Thursday, January 27, 2011

Debates in the Lettish parliament

Foreign policy debates in the Lettish parliament are back to stay! One may wonder why I am so confident about it? Answer is rather simple, because the logic of political debate determines that one must discuss something that is appealing to the average voter's ears and foreign policy issues will always sound better than marginal change of value added tax or change of transformation of urban zoning law etc. It was positive to witness thus many ambassadors present in person and swarming of TV crews which tried to make yesterday's event into media event.

Even though the Minister of Foreign Affairs slipped his tongue in a funny way the debates in the parliament showed consensus - that irrespective of the political affiliation all the political groups in the parliament publicly support ongoing and present strategic goals of the Republic of Latvia. Debates looked dry from the first instant and if not Atis Lejiņš public speech endowments the whole event could be characterized as a dry bureaucratic occasion.

Also the former prime minister created quite a stir when contrary to his party traditional position he came out of a closet to support the creation of the United States of Europe. Janīna Kursīte tried to keep her Baltic line and referred to the problems stemming from the irony that Latvians and Lithuanians have to mutually learn about the developments in neighbors' country through the means of Russian media. Several MP's and the Minister of Defense emphasized the need to invest more in programs of development assistance particularly keeping in mind Latvian efforts with other coalition partners to reconstruct the civil war torn Afghanistan. Debates lasted almost five hours and institutionalized a new tradition in the Lettish parliament. Gradually Latvian political life returns back to normal but to announce that normalcy has returned to the economically worse hit EU member state there are still very specific structural reforms to be done.


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