Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Free fall of the government continued (updated)

Because the Baltic States economies are interdependently connected it should be obvious that tremors in one economy is reverberated into another. The Bank of Estonia downgraded the 2008 Estonia's economic growth prognosis of the ministry of finance from 3,7 to 2%. In the meantime Latvian PM probably likes his media promoted "image of martyrdom", and still finds optimism saying that Latvia can manage soft landing. It does not help the government from its continued free fall after all. It is widely known that PM works hard (lights in his Brīvības St. cabinet are constantly on long after midnight), however, the ministers he works with are the same as in previous government.


It is Thursday morning, and there is Saeima session today. The Lettish talking shop/parliament (parler - to talk in French) should approve Jānis Kāžociņš as the head of the Latvian Security Service (SAB) today, and the State Security Council already reached the consensus in his support. Actually there were quite many politicians (Jaundžeikars, Segliņš, Bērziņš Gundars) who openly continue to show their dissatisfaction with such a consensus agreement. Saeima would vote openly today (at least MP's said so), thus it would be interesting to see those ominous AYE's and NAY's.

Political system is still reconfigured in Latvia. Rumours whirl about all kind of constellations, possible JL+TP block, fall of government due to the inability to agree on the administrative reform, and myriad of other petit politique issues. President in the meantime openly scolded the E-minister for agreeing to celebrate her birthday in the ministry whilst using taxpayers monies. Both PM and president even think that such misshap is thus serious that she should consider stepping down from her post as the minister. Both gentlemen comfortably forget that Mr Goodman's paymaster Šlesers alias Transport Supremo should be literally sent to the moon for all his MISSHAPS as the minister. Also we have tax evading president, and neither Internal Revenue Service (VID) nor parliament considers it as a problem. But that is too much as to expect rational behaviour from Latvian ministers and incumbent president, however, still sad...


It is Saturday evening and after ominous birthday celebration the Prime Minister accepted resignation of the E-Minister Ina Gudele. She headed the E-secretariat as the Special Assignments Minister responsible for Electronic Governance. It means that on Monday the head of the government and his public relation people will have to think hard. Because the question now is about the face saving of the government, and stakes are high. How to simultaneously legitimize acceptance of E-Minister's resignation for entertaining civil servants at her birthday party for the scanty 1000EUR of taxpayers monies, and explain why he still intimately holds to Transport Supremo who allowed bankruptcy of the Latvian Post Plc. and overlooks one of the most expensive road building cartels in the world (proven by the State Audit Office!!!)?

Opposition party quite correctly pointed out to the coalition government the need to rethink the raison d'etre of the E-secretariat. The major reason for creating such an institution was to introduce the system of electronic signatures and to help to digitize the work of Latvian government. Electronic signature system is still miles away, and just compare official Estonian and Latvian e-governance webpages to understand the difference. In the meantime coalition government reiterates that the "good work" of the e-secretariat should be continued, brrrrr...

P.S. Actually there are three Special assignment ministries at the present moment in Latvia - secretariats of E-governance, social integration and EU funds governance - with special assignment ministers heading them. At the time when global economic downturn is just on the threshold, it would be efficient and also reasonable to integrate the e-secretariat into the ministry of transport and communications, EU funds governance into ministry of finance, and finally the social integration is the function also ministry of justice deals with. The BIGGEST problem in Latvia is the stagnant administrative structure however. Ministers, whilst following the path of totalitarian Soviet social structure, serve their mandate not as servants (ministere - to serve in Latin) but literally as masters to their flock of slaves...and the slave mentality is as prevalent among majority in this country as the master mentality among minuscule gang of questionably educated tricksters, unfortunately.

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