Bill Mitchell kirjutab:
The American journalist Andrew Higgins wrote in the New York Times (January 1, 2013) article – Used to Hardship, Latvia Accepts Austerity, and Its Pain Eases – that Latvia had become the poster child for those who advocated the “healing properties of deep budget cuts”.
Christine Lagarde visited Riga in late 2012 and announced that the IMF was:
… proud to have been part of Latvia’s success story
Earlier, Andrew Higgins told us in a Wall Street Journal article (December 1, 2008) – How to Combat a Banking Crisis: First, Round Up the Pessimists – that it doesn’t pay to criticise the neo-liberal Groupthink in Latvia.
Hammered by economic woe, this former Soviet republic recently took a novel step to contain the crisis. Its counterespionage agency busted an economist for being too downbeat … Investigators suspect him of spreading “untruthful information.” They’ve ordered him not to leave the country and seized his computer.
There were many examples of the secret police detaining people for expressing concern about the situation within Latvia.
The Finance Minister spokesperson said of the vigilance by the Secret Police:
It is a form of deterrence.
Another commentator said that “It is regarded as unpatriotic to criticize”.
Well some might have been ordered by the secret police “not to leave the country” but a substantial portion of the population has certainly not heeded that advice.
Here is the quarterly change in the Latvian population estimates from the first quarter 1995 to the first-quarter 2015. At the worst part of the crisis, the nation was losing more than 12 thousand people every three months.
Since March 2007, Latvia’s population has shrunk by 10.2 per cent.