Should Mr. Luzhkov be allowed to gain residence permit in Latvia? First thing in the morning I got a phone call from a friend who was interested in which side I was on. Well, I think Mr. Luzhkov should not be denied entry just on the grounds of him saying Latvia is a "fascist hell", "Cambodia", and what not. Essentially, I think there are two positions here.
One position is to say, look, we’re not happy with what you’ve been saying about our country (or how you banned our šproti) but, as long as you commit to abiding by our laws, you’re welcome to come and live in what you said was a “fascist Cambodia”. This would be a position of confidence, strength, and maturity.
Another position would be to be spiteful and vindictive about the past sins. Epitomizing this position is Mrs. Murniece, the minister of the interior, who black-listed Mr. Luzhkov on the grounds that “[Luzhkov] cannot enter Latvia because he does not love this country“. And what purpose does this serve? Revenge for “Cambodia”? Such a position is best described as childish.
Unless, of course, there is credible evidence that Mr. Luzhkov truly plans to bomb Milda, start a drug cartel, and generally not behave as a law-abiding resident. Mrs. Murniece says there is such evidence but, of course, she would not tell us the nature of it because, allegedly, it’s a state secret. However, given that the minister’s rhetoric focused on Mr. Luzhkov “love” for Latvia, I wonder what is the credibility of earlier claims that such evidence exists.
PS Sadly, this comes from a minister that belongs to a party that says it is committed to the “rule of law”. How can one possibly have the rule of law if people in power can put you on a ‘black list’ based on whether they think your ‘love’ of a country is sufficient?
PPS However, credit should be given to Mr Pabriks, minister of defense, and same party as Mrs Murniece, who has taken the opposing view, arguing that Mr. Luzhkov should be allowed entry.