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Friday 24.03.2017 | Name days: Kazimirs, Izidors
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Demographer: Kucinskis’ government does not see demography as a priority

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOpposite to what its politicians have said so far, the government of prime minister candidate Maris Kucinskis does not see demography as a priority, said demographer Ilmars Mezs in an interview to LNT.

Compared to the declaration of Laimdota Straujuma’s declaration, Mezs sees regression in the declaration of Maris Kucinskis’ forming government – the declaration of Straujuma’s government had included more promises of specific results. Kucinskis’ government declaration does not have any mention of any promises, there are only general phrases. Demography is mentioned as a priority, but the declaration has no mention of any methods of achieving this priority, said the expert.

Mezs mentioned specific examples – it is known that there are approximately 5,000 children waiting in queues to municipal kindergartens. The government declaration, however, offers no clarity as to what those children can expect. Nothing is said about summer, when state financed support for sending children to private kindergartens is expected to end. Mezs there is still a high risk of poverty for families with two or more children. But even this risk is not mentioned in the declaration.

«We waited three years to invent new bicycles. But who needs them?» – asked Mezs. «No politician would ever say he or she is against families with children. The reality is, unfortunately, that actual work is replaced with phrases like ‘It is necessary to assess options’ and ‘There is no money’». In general, Mezs said he sees more reluctance to solve demographic problems than initiative.

According to him, it will be possible to see real support to solving demographic problems in the next year’s budget – is money is allocated to measures aimed to solve demographic problems, improvements will come. If not, announcement about demography as a priority will have been empty words. This year’s budget improvements in this field are so insignificant that Mezs views them as hypocrisy.

The expert believes the government has to address the problems of emigration and re-emigration more seriously. Due to emigration, Latvia has already lost more people to other countries than to WWII.

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