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 | , , | Leave a comment

A Big Step For Rail Baltica

This article on Railway Gazette is entitled Rail Baltica procurement agreement signed.

Rail Baltica is a large  project to create a standard gauge railway from Tallinn in Estonia to Bialiystok in Poland via Riga in Latvia and Kaunus in Lithuania.

One extra part of the plan is to build a rail tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn, to connect Finland to the European railway network.

This Google Map shows the Gulf of Finland.

The Gulf Of Finland

The Gulf Of Finland

Helsinki and Taillinn are in the West on the North and South coasts respectively, with St. Petersburg in the East.

I would think, that a Taillinn to Helsinki Tunnel, would be feasible, but at probably sixty kilometres it would be the longest undersea tunnel in the world.

Now that the various parties have agreed to proceed, we might see some progress on building the main route from Tailinn to Bialystok, which hopefully will be finished in 2025.

October 12, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking For A Stackable Dining Chair

In my house, I have an unusual elliptical table. I need some chairs to go with it, as the original Habitat ones C bought, are gradually giving up the ghost.

I’d seen one in a shop that might do, near to the grotty hotel, I’d spent the night in. But it was the other side of the station, between the station and the Metro station at Federiksberg. So I took the Metro to that station and then walked back. It was raining hard and my map had collapsed in the rain.  I was on the point of giving up and trying to hail a taxi, when I found a parking map, and a helpful Dane, who said I could walk it in about ten minutes.  I actually, ran it in five!

The chair is called Zesty and comes from PlyCollection.  It is shown here.

At the price shown on the ticket, they are around 290 pounds. But the Latvian company, who makes them, don’t seem to have an agent in the UK.

In the end, I made the train with fifteen minutes to spare.

June 19, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment