«We, Latvia’s society, have to understand – if we want to be masters of our own land and enjoy the fruits of welfare, we have to cease quietly accepting the terrible actions carried out by questionable officials. We must demand that our government comply with the same laws they adopt. Those who cannot or will not comply should be driven out,» – believes Ventspils City Council deputy Aivis Landmanis.
«Twenty five years have passed since the restoration of Latvia’s independence, which began with the founding of the public movement (Latvian People’s Front), approval of Latvia’s declaration of independence and finally – the international recognition of Latvia’s independence. We hoped we would be the masters of our land. We believed that in a quarter of a century’s time we would be living a truly democratic country, where respecting laws is welcome and encouraged and corruption, robbing the country and lawlessness of officials is severely punished and condemned,»– said Landmanis in an interview to BNN.
He believes the state government told the people: «We have done everything for you to be proud of – you live in a democratic country that is part of the European Union and you are protected by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. We are told that our country’s sovereign power belongs to the Latvian people and that we are all bound by the same principle: One Law – One Justice for All. Throughout the years that followed the restoration of our country’s independence we were continuously told – be patient, tighten your belts, and we will soon see an economic breakthrough and start living in wealth.»
«Let’s stop hoping. No economic breakthrough and no increase of welfare will come any time soon.
Welfare is the prize earned by truly free, democratic and law-abiding people. Unfortunately, we have become servants to masters on our own land. The best we can hope for at the moment is satisfying the insatiable appetites of our masters. This time we don’t have to search for any German barons or Russians. Our new ‘masters’ are among us. They compose our government, which itself is composed of former special agents, ideological secretaries and members of certain political parties. They are a government that stands above laws.
We have no one but ourselves to blame. We are the ones who put those masters in power. We are the ones who accepted the robbing of our country and forceful take-over of our country’s most valuable assets. We are the ones who allowed them to drag countless banks, companies and freeports into scandals. Even now we witness how billions provided by Europe often end up spent on useless projects without a second guess as to whether or not our country even needs them or even if chosen locations for those projects are even capable of providing effective load (for example, in Ventpils) and even whether or not it can bring any benefit at all to Latvia’s national economy without becoming a burden for the budget. We never complain, we sometimes feel proud and happy that the people who waste our country’s resources openly demonstrate their impunity. We still naively believe the promises made by officials that our and Europe’s neat flower beds, streets, opened buildings, issued benefits are an example of true welfare. We are incredibly naïve. This is why all we do is observe how more and more people leave the country,» – adds the deputy.
The politician notes that «Salman Rushdie, a British writer of Indian origin, mentioned in his opening speech at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair: ‘Limiting freedom of expression is not just censorship, it is also an assault on human nature. Without that freedom of expression, all other freedoms fail.’ Ventspils is a place where any person can see the true Latvia, which is ruled by a personality cult, a dictator. It is a Latvia where censure, limitation of the freedom of speech and persecution of differently minded people is an everyday occurrence. Every person living in Ventspils knows who the ruler of this land truly is. People living in Ventspils know very well who is expected to respect the law and pay taxes. They also know the names of the people who are untouchable, corrupt and may as well lead our country into ruin. Unfortunately, the government fully supports what is happening in Ventspls. So it is no surprise that the methods used by the pioneer responsible for ruining our country’s lawful structure and welfare are more and more often used by many other municipalities and government structures nowadays.»
Addressing government representatives, Landmanis emphasizes that the Mayor of Tallinn Edgars Savisaars, who is accused of corruption, is prohibited from taking posts in governments of any kind. «In our country you make it look like you don’t’ notice the lawlessness in state administration. You have accepted clear breaches of the law and rulings of courts of justice committed by the Mayor of Ventspils. You indifferently watch as a person who is accused of committing serious crimes limits other people’s freedom of speech, carries out repressions and makes all kinds of decisions involving state properties. Many of you are actively involved in support of such people. You readily provide them with beneficial decisions, state and Europe’s millions without taking a second thought as to how this impacts state security. You expect the population to pay taxes and respect the law. Before you ask this much of the people, prove you are their servants and not the other way around,» – said Landmanis.