Small-town Latvia shares views on new government

Just before the new cabinet was installed, LTV's People's Panorama visited the Līvbērze parish, central Latvia, to learn the locals' thoughts about the new government and its make-up.

Traditionally a stronghold of the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS), which received 20% of the vote in the October 6 election, the Līvbērze parish is somewhat wary of a Krišjānis Kariņš-led coalition under New Unity.

"Well, I prefer ZZS, at least they're... but Kariņš, I don't know him. He's only skipping across the radio. I don't like that. No!" said Valentīna, a local.

But not everyone is as skeptical. Kariņš seems to have won over some hearts here as well.

"I support him fervently...I've come to like him, his performance and his attitude. He has lived abroad, maybe learning many a thing there. Here, on our side, we're not as smart as he is. Maybe there's something good in it for us?" said Iraida, a local.

Meanwhile Antons, another local, said that Kariņš should continue, seeing as he has succeeded in setting up a government.

"Well he looks quite sharp, he's still a somewhat young and powerful guy. Why wouldn't he succeed? He'll make a great government," he said.

"We too think if he isn't impeded by [KPV LV leader Aldis] Gobzems and whoever else votes against him, then he'll succeed. But that'll be only if everyone cooperates. They are, however, always quarreling there. There have never been as many new ministers in politics. He won't have it easy," said Zita, who's living in Līvbērze.

Locals have two big things to ask from the government: that they have a place to work, and that there's support for families.

"I, for example, would gladly come back to Līvbērze. Right now I'm thinking of waiting until I qualify for benefits and then returning. I'd return sooner if I could, but as of now I don't see how I could live here," said Maija, a local who's currently working in Britain. She would return, if wages were better and if there were more jobs in Līvbērze. 

"There are former gardening complexes here. There'd be a place to work for 100 people, but no one cares. There was a German who busied himself with this, but he went bankrupt and now the complex is mothballed. But all the village women could work there," said Antons. 

"I don't know. Maybe young mothers should have some support. Yes. Families with many children, where children are born should have benefits," said Prane, another local LTV met at Līvbērze. 

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