Today Latvian megalomaniac transport supremo in the TV morning program announced that the Latvian flag carrier air Baltic would start direct flights to New York and would fly to Big Apple four times a week! As a typical Latvian politician he did not specify when the flights would actually start but only reminded that the visa freedom with the US, that starts from November 17, 2008, is the first prerequisite for such regular flights to start. The president of the airliner Mr Bertold Flick was close to the earth in his pronouncements saying that it is too early to plan such an expansion to the North American market, particularly taking the global economic recession in
The Latvian Minister of Transport is long known for his colourful announcements, and he could have simply announced that Latvian planes would start direct flights to the moon... . He was talking also on the Latvian Public Radio this morning, where he reemphasized his achievements in road building sector. It just sounded a bit silly that his only emphasis was on the upgrade of the Riga - Moscow highway. It is long known that transport supremo has his business colleagues in Russia. Thus starting to upgrade potholed highway to Moscow sounds normal from the business point of view. However, the Moscow direction is not the only one, and there are other priorities for the Ministry of Transportation and Communications as well.
Too much focus on his business partners is not good because it blurs the vision of a servant of the state (ministere in Latin-to serve). Hastily announcing plans about the expansion of the Airbaltic to the North American market, or building the Skyscraper city in RIX vicinity without real costs & benefits analysis is nonsense. Also transport supremo so far was used to have ´´relatively loose´´ resources of taxpayers monies, but the reawakening of civil society and ´´seven fat years´´ are fast drying up now, and it is expensive to borrow outside Latvia due to global financial crisis. That explains Mr Slesers announcement about his plans to run for the Maire of Riga office, thus another cow to milk? Continuation of his boastful image and disregard for the previously agreed rules of the game could appear ruinous not only for him but also for his political party. Next year´s municipal elections will be the real test for him and other members of the Latvian governing clique, unless the MP´s would not opt for change of the government and consequent muddling of the waters.
Text in Latvian: ´´Minister of Transport during the ornithologist days sneers - winged weaklings´´!
Cartoon: Gatis Sluka