Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Farmers protesting in Riga while transport supremo playing Godfather...(updated)

A week ago farmers promised to arrive to Riga unless their demands would be met. Their demands were not met and they are in Riga today. This time I am following the events from Brussels where I am due to the research project, however you may follow a good photo coverage on farmers camping in Riga downtown here.

Apparently government has met farmers demands about the issue of export subsidies in sum of LVL27mlj. Farmers announced earlier that they would not leave the town until all (!) their demands are met, and the minister of agriculture resigns. The minister of agriculture is not up to his tasks and his performance just makes the prime minister to save his "face" with his palm again...(remember the press conference with the odious minister of finance:)

Prime minister Godmanis and Minister of Agriculture Roze at the press conference about the state of agriculture in Latvia, February 2009

Photo: Delfi

Prime minister saving his "face" wont help this time, because the vote of no confidence expects him tomorrow at the house of parliament . His workaholic habits and inability to delegate responsibilities to the rest of the cabinet are all too well known for years now.
Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis back in 1993
Photo: Apollo
Ivars Godmanis is kept as a poodle in short leash by his alter ego, the minister of transport (note the difference in his education credentials in English and Latvian:), who lives in his own world of nouveau riche glamour and as a true Christian he truly believes in conspiracies. As if farmers protests would not be serious enough, there is a bill prepared in the cabinet that would flush LVL25mlj. into the sphere of religious tourism reports the opposition MP Sandra Kalniete (Civic Union) in her blog today.
Disagreements in the governing coalition are deep, but I would not bet all hundred percent on the fact that the government would receive the vote of no confidence tomorrow. While the Peoples Party (PP) Parteigenosse announced that PP considers the present governing coalition incapacitated five days ago, then yesterday we received Parteigenosse announcement saying that the PP would not vote AYE during the vote of no confidence on the Ivars Godmanis government. Here you have the prime evidence about the present governing coalition key figures' inability to form a single coherent policy within a single week! Why do people wonder about the inefficient communications of the government with the public or about the failed Republic of Latvia for the last couple of years now?
Lets wait for the vote of no confidence tomorrow:)
Diena just announced that the Minister of Agriculture, Mārtiņš Roze promised to resign to unspecified participants of the farmers protests actions. The government spokesmen Mr Vaikulis asked farmers to leave the town, but nobody knows when exactly the minister of agriculture would resign. The Latvian TV first channel announced that the guest of the the evening 100 pants programme would be Mr Roze, and one could predict his resignation prior this programme or fait accompli announcement during the programme.
The Latvian TV 100 pants emission is over now (its 21.00CET), and Mr Mārtiņš Roze announced that he is resigning from the Minister of Agriculture office, and that he would hand over the letter of resignation to the PM on Wednesday. Rather undiplomatically, while Diena journalists asked about prime ministers future reaction and whether there are any more replacements forthcoming, the PM responded: "as you might have already noticed our ranks are decreasing, we are shot one by one", but all in all, the future situation depends on the vote of no confidence in Saeima on Wednesday. (“kā redzat, mēs paliekam mazāk, mūs pa vienam atšauj”, bet kopumā uzsvēra, ka viss atkarīgs no trešdienas Saeimas balsojuma par neuzticību valdībai.)
P.S. Here is the discussion we had with colleagues on the image EU has among Latvian public today, and how eager the people of Latvia are to take part in democratic governance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like to take breaks throughout the day and browse via some blogs to determine what others are saying. This blog appeared in my searches and I could not assist but clicking on it. I'm pleased I did because it absolutely was a really satisfying study.

my website is

Also welcome you!