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Ceturtdiena 22.02.2018 | Name days: Rigonda, Adrians, Ārija

MEP: to prevent Baltics from dying out, we need much higher growth goals

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«The growth goals of Baltic States are currently too low if we want to not only avoid dying out, but also recovering the people that have left because of economic reasons,» said Lithuanian MEP Antans Guoga.

To recover those people, there has to be a more transparent government, more vision-focused management, more ambitions, better education system and infrastructure development plans and much higher GDP growth rate goals, Guoga says.

The MEP views Baltic States’ current GDP goals as too low. ‘If we want to catch up to Germany, Denmark or UK, we have to achieve 3% higher growth than they. ’If our growth turns out lower, our countries will simply die out, because people will keep immigrating to richer countries. And they can do that. To prevent that, we have to have ambition to accomplish much higher growth to show people that life can improve and we have plans how to achieve that,’ said the politician.

When asked if Brexit process can potentially help return Baltic residents that have immigrated to UK, Guoga says: «I cannot say if Brexit ends up creating such an opportunity, but there could be other processes around the world that could cause people to return. This includes political process in certain countries.»

The MEP believes that the current process is exactly the opposite, with more and more Lithuanians severing ties with Lithuania to live in the UK. «People want to establish their commitment to Britain because they have children and loans to pay. It will be hard to get those people back,» comments Guoga.

Speaking of the fears of Baltic residents about threats coming from Russia, the MEP promised that Baltic States are in a far better position than the one they were in during WWII.

«We need to learn from that and be prepared to support one another, as well as form the best possible defence mechanism to oppose threats. Previously we thought Americans would save us. But they never came. We have to be pro-active and do everything we can to defend out land. Only then will NATO support us. And this includes Britain and America, who will definitely defend us in the event of threats,» said Guoga.

He agrees that not all EU member states share the same opinion about the threats coming from Russia. Still, Guoga believe the EU is very united in its position towards Russia.

«The more integrated EU is, the safer people will feel. Here, in Strasbourg, we feel completely safe. For example, in Spain you’d notice threats coming from other regions of the world, from Africa to the Middle East. There is a major difference when compared with Baltic residents that live near the border with Russia and experience constant threats […],» said the politician.

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