New Era wants explanation from president

  • 2005-01-12
  • By The Baltic Times
RIGA 's Leaders of the right-wing party New Era said on Tuesday they wanted to meeting with President Vaira Vike-Freiberga to hear her explanation as to why she is going to Moscow in May to mark the 60-year anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Iluta Berzins, New Era's parliamentary faction spokeswoman, told Baltic News Service that the party has sent a letter to the president requesting a meeting. The letter said that Vike-Freiberga's decision to go to Moscow had caused an "enormous and controversial public response."

"Lawmakers want to understand public statements by the President that her decision had been influenced by considerations that cannot be made public," said Berzins. "If those considerations were explained to lawmakers, this could help various public administration authorities, including the parliament, to build a consolidated foreign policy vision."

New Era is one of the four ruling parties and arguably the most right-wing of all mainstream Latvian parties.

In the meantime, world leaders have begun to praise Vike-Freiberga's decision. In Netherlands, where she is currently on a state visit, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende supported the Latvian president to go to Moscow for the Victory Day celebrations. He agreed with the Latvian president that May 9 does not mean only the end of the Nazi regime but the end of a new occupation for the Baltic states, something Vike-Freiberga wants to drive home while meeting with world leaders in Moscow.

Balkenende voiced regret over the negative consequences the WW II had on the fate of the Latvian nation. However, he admitted neither the Netherlands nor the European Union could persuade Russia to recognize occupation of the Baltic states.

While meeting with Vike-Freiberga, Queen Beatrix expressed deep appreciation of the Baltic Way action, when people in all the three Baltic states joined hands back in 1989 demanding independence of their countries from the Soviet Union. She said this action became an inspiration for all Europe and a symbol for Latvia's aspirations for freedom, the Baltic News Service reported.