Latvian center-left wins elections

This video shows veterans of Adolf Hitler’s Waffen SS demonstrating in Riga, Latvia.

Hopefully, after today’s elections, these parades of nazi criminals will belong to the past, just as the Danish xenophobes also lost at the recent elections.

After Denmark, today Latvia …

By Tom Mellen:

Centre-left alliance advances in Latvia

Sunday 18 September 2011

A centre-left alliance which campaigned for renegotiating a 2008 EU loan-for-austerity deal won the most votes in Latvia’s parliamentary elections over the weekend.

Harmony Centre (HC) had won 29.2 per cent of the vote with 95 per cent of the ballots counted on Sunday.

A key demand of the alliance, which unites left-wing socialists and social democrats, is the revision of a €7.5 billion (£6.5bn) loan that former president Valdis Zatlers accepted from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in December 2008.

One in five voters picked Mr Zatlers’s right-wing Reform Party while Unity, the senior coalition partner, came third with 18.2 per cent – a sharp drop from the 31.2 per cent it got last year.

The far-right National Alliance secured 13.78 per cent and the populist Union of Greens and Farmers took 12.12 per cent.

The Reform and Unity parties have launched coalition talks in a bid to freeze out HC.

But HC MP Andrejs Klementjevs insisted that the alliance will work to play a key role in any government.

Attempts to marginalise it were “disrespectful towards our voters because a third of Latvian citizens supported and voted for us,” he said.

HC is widely seen as “pro-Russian” because it gets a lot of its support from the country’s 2.2 million native Russian speakers.

But it has broadened its base by calling for the renegotiation of the hated EU-IMF “rescue package” that aimed to maintain Latvia’s fixed exchange rate with the euro.

After accepting the loan, then president Mr Zatlers cut public-sector wages and pensions and increased VAT.

The country’s economy shrank by over a quarter between 2008 and 2010, while unemployment has surged.

US ambassador to Latvia Judith Garber sent a cable to the US State Department in December 2009 warning that “any HC participation in a future cabinet would present us with challenges.”

In the cable, which was released by Wikileaks earlier this month, Ms Garber said that she was “preparing for the real possibility that a Moscow-oriented party may find itself sharing in the governance of a Nato ally.”

See also here.

About 50,000 trade unionists from around Europe marched through the Polish town of Wroclaw on Saturday to press European finance ministers to ditch neoliberal dogma in favour of economic policies that foster growth and social justice: here.

State schoolteachers kicked off a two-day strike and rallied in Madrid today to press the regional government not to sacrifice quality comprehensive education on the altar of austerity: here.

5 thoughts on “Latvian center-left wins elections

  1. Right conspires to keep out left

    LATVIA: Three right-wing parties anounced today they have agreed to form a coalition to squeeze out the left-wing Harmony Centre party that topped the polls in last month’s election.

    Together former president Valdis Zatlers’s Reform party, the Unity association and the All for Latvia movement will have 56 seats in the country’s 100-strong parliament.

    The Harmony Centre stays in opposition with 31 seats.


  2. Centre-left voters stage protest

    Latvia: Supporters of the centre-left Harmony Centre alliance protested outside the country’s Parliament yesterday.

    Over 1,000 protesters blew horns and waved posters saying “No ethnic discrimination.”

    The party was kept out of the coalition government despite winning nearly one-third of parliamentary seats in September elections, but six MPs have split from one of the coalition parties, effectively nullifying the coalition.


  3. Pingback: Anti-democratic Moscow police | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Monday 04 March 2013

    Riga launches bid for euro

    LATVIA: A government spokesman said today that a formal request to adopt the euro would be given to European Union monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn tomorrow in Brussels.

    Latvia has met the required financial criteria, including levels of state debt, budget deficit and inflation.

    But polls indicated that nearly two-thirds of Latvia’s population is against swapping the lat for the euro.


  5. Pingback: Latvian supermarket tragedy, caused by construction industry corruption? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.