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Battered Baltic tiger craves a bailout


Just a few years ago Latvia showed rapid economic growth in the forefront of the EU accession, but the recent economic rollercoaster ride has reduced unjustified expectations to begging for a bailout.

­The country is now under a three-year, 7.5-billion-euro ($10.3 billion) bailout program adopted by the EU.

Unlike in Soviet times, when Latvia had flourishing electronic and automobile manufacturing industries, declaration of independence unhesitatingly made tourism the major source of income, declaring Soviet-era industries a relic of the communist past.

As of today, the Latvian economy produces mainly raw materials and low-value goods.

Degradation of the production sector has created unemployment and a lack of opportunity, particularly for a rising generation, which in turn has resulted in low birth rates.

Whilst there has been a steady influx of tourists to the country, there has also been an increasing outflow of skilled domestic labor. The best brains are fleeing the country, both because of high unemployment and low salaries.

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