I have kept quiet for the most of April due to couple of projects to be finished, work at the university and forthcoming European Parliament elections. In the meantime Latvian government is trying to transform sectors of education and health care now. Last Thursday president Zatlers convened a closed government meeting and inquired about the pace of structural reforms. Presentations of the Ministers Koķe and Eglītis convinced the president Zatlers that the structural reforms have taken off from the absolute zero. By May 15 the comprehensive system of civil service remuneration system should be finally introduced in Latvia after eighteen long years.
It is hard to follow all the events because the whole state governance system is forced to transform now. In meantime there are many unknowns due to expected massive layoffs. By the end of the years there is a plan to lay off about 4000 teachers and cut the number of hospitals by half (from 56 to about 23). The reality is harsh and long postponed reforms have to be managed all at once in Latvia now. Scenarios about the future range from apocalyptic visions of Ivars Ījabs to moderate assessments of Latvia coping with the existing crisis for the next twenty years. Latvia is transforming and to paraphrase young people of the late 1980's from the Juris Podnieks movie "Is it easy to be a young person?" ("Vai viegli būt jaunam") one may conclude that it is not easy to be a Latvian citizen in 2009.