Comments on: Latvian elections approach under high tension EU news and policy debates across languages Mon, 08 Apr 2019 14:38:46 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ngonyama Fri, 07 Sep 2018 13:29:20 +0000 Thank you Vidvuds Beldavs.

Don’t forget that the reason they write this crap is that they are afraid of us Europeans.

By: Vidvuds Beldavs Fri, 07 Sep 2018 09:21:02 +0000 This odd mishmash of information published under the general rubric “Latvia: Eurozone thriller” calls for comment.

It is surprising that Euractiv accepted the article which like the others in the series picks isolated, generally negative facts and claims that they have general application. It has the same tone as the other articles that gave prominent voice to Guselnikov, who has been accused of money laundering in Tomsk, Russia (2013), as a voice of credibility against Rimsevics, the central bank president.

National song festivals are a tradition that goes back to 1873. Every town, school and region participates with various forms of dance, choral music, bands, theatre and other art forms. In one way or another a quarter of the population is involved with activities starting 2 years before the event with rehearsals and new choreography of groups competing to participate. Only the best are represented among the 43,000 participants. The 100th anniversary of independence coincided with the national song festival held every 5 years.

Latvia is very pro-EU. Your statement “It is difficult to discern any sign of belonging to the EU in this eurozone country, but for the currency” points to your gross incompetence as an observer. You could have started with a visit to the EU office in Riga or observed the many EU flags or signs that bear the Eu logo or the thousands of Latvian people involved in cooperative projects with counterparts from other EU member states. I doubt that you could find Latvia on a map.

Juta Strike is a vocal spokesperson for her party. She as a former head of KNAB she is running on the issue of corruption. Latvia’s transparency rating of 44 in contrast to Russia’s shows that Latvia has made significant progress in combating corruption, but certainly corruption needs to be continually addressed. It is far from clear, however, that your primary target, Rimsevics, is corrupt despite your attempt to paint him as such. I would suggest looking more deeply into Guselnikov’s background before writing more. Also, bear in mind the finding in the MONEYVAL report that regulatory authorities in Latvia are hampered in the fight against money laundering due to lack of cooperation from counterparts in the CIS. The greater corruption takes place at the source of the funds.

You comment on SUVs and hamburgers as a sign of inordinate American influence with Latvia in your view somehow split between America and Russia with no sign of the EU other than the Euro. You write about a very strange place. It is certainly not Latvia.

There are 16 parties in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Most speak out against corruption, not just Strike. Pensions, taxes, healthcare are issues that draw greater concern. The future of the EU is a concern because most parties see a strong Latvia as a member of a strong EU as their future. The current leadership in parliament and government is committed to strengthen the EU no less than Macron or Merkel.

This article has too many flaws to comment on. Before writing your next article I would suggest doing some basic research about your topic.