has already announced that they might go on strike around the time when referendum takes place, shall see how this disagreement further evolves...

The school year if officially over and all students who dared to defend their BA thesis did it. One student did not pass in the first round but the young lady appealed to the thesis defense committee and managed to overcome this obstacle. Thus, there are 65 more bachelors of arts in Latvia and I am wondering how many of them would continue their post graduate studies abroad? So far I have written only 2 reccommendation letters....

And whilst writing about developments in Latvia I have come to the crossroads myself. The feeling I have reminds me of my life cycles. After moving from Daugavpils to Tartu in 1991 came 1996 when I moved from Tartu via Riga to Budapest. Then in 2001 came transformative Swiss period that lasted till 2005. According to the logic of the five year cycles I moved back to Latvia a year earlier, and I do not want to develop some kind of new theory here. Simply I feel uneasy and therefore thinking where am I, what I am doing and what for I am doing all this? To some of you perhaps it sounds familiar, and you know that the only solution is in ones willpower to change in combination with rich conversations with ones friends and acquintances.

I am simply feeling entrapped in some kind of rate race, because the tasks at the university, making radio broadcasts, writing newspaper articles, attending dull local municipality sessions, slowly procceeding with my dissertation research...I am not happy about such a flow of life because I know that there are faster currents. Ayes, aye, aye and summer is a perfect time for stopping for a while and rearranging ones goals! I already announced to the publishers that I have stopped publishing in news media until September, because the major goal for now is to procceed with my own dissertation. Two years, now, under the parents roof have lulled me into some kind of the petit burgueois oblivion I am not completely satisfied with. The tasks at the parent's home seem never declining, thus I am considering moving to the place of my own. It must be done this summer, the decision is made, period, thus changes are in the air!

Līksmus Jāņus! Rõõmsat Jaanipäeva! Iloista Juhannuspäivää! Enjoy the longest day of the year - the Summer Solstice!


Zodiac said...

everybody sometimes feels like u, dude. The only thing I can suggest here is - get a wife, have regular fuck, give life to some children and you'll be fine! such a traditional course of life may be quite good alternative to all this radio/ stuff.. and of course - move to your own place, u r a big boy, man!Just listen to Your heaaaaaart, mate :D

Baltic said...

Suggestion good and simple zodiac:) cheers!

mel said...


I kept going through the same thing and it's time for a change. I agree with zodiac, permanency could be good. Stability could be good. If you can find it, then you are the man! Settle down in SPils if you don't mind the traffic nightmare to R.

We both have the problem of restlessness and wanting new challenges and moving on geographically. But the one thing that caused me to re-think all of it is essentially what zodiac said. That, my friend, is the true anchor -- good and bad.

Meie kõik tahame uusi võimalusi. Probleem on, hea sõber, kui võimalused andisid meile rõõmu südames & rahu peaajus...oh, ka vere peenises!

Baltic said...

Tänud Mel!!!

Ex see mõtlemine umbes samas suunas käib:) Vaatame mida elu endast annab, sest viimased kax kuud olid tõeliselt energiat imevad.......Samas Lätis toimuv viitab sellele, et ilma isikliku elu tuleb ka yhiskondlikule eluviisile täheöepanu pöörata, siiski asjaolusid meelespidades mitte nii enam nagu varem:)