Latvija in brief - 2009-12-02

  • 2009-12-02

In protest against developments in Latvia, a man has started a hunger strike at the Cabinet of Ministers’ building, reports LETA. The middle-aged man has placed a chair and a bag with his personal belongings in front of the government building, and has a placard around his neck; the man is sitting there and watching the government building. The protester’s name is Gints; he explained that he wanted to express his attitude towards “developments.” The man has written down his demands on the placard that he is holding, where he underlines that he wishes to continue living in Latvia, and is against social genocide. The man demands the government tackle the unemployment problem in Latvia; he also suggests a plurality voting system be introduced, as well as for the current Saeima and government to resign. The protester confirmed that he will remain in front of the government building for as long as necessary and that he has prepared for his protest campaign, as he has taken warmer clothing with him.

The average gross monthly salary in Latvia was 456 lats (650 euros) in the third quarter, shows the Central Statistical Bureau, reports LETA. Compared to the second quarter of the year, this is 17 lats, or 3.6 percent lower. Public sector wages and salaries during this period fell by39 lats, or by 7.2 percent, but in the private sector, by3 lats, or by 0.7 percent. Compared to the third quarter of 2008, the monthly average gross wages and salaries in the country decreased by 6.4 percent. In the public sector it dropped by 13.3 percent (from 573 lats to 497 lats), but in the private sector, by 3.7 percent (from 447 lats to 430 lats). Compared to last year, the most notable monthly wage drops were in such sectors as public administration – by 21.5 percent, arts, entertainment and recreation – by 16.3 percent, health and social work activities – by 13.2 percent, education – by 10.2 percent, as well as in the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sector – by 9.8 percent.