The Anonymous Widower

Latvia, A Disappearing Nation

Thw title of this post is the same as that of this article on Politico.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Atis Sjanits has an unusual remit for an ambassador. The Latvian diplomat is not responsible for relations with another nation — but with his own country’s diaspora.

Sjanits’ job is to respond to the exodus triggered by Latvia’s accession to the EU. Since joining the bloc, nearly a fifth of the nation has left to work in more affluent EU nations: The U.K., Ireland, Germany.

The article gives population statistics for the three countries in Eastern Europe.

In 2000, Latvia’s population stood at 2.38 million. At the start of this year, it was 1.95 million. No other country has had a more precipitous fall in population — 18.2 percent according to U.N. statistics. Only Latvia’s similarly fast-shriveling neighbor, Lithuania, with a 17.5 percent decrease, and Georgia, with a 17.2 percent drop, come close.

Estonia is not mentioned. So could this be, that their advanced digital economy? I’m no expert, but surely if you have a good Internet, it must open up opportunities.

I could say, that the bright and the innovative have always left the Baltic States, as my great-great-great-grandfather, did around 1800! His reasons were also slightly different, as there was a lack of opportunities for Jews in East Prussia.

The article quotes Atis Sjanits as there will not be enough future soldiers or taxpayers to pay for them.

The EU has big plans for a railway called Rail Baltica to eventually link Helsinki and Warsaw, via the three Baltic States.

The railway is to be built to a high standard.

  • 155 mph running.
  • 25 KVAC electrification.
  • ERTMS signalling.
  • No level crossings.
  • Ability to handle freight trains of 1050 metres.

Vladimir Putin does like the fact that the new railway will be standard gauge rather than Russian.

The main reason is to move freight from road to rail, but I can certainly see tourists using the railway to tour the Baltic.

 

December 31, 2018 - Posted by | Transport, World | , ,

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