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Benign nationalism 


There is nothing unusual about Latvia. You have this ethnic and cultural division at the heart of your country. If it were better managed – the politics of it and the societal aspects of it, it could be one of the things that make people like this country. Diversity is appealing, simplicity is boring. Read

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The critical philanthropist 


There are many businessmen who pretend to be philanthropic but are really furthering their own interests. So I am suspicious of them and journalists are right to be suspicious of me. Read

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Latvian GDP growth: miracle or mirage? 


So we have a ‘dream’ outcome – high growth and low inflation. Can we explain this performance? Is it reflected in a real increase in Latvian living standards? Is it sustainable? Read

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Human rights in Latvia 1 January 2002 – 30 June 2002 



The Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnical Studies (LCHRES), a member organisation of the International Helsinki Human Rights Federation, has prepared its regular review on the human rights situation in Latvia in the first half of 2002.

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Social Integration Issues and the 8th Saeima 

Author:Nils Muižnieks

Compared to the previous Saeima elections, issues related to social integration and ethnopolitics have not been very prominent in this electoral campaign. This quiet on the “integration front” is a bit deceptive. Read

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Are Human Rights Becoming Consolidated? 


This is a translation from Latvian of the article which originally appeared in "Diena", 28 August 2002, and is reprinted in with permission from the publisher Read

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Criticism Alone Won’t Change Anything 

Author:Ieva Raubiško

Society shouldn’t wait for politicians, not because they are bad people, but because they have their own priorities. And if you don’t get into their priorities, they won’t do very much for you. Read

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Threats in the Baltic region are all but banished 


I will take the problems that come with enlarged NATO over the problems that come from not enlarging NATO any day. All those Russian friends or officials that say – OK, enlarge NATO and the whole thing will collapse – I don’t think they really believe that, and I don’t believe that either. Read

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The potential for extremism is limited 


In recent months, many governments in the EU member states have moved towards the right wing populism, not to say extremism. Part of the success story of the right wing populists is that they appear anti-establishment, breaking up the “old boys” networks and bringing in some fresh air. Read

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A Reflection of the Shortcomings in Legislation on Party Financing in the 2001 Finance Declarations 

Author:Lolita Cigane


Political parties submitted reports for 2001 on 1 March 2002. Municipal elections took place on 11 March 2001, but information on who contributed to political parties was only disclosed to the public one year later. Further, the submitted financial reports do not provide a clear picture of political parties' expenditures before and after the municipal elections. These declarations once again confirm that the existing legislation on political party financing does not allow society to obtain clear and current information on the income and expenditures of political parties.