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Wednesday 20.06.2018 | Name days: Rasa, Rasma, Maira
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Slesers: we have nothing, we are just waiting for statistics to improve

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Ainars Slesers

After twenty years of independence, the economies of three Baltic States Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have gone different paths. Estonia is currently in the lead, followed by Lithuania, with Latvia taking the last place. BNN surveyed the politicians that were not elected in the new Parliament, on why, in their opinion, Latvia is lagging behind its Baltic neighbours.

«The answer is simple – we are stagnating. Over the past two and a half years Latvia complied with the international lenders’ conditions, living «from hand to mouth». However, certain decisions must be taken,» the businessman and politician Ainars Slesers indicates in a discussion with BNN.

As an example, he mentions the government’s report on residence permits. Along with amendments to the Immigration Law the total July 2010 – July 2011 investments comprise over 66 million lats. The politician thinks that the sum could have hit already about 100 million lats.

«There is a feeling of amateurism. The government is buying and selling, yet there is no analysis of benefits to the national economy,» Slesers says.

Likewise, the leader of Slesers Reform Party does not understand the government’s current political focus on business. «We have to think about how to boost competition, yet instead we are struggling with offshores. In my view, we need to know all about investors in the energy and military industry, which we do not have. It do not care where people get money to open hotels,» Slesers says, adding that neither Estonia, nor Lithuania is in such a situation.

«We have nothing. We are just waiting for the statistics to improve,» Slesers characterizes the government’s performance.

As regards airBaltic, Slesers believes there is no need to glorify the airline, even if its departure is a very heavy loss for the Latvian business. «A new terminal has to be built to attract new airlines. In this way, Nordic countries’ air space would grow in competitiveness,» Slesers says. “I see no no people generating ideas, just those putting money from one pocket into another one».

While the former deputy Jakovs Pliners regrets living in a «stolen country», where no one is responsible for anything.

He asks many rhetorical questions – why products in Latvia are more expensive than in the neighbouring countries? Why the Latvian health care is the most expensive but the worst at the same time?

In his view, the first major mistake is population’s division into citizens and non-citizens. It fostered lack of patriotism. «If Russian nationals’ status was not degraded, it would have been much easier for Latvia to cooperate with the West and the East,» Pliners says, adding that Russia could actually buy all goods from Latvia, regardless whether they are tights or cans of sprats.

Pliners notes there is massive corruption prevailing in Latvia. The government is combating it, yet unsuccessfully.

«No one is held responsible for airBaltic’s contracts or 27 million lats shortage in the Southern Bridge construction detected by the State Audit Office,» the politician says.

At the same time, in his opinion, the government often does not accept investments that could promote the national economy. «We are not lobbying our businesses,» Pliners says, noting that other successful projects are missed out on as well.

«As they say – the more there are cats and the less mice, the better the harvest,» Pliners concludes.


Leave a reply

  1. AC says:

    I think some people managed to squeeze out quite a lot over the last 20 years, including Mr S.

  2. rita says:

    Want some other company to milk out?

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