Having lived in Latvia for almost 30 years and having witnessed the country’s remarkable transformation towards a market economy that is highly integrated within the European Union, I am saddened by the current political debate regarding the banking system, in particular the idea of capping the interest rates that banks can charge. Allow me to argue – and warn – against this suggestion.
The current events in the border area of Latvia–Belarus are a reason to create daily news centered on migrants, border crossing, fence, breaking through it, deterring migrants, or allowing migrants into Latvia. The process is justifiably described in the context of the hybrid war by the Belarusian regime. How to write about all this in the media professionally and ethically?
Once, when I – a Belarusian refugee in Latvia – was on a train from Rīga to Tukums, which has become my home in the two years I have lived in Latvia, an elderly woman approached me in the carriage. Dressed simply, with a flowery scarf on her head, she reminded me of my paternal grandmother, who was born in the Voronezh region. She came over and tried to ask me something… in English.
Although inflation receded in March compared to the record highs witnessed in the previous months, it is still elevated, and both headline inflation and price hikes in Latvia, excluding the variable energy and food prices, are among the highest in the euro area. In March 2023, the year-on-year price rise in Latvia was 17.3%, while the month-on-month price rise was 0.7%.
Soon after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, LSM brought you a message from Olha, a young woman living in Kyiv as bombs and missiles rained down. Now she tells us how her life has changed in the last twelve months.
Bank loans represent one of the investment sources ensuring economic development. It is difficult to imagine a situation where the economy can see a dynamic long-term development without lending; therefore, access to loans, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is of critical importance, writes Latvian central bank economist Andrejs Kurbatskis for Macroeconomics.lv.
A country the size of Latvia isn’t often OVER-represented, but seeing their country’s name one time too many is exactly what raised quite a few of the Rīga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) delegates’ eyebrows when they opened [influential film industry publication] Screen International at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.