Thursday, February 26, 2009

Good luck Valdis Dombrovskis!

In a quarter an hour the President of Latvia should speak at the press conference. After former Prime Minister Godmanis handed in his letter of resignation Latvia needed a new PM quickly. Urgency of decision making is needed due to the structural problems of the Latvian economy [rather ominously Latvian president would hold talks with the prominent group of economic experts after the press conference today] as well as due to the ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. As if to prove the speed of decision making in Latvia also the Latvian Parliament started their session early today [listening to the live session of the Saeima on LR], and already with 85 YEA voices passed the constitutional amendments in first reading, while agreeing that those same amendments would be voted in second reading on March 10, 2009. Those are the same constitutional amendments that brought about 650 000 Latvian citizens to the election booths last summer. It seems as if the parliament is in a hurry now to pass all the presidential requirements prior the deadline of March 31 expires, because the parliament plans also to pass the amendments in election law in the third and final reading.


The president already announced that he would decide between the two candidates - Valdis Dombrovskis and Edgars Zalāns. From the experience, skills, merits... and finally from the common sense point of view [you do not trust the party representative who created all this mess!] the president should give Valdis Dombrovskis a chance to form a large coalition government.

The president just came [9:40CET] out with his announcement and common sense still prevails in Republic of Latvia - Valdis Dombrovskis is a new PM nominee!

At the end there was only one...


Photo: Lita Krone (LETA/Diena)



Valdis Dombrovskis nominated other two opposition Civic Union and Society for Another Politics parties as the immediate partners in the upcoming coalition building process. People's Party (PP), Union of Greens and Farmers as well as Fatherland and Freedom Party would be asked to participate in coalition building process, that should together give them 64 vote majority in the hundred member Saeima. According to Dombrovskis he expects the new government to be formed within two weeks. The president announced that he has listened to solid promises from the expected coalition parties to take part in the newly formed government, and if some of the parties would fail to support the future government then it would be the responsibility of those parties themselves, thus basically allowing the president still to stick to the ominous March 31 deadline. The PP behavior was suspicious during last days, and it felt as if they neither want to have the PM post nor want to support the opposition candidate for the PM office. The issue of early elections is still looming above the parliamentarians, and it clashes with the personal interests of certain members of care taking government now. The upcoming two weeks would be hot, and I would not exclude the scenario of the majority of MP's not being able to agree on the Valdis Dombrovskis future cabinet.

Finnish author and cartoonist Jukka Rislaki presented a rather colourful vision of the present Latvian environment. The parliament is discussing amendments in election law right at this moment and while listening to the speeches I am sadly realizing how backward Latvian MP's are. Those issues they discuss now, should have been discussed fifteen years ago. At economically turbulent times, when different fiscal and economic policies should be discussed Latvian MP's are still busy with polity matters, huh, uhhh. Anyway, lai sokas Valdi Dombrovski!



Text in Latvian: [Phoenix] New Government, Phoenix wants to rise from ashes again

Cartoon: Juka Rislaki

P.S. For those of you reading Estonian here is my Delfi piece today.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been dealing with some exporting companies here in Latvia for three years now, and tomorrow is my last day here-we are leaving.

It is sad country today.

nelielriidziniece said...

"The parliament is discussing amendments in election law right at this moment and while listening to the speeches I am sadly realizing how backward Latvian MP's are. Those issues they discuss now, should have been discussed fifteen years ago."

For a truly sad experience, take a look at Saeima's stenogrammas about the electoral law during the 5th, 6th, 7th and even 8th Saeima. Virtually everything discussed yesterday (I used the tiešraide option to watch/listen) has been discussed on the floor of the Saeima in the past - including Leiškalns' third revival of introducing panachage (though in the past, he didn't advocate turning LV into one district).

Tik un tā - it's great that locomotives were banned, even if it took an ultimatum from Zatlers. Nu, un .... onward. : ) Introducing the use of an Electors' Register (used in every other European country, except for LV, but not on the agenda of any of LV's parties), would be a big plus, since proportionality - which is mandated by the Satversme-would finally be introduced into the post-1993 LV world of politics.

Luarvik said...

Interesting! So what's Dombrovskis personal background, is he a Russian-speaker, even though his first name wouldn't point in that direction?

Baltic said...

To anonymous:

Sad indeed, and as Janis Ixtens said lately,and rather many Baltic Germans during the early 20th century already (:), and increasing number of Latvians in Sweden, Germany and US, Canada - that Latvians are able to fight for their country and unable to govern:(...

to nelielridzeniece:

Yeax, truly sad indeed and bully pulpit is needed, and faster we get those "vecie sakārņi" out the better. Electors register - on y va!!!! LVRB darbs turpinās!

to Luarvik:

He is ethnic Latvian with most probably Polish ancestry:) [differently from Estonia there is no tradition to Latvianize ones surnames a'la Suvorov-Suurvālja or as it was customary prior WW2 Freiberg - Briivkalns:)] But by now most of his personal details are in big numbers out in the net already:)

Kā vniemēr baigi gari sanāca, sorry. said...

As far as I have noticed- comments here are off topic, so I will allow my self to write one.

Foreign companies are leaving, local enterprises are closing.. And as You may agree- I am not exaggerating.

My question concerns crucial part of Latvians- the youth. Should they stay and struggle with whole left nation or should they leave.

I predict that Your first answer would be that everybody has their own heads (un ja tās nav domātas, lai neļautu ūdenim lietus laikā pilēt rumpī, tad izdomās..).

However, I am more interested in politically and economically oriented answer.

And reason for this is fallowing:
It took quite awhile for Latvian political elite decide who would govern the state. For God's sake- now it is done.

It took a single night for Mr Dombrovskis to draw his vision of budget and its cuts and the very next day he was introduced to real economic situation and to deteils of agreement with the IMF by employees of FinMin. Well, 2 days for that- and now they are thinking of renegotiations with the IMF.

And here is where I start wondering.. How long will it take until they will get to demographic picture that usually concludes economic analyses by foreign observers? and in this context- how would Latvia attract young and perspective people? education is not really cheaper any more compared to same level universities in Europe; perhaps living cost is cheaper, but that comes expense of much lower socio- economic conditions.

To make it short:
Is demographic factor important and what should Mr Dombrovskis (if he manages to succeed) to in this regard?
What should Latvian youth do?

Baltic said...

Baigi gari sanāca...

It was quite long indeed...

>>What should Latvian youth do?

study, and one more time STUDY!!

First, about the Latvian youth. If they want to get the best education then after BA studies in Latvia at least for my own students I suggested all these years, that they SHOULD study for MA and PhD in the West. Why? Because of broadening their worldview and learning other institutional cultures (that IS UTTERLY importat in social sciences). BA studies in hard sciences and social sciences differ, thus those mathematics, chemistry and physics students who work under their professor's supervision with visits in Germany, Scandinavia can carry on.....just the BIG Q now is, how the lattest budget cuts would affect the whole education system??


Is demographic factor important and what should Mr Dombrovskis (if he manages to succeed) to in this regard?

it is VERY IMPORTANT and Valdis Dombrovskis, I believe, knows the basic data. If you ask me, then I do not forsee any other solution for LATVIJA without opening its political and economic system to the world's best minds! I have certain ideas/plans in this regard, but do not believe that in these precarious times the present political leadership would be even willing to contremplate about them:)

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