Return of the Latvian diaspora: new dawn or false dawn?

The penultimate part of a series of articles by the Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism (Re:Baltica) was published October 18, with the possible future of Latvia's widespread diaspora under examination.

Titled Why return of expats is false hope for Latvia’s labor problems, it gives a decidedly downbeat assessment of hopes that many of the tens of thousands of emigrants who left Latvia in search of work will return and solve the problem of looming labor shortages. 

At least 9,500 people should return to Latvia from abroad every year in order to compensate the expected shortage of labor. Currently, the number of returned expats is half of that and an exodus continues.

Knock-on effects in pensions and healthcare make the situation ever more pressing. However, Re:Baltica writes that while officials do not lack willingness to tackle the problems, their actual efforts to do so seem extremely ineffective.

Yet there is some hope, as in the shape of Lelde Strazdina who returned to her hometown of Cēsis after developing multiple skills and experiences abroad.

You can read the full feature HERE with the final installment in the series promised for next week.

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