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Sunday 24.06.2018 | Name days: Jānis

British magazine calls Riga a “ghost town”

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn Latvia, Riga has become a ghost town – writes British The New Statesman.

The British-based Polish author of the article Agata Pyzik describes Latvia’s capital city of Riga in an especially depressing way, saying that some of Riga’s areas look like a “set for a ghost town in a low-budget western”, where alcohol and second-hand shops dominate the area.

“A few minutes by tram outside the old town, which is showered with public money, a different reality emerges”, – she writes. She mentioned old wooden buildings and crumbling tenements.

The portal mentions the massive emigration from the poor Latvia, the residents of which are punished with poor welfare conditions and anti-Russian politics.

The New Statesman mentions the oppression of Russian speakers and “results of the local elections in June, won decisively by the social-democratic Harmony Centre” […], which “is dismissed as a Russian party by the ruling coalition of neoliberals and the far-right National Alliance.”

According to the author of the article, the anti-Russian politics in Latvia “is an attempt to justify privatization and austerity”. And the fact that Latvians did not oppose the government’s austerity measures, according to the author, is because of “the cynical manipulation of ethnic differences”.

She also claims that, aside from poverty, unemployment and emigration, Latvia’s problems include “official history […] with rising ethnic nationalism leading to events such as the absurd annual commemoration of Latvian Waffen SS divisions”.


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  1. Serguei says:

    This guy has pecfectly understood what Latvia is.Remarkable article.

  2. disaster says:

    yes i agree welfare is poor,but RIGA is not a ghost town,my self was living there for almost 25 years, i dont know which part of the city you saw.
    about emigration-have you (Agata Pyzik) ever counted how many polish is in
    UK? its definitely got to be more than latvians,why did you left your country???? the one and only problem why we left is corupted goverment,thats wy we dont have jobs,thats why we left latvia,goverment sucks money from EU and does nothing,unfortunately i have been in latvian jail for 1.5 MONTHS ,believe me ,it was in april-cold,rats,radiators frozen,crapy food…..
    goverment said they got cash to rebuild jails,all they did is built brand new police station,the same thing is with roads,bils,parks,forests,who got money has power,i think in poland is the same thing so thats why you all run from there.
    P.S sergueei-nesuj svoj nos tam gde sobaka huj nesujot :)

  3. Lithuanian says:

    Latvia is doing OK. Facades of the building is not the most important thing you have to do first. I can tell you every city has problematic districts, Tallinn, Vilnius or Warsaw or any other place in the world – with no exception. What I like especially about Riga – people. Latvians, at least the ones I’ve met, tended to be very creative, broadly-thinking and communicative. The only thing I like less about Latvia – concentration on one city. Some roads/infrastructure 50km+ outside Riga are in obnoxious state, e.g. unpaved, unsigned, unlighted. In Estonia/Lithuania there is more of a feeling, that governments of these countries at least try to maintain the same level of infrastructure/public services throughout whole territory of the land. PS: It is funny to read Polish journalists criticizing Riga. In Lithuania there is a big allergy towards Polish journalists, which proved to be utterly subjective over the last 5 years, so in LT they are rejected straightforward and even ignored. No one cares what PL thinks of us. So this article on Latvia is quite funny, maybe trying to escalate some reaction in Latvian society, but I hope it will be ignored in LV.

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