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.