Sunday, September 30, 2007

The end of the government is on the threshold

Apathy and outright disgust about the present political elite is widespread. Public radio and TV stations, liberal media and now also Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze (a paper controlled by the maire of Ventspils, who actually sits under the house arrest) lament the work of Latvian PM and his government. Minister of Municipal Affairs Mr Aigars Štokenbergs predicts in todays Latvijas Avīze (, that at the end of the year the inflation in Latvia might reach 15% annual rate. While taken to the court session former member of the presidential security guards Edgars Gulbis fell out of the police car right into the river Daugava. The story with Mr Edgars Gulbis seems not just ludicrous, but scary, because the police is either cynical or simply emulating best practices of the Soviet militia. The minister of Interior resolutely announced that Mr Edgars Gulbis was not tortured and dismissed all allegations of Mr Gulbis lawyer as stupid and announced that Latvian police is at the top of its tasks. In the same press conference (!) the PM is painting a grim picture of international ring of gangsters that run the country - thus, Aigars Kalvītis, are you the ringleader or simply incomptetent non-entity?

In the meantime, when Lattelecom is being privatised there is court process versus prime minister Andris Šķēle in the Latvia vs. Kempmayer Ltd. just about to be open. Also Anti-Corruption agency (KNAB) is about to finish to uncover the affair that helped the governing Peoples Party (TP) to steal October 2006 elections. Prior elections last year, TP breached the campaign rules of the elctoral law by former prime minister Šķēle "donating" Ls300 000 to third parties that lauded TP in major TV channels for a month prior the election. KNAB has announced that its findings and also the ruling of the Supreme Court of Latvia as of December 6, 2006 indicate, that TP should probably repay this money and fine (totaling half a million latvian lats) into state treasury, and that would eventually bancrupt TP. That, was the major reason why PM hastily suspended Mr Aleksejs Loskutovs from his duties. Because Mr Loskutovs still goes to work we may find the major fallout between the government and KNAB, Prosecutors office and/or the head of the Supreme Court any day soon. The PM simply plays hard ball, because he understands, that he has lost all the legitimacy (exemplified by disastrous ratings with circa -28 points), thus trying to ensure legal protection of the governing elite also popularily dubbed the governing gang of Latvia. President is of no help here either, because upon his return from the UN General Assembly opening session his answer to the media was, that he has learned about the situation in domestic affairs from media only, and most probably would convene the State Security Council session on October 3.

So, while the world economy is waiting for the effects of the US subprime market on the rest of the US economy and Latvian economy is overheated Latvian member of the parliament, Mr Viktors Ščerbatihs managed to win the gold medal in the super heavyweight class power lifting championships in Bangkok. Also the freshly elected speaker of the parliament Gundars Daudze still had to serve his shift in the Ventspils Hospital as anesteziologist. Accidentally both MP's are members of the Union of Farmers & Greens, who's sponsor is sitting under house arrest. No, I have nothing against Mr Ščerbatihs winning the gold and the speaker of the parliament still managing his shifts in the hospital. But then the PM should not be surprised about the ineffetiveness of the parliament, and the public that laments governing gang should think about the party programs and not only how well the person looks in TV adds before they go to the election booths.

New Era (JL) party is ready to demand resignation of the PM today (Monday, October 1). I am afraid that PM is too weak to accept that he has lost all his credibility. Even the member of governing elite the Fatherland Union has demanded special meeting with the PM, because the coalition agreement assigns the post of the Minister of Economics to the Fatherland Union (TB/LNNK). The PM, however, has not found time to meet the TB/LNNK candidate Einārs Cilinskis due to his busy work schedule, although he actually met him in the public radio station. There is the feeling in the air of something to unravel soon, because there is not a single thinking person in Latvia who could trust the gvernment of incumbent prime minister. The price hikes of electricity, gas an oil shall have their effect at the end of October. The budget for the 2008 is being prepared with 0,51% surplus instead of the 2% that experts had advised the government.

Well, its long known that governing gang in Latvia thinks about short term interest of the gangsta members and not the long term interests of the country as a whole. Appearance of Aigars Štokenbergs in all the media channels today make me reckon, that he is prepared as a savior of the sinking coalition. Thus, the end of the government is right on the threshold, and hopefully disagreements of the existing coalition shall also foster snap elections, because TP stole October 2006 elections after all. Lets wait now, whether there shall be some more ludicrous anouncements of the governing gang about rings of international gangsters encircling Latvia or Mr Soros financiers networks, or the government shall simply step down?


mel said...

Is it really the end? Over all these years, with all the corruption and scandals in politics, it has never been this bad. Zatlers is too scared to do a Vaira. There is no hero left in the system; even the "acceptable" politicians are not acceptable anymore. The entire political elite is crashing.

With the economy about to explode and destroy the budget process, if the "list" is revealed it will all but condemn an entire generation of politicians from nearly all parties -- and cause paralysis not just in Saeima, but the Riga City Council, Ventspils, Jelgava, etc.

And this is why there are "dead towns" all over Latvia as they settle en masse in Ireland. People are sick of this BS. And this will no doubt increase. And when not just the village labourers go but rather the intellectuals and educated go in droves, this country is headed for disaster that even the Soviets couldn't do. It will commit suicide.

If the politicians of Latvia is learning, sadly it is not learning from Denmark or even Estonia, or goodness, even Italy. It's learning from post-colonial Africa! Latvia would already be a pariah state and a banana republic if it had oil!

Scary...scary... Maybe it's time to make Helsinki or Tallinn (or even Tartu) more of a home!!!

Baltic said...

Today (October 1) the 2008 budget had to be in parliament prior parliamentary session in Octeber 8, but it is not there yet. Edgars Gulbis affair and suspension of Loskutovs from KNAB directors post is a smokescreen for Kempmayer and Lembergate court cases and Lattelecom privatization. In the meantime I do not understand why did they have to invent Gulbis affair and how come they connect it with the attempted blowing up of the head of the Customs Office anti corruption unit Vladimirs Vashkevics....
Your analysis about hemorreaging countryside, aye, nothing more to add. And for Latvian politicanos it has always been torturous to accept good governance practices from Nordic states.......