A world in economic crisis

A little more about the Latvian crisis

Posted in Latvia by Aussie on March 19, 2010

Latvia government collapses amid economic turmoil – Telegraph

Latvia’s government first collapsed in February when its President accepted the resignation of its then Prime Minister and a new coalition government was formed.

The coalition’s fall adds to the economic problems of the small Baltic state which last year had to take a 7.5 billion euro (£6.6 billion) IMF-led rescue loan last year.

The country of 2.3 million people, a European Union and Nato member since 2004, has had a history of revolving door politics since it quit the Soviet Union in 1991, with the same parties swapping in and out of coalition governments.

The largest ruling parties, the People’s Party and the Union of Greens and Farmers, said they had lost confidence in Mr Godmanis forcing him to quit.

One opposition party said the move was aimed at eventually giving the People’s Party a tighter grip on power, and possibly the prime minister’s job, ahead of municipal elections in June.

The government is also due to make further budget cuts due to the deep slowdown after an austerity plan launched under the deal to win the IMF and EU bail out. The economy is forecast to drop 12 per cent this year.

Latvia’s central bank urged politicians to ensure they stuck to the deal and said the new team should be in place in a week.

“Most politicians want control of government, even in the worst of times,” said Krisjanis Karins of the opposition New Era party. Recent polls have shown opposition parties will win an election, but that trust in parliament is also low.

“This government fell for two reasons: one, because of its inability to act and get things done, and secondly because parties want to position themselves better before municipal elections this year,” said political commentator Karlis Streips.

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