Latvija in brief - 2008-08-27

  • 2008-08-27
The United Policemen Trade Union is set to strike if an agreement is not reached with Interior Ministry on raising salaries. Agris Suna, the leader of the United Policemen Trade Union, said that the policemen will not limit themselves to pickets and rallies. They are ready for harsher action as well. In 2007 the policemen received a 100 lats (142 euros) salary rise, which was absorbed by inflation during the year and the salary issue is growing more prevalent as the next year budget drafting approaches. The policemen are not convinced that the promises of adding 100 lats next year will be kept. The protests of the policemen could be held simultaneously with the medics' protests.

Latvia will face one of the biggest population decreases in the European Union by 2060.According to the data of the European Commission's statistics agency Eurostat, between 2008 and 2060, populations are set to increase in 13 member states and to drop in 14 member states. The agency forecasts that Latvia's population will shrink by 26 percent, ranking the Baltic country second to Bulgaria whose population is expected to dwindle by 28 percent over the next half-century. Lithuania follows with a 24 percent, Romania with 21 percent and Poland with an 18 percent drop, Eurostat data reported. Latvia also stands out in terms of seniority figures. According to the Eurostat prognosis, by 2060 more than 60 percent of Latvia's residents will be older than 65, with similar prospects awaiting much of Eastern Europe.

The Latvian government on Aug. 25 supported sending National Armed Forces (NAF) representatives to Georgia for the OSCE international monitoring mission. The State Chancellery communication department said that the planned term of the mission in Georgia is at least six months and up to 100 unarmed military observers from different countries might participate in the OSCE monitoring mission. Latvian Defense Ministry said that NAF is ready to send its representatives on the mission. Lieutenant Colonel Vladimirs Pustovalovs will represent Latvian NAF on the mission. He is set to leave for Georgia this week and be on the mission for six months, reported the Latvian Defense Ministry.

Despite data from Eurostat claiming that the nation's population is set to decline, Latvia's birth rate has been showing a tendency rise for the last few years, and the trend is expected to continue in the next few years, the central statistics office said. According to the statistics office's figures, 12,280 children were born in Latvia during the first six months of 2008, 7.4 percent or 846 births more than during the same period in 2007. Last year, Latvia saw the highest birth rate in 13 years, as the number of births jumped to 23,273. Women aged 20 to 29 showed the highest birth rate, with the proportion of women of this age group in the total female population of fertile age growing from 27.2 percent in 2000 to 29.4 percent in 2008.At the same time, mortality rate has remained unchanged in Latvia in recent years, with about 33,000 deaths reported annually.