This 2012 satirical animation about austerity, by Mark Fiore in the USA, is called Great Latvia Success Story!
From British daily The Morning Star:
Latvian workers fight against cuts
Thursday 18 June 2009
Thousands of angry workers have staged a protest in central Riga against the centre-right government’s recent decision to slash their wages, pensions and other benefits.
Demonstrators included public-sector staff such as teachers and doctors, who are seeing their salaries cut by 20 per cent and pensions by 10 per cent as the government reduces expenditure to satisfy international lenders.
That comes on top of a 15 per cent wage reduction that the government approved earlier in the year.
The protest was the first since Latvian MPs gave the green light to some $1 billion (£620m) in spending cuts, which the US-dominated International Monetary Fund and the European Union set as a condition for a bail-out loan.
European economic and monetary affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia announced today that Riga can expect a decision from Brussels on releasing a further 1.2 billion euros (£1bn) in loans before the end of the month.
Mr Almunia said that the loan would be discussed at an EU summit today, reiterating that the commission supported the Latvian government‘s intention to maintain its currency peg to the euro.
For years, Latvia was touted by neoliberal pundits as a “Baltic Tiger,” an example of a former socialist country that had successfully completed the transition to a capitalist economy.
But the market meltdown has hit the country particularly hard and output is expected to fall by up to 20 per cent this year.
Latvia’s health minister resigned on Wednesday in protest at swingeing health service cuts, which entail hospital closures.
A government spokeswoman insisted that this would not undermine Riga’s governing coalition, led by Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis of the conservative-populist New Era party.
Maybe a Brave “New Era” for corporate fat cats; but an era for workers that goes back to bad old days of poverty.