Friday, April 24, 2009

Latvian students protest education cuts

DPA has a story on Latvian student protests. A few quotes:
Outside Riga Technical University, tourists looked on bemused as woodwork students expertly fashioned bird boxes which they claimed was the only affordable housing available to them.

"The government is going to cut the budget for higher education again by 40 per cent on top of earlier cuts. At the beginning of this year there was a cut of about 34 per cent so today we are holding our first demonstration," Avots said.
40 per cent cut on top of an earlier 34 per cent cut - that means that higher education budget would now be cut by a total of 60%. In other words, only 40% of the budget would remaining. It's becoming quite crazy here, in Latvia.

The full DPA story is here.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Rimševics' decisions influenced by self-interest?

Last year, Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, the president of the Bank of Latvia, bought an apartment and land in Jūrmala for 750,000 Euros. He now owes 630,000 Euros to Hipotēku un Zemes Banka and the credit is in euros, rather than in lats.

Rimšēvičs would lose a lot if lat was devaluated. And he's also one of the most vocal opponents of devaluation. One can start wondering if Rimšēvičs' decision-making is affected by the effect that devaluation would have on his own finances...