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Latvia

Yearbook 1996

Latvia. In 1996, L. became a year of some stabilization after the turbulent 1995, with its banking crisis, GDP fall and prolonged government formation following an election that produced a very fragmented result.

 

According to Countryaah.com, President Guntis Ulmanis was re-elected in June for a second and final three-year term. He is reasonably generally considered to have held his office well and to be a stabilizing factor in the otherwise often chaotic Latvian politics.

The six-party government under Prime Minister Andris Skele survived and got a lot done, despite the occasional difficult internal teardown. Particularly, it stormed within the Democratic Party Husbonden (Democratic Party Saimnieks, DPS), the largest party in parliament. A power struggle in the party summit meant that the real couple Aivars Kreituss and Ilga Kreituse left the party and in connection with this were dismissed from their positions as finance minister and president of saeiman. New President became Alfred's Cepanis. Party leader Ziedonis Cevers also left the government. He thus appeared to be Prime Minister Skele who wanted to abolish his Vice Prime Minister post in his quest to make the government apparatus more efficient.

The economy stabilized somewhat during the year. The inflation rate continued to decline, as did the interest rates on the government debt. But growth was insignificant. The trade balance remains negative, poverty is widespread and social unrest and impatience are significant. One step that can be significant in attracting foreign investment is the decision on a balanced state budget for 1997. At the end of the year, successes were noted in the fight against the extensive smuggling traffic with not least alcohol.

In foreign policy, the approach to the EU continued. The dispute with Estonia over the fishing limits in the Gulf of Riga was resolved, following Swedish mediation. On the other hand, the contradictions with Lithuania regarding the boundary between the economic zones of both countries in the Baltic Sea, with their oil deposits, remain. Negotiations with the Russian Federation on a border treaty are on a low.

1996 Latvia

In September 1988, the Club for the Protection of Latvia's Environment (VAK) organized an environmental demonstration that gathered 45,000 people standing hand in hand along the Baltic coast in protest of the uncontrolled pollution from the Jurmala paper mill west of Riga. The following month, the Communist Party of Latvia replaced its leadership, incorporating politicians with greater popular support and supporters of reform. The national flag was allowed and Latvian made into national language.

In October, about 150,000 people celebrated the formation of the Latvian People's Front (LTF), which consisted of both social groups, newly arrived politicians and communists. The following month, hundreds of thousands of litters marked the country's independence day for the first time since the Soviet occupation. The LTF gained a strong influence on the local government and the Moscow authorities.

One year later, the LTF Congress adopted economic and political independence. Despite Moscow's opposition to Latvia's detachment, LTF's policy received widespread popular support. The front worked for change with peaceful means, through public demonstrations, free elections and parliamentary resolutions. The support also came from the Russian population and from other nationalities. Latvia now went into operation following the 1938 Constitution, which had been in effect until the Soviet occupation in 1940.

On May 4, 1990, a declaration of reinstatement of independence was issued, and at the same time it was decided that the country should be provisionally governed by the 1922 Constitution. In September 1991, the new Soviet Council of State formally recognized its independence from the Baltic States. At the same time, they were immediately recognized diplomatically by several states and admitted to the UN at a session of the General Assembly that month. The three Baltic States began negotiations with the EU on trade relations and financial assistance. In February 92, an agreement between Latvia and Russia on the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Latvian territory was signed.

 

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