Latvia: A Summary
Located in the northeastern part of Europe with a coastline along the Baltic Sea, the Republic of Latvia shares its geographical boundaries with the three Baltic nations of Estonia, Belarus, and Lithuania, and also the neighboring Russia. The immigration hotspot has quite robust linguistic and cultural ties with Lithuania to the south, and historical &religious links with Estonia to the north.
The country has a total geographical area of 64589 square miles even as, at the present, its population stands at 2.1-plus million inhabitants. Significantly, the top global organization, i.e., the United Nations (UN), has placed the nation with a “Very High” Human Development Index (HDI).
Riga is the capital of Latvia; it’s the topmost city of all the Baltic States, and houses 30% of Latvia’s entire populace. Riga is a renowned seaport. It’s also a well-known industrial, commercial, cultural & financial hub. The mega city also has the region’s biggest and the most famous international airport.
The national currency of Latvia is Euro. The country’s chief language is Latvian. A remarkable segment of the national populace practices protestant Christianity. But, in the Latgalia, the Roman Catholic followers rule and enjoy majority.
Latvians are the main ethnic grouping; they are responsible for almost 62% of the country’s whole populace. The Russians follow Latvians, and they constitute just about a little more than one-fourth (27%) of the total population. Belarusian, Ukrainians, Polish, and Lithuanians, etc., are other ethnic groups.
The country’s climate is temperate & humid and mostly impacted by the oceanic weather. Even as summers grip the nation between the months of June and August, and the nation becomes unbearably hot; winters invade the nation between December and February. While August is the hottest, January is the nation’s coldest month.
Latvia--A Top Member of Key World Groups
The Republic of Latvia-- which was previously under the power of the former USSR--cut its umbilical ties with the latter only to gain sovereignty on August 21, 1991.Significantly, during the same year, the USSR crumbled. After gaining independence, Latvia moved towards economic liberalization, and gradually began to identify its interests with the freethinking Western World. During 1999,the Baltic nation officially joined the World Trade Organization (WTO).
After some years--on March 29, 2004 to be precise—it became a vibrant NATO member, and in the process, it proved that it had passionately embraced the western world, and its military, political and economic plans. Not long post becoming a part of this influential military world group, the Baltic Nation also emerged as a top member of the European Union (EU), on May 1 2004.
Latvia--an ex Warsaw pact member--also happens to be a permanent member of a number of celebrated world groups and associations and organizations, like; for instance, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe, Schengen Area, Nordic Investment Bank, Council of the Baltic Sea States, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Over the years, the economy of Latviahas experienced several changes while it took a theatrical turn from the state-managed venture to a completely private involvement. The privatization of the whole set-up having 98% of medium and small sized groups—barring a few crucial & sensitive big groups--materialized even as it resulted in more than handsome returns for the private field. The Latvian economy also gained remarkably, and become reasonably efficient & more industrious. Remarkably, at the present, the private sector is responsible for close-to 68% of the nation’s total GDP.
On the lines of other Baltic countries--in the 10 years or so post independence, as mentioned before--the republic made a rather quick-change to hug the free market. Even though the nation’s economy developed by almost 50% from 2004 to 2007, the world financial meltdown of 2008-9 hit the nation rather hard, and it was subjected to one of the most awful slumps in the whole EU.
The social disorder and bedlam, fueled by the financial catastrophe, resulted in the fall of the administration during the month of February 2009 even as by January 2010, joblessness had swelled to 20%, inviting widespread fears and anxieties of additional political disorder and chaos.
Despite the fact that big public spending cuts, started by the following Dombrovskis, regime resulted in and happiness at home, global lenders lent sufficient to earn the country an IMF/European Union 7.5bn euro ($10bn) rescue. That the same assisted the former Baltic Tiger’s economic revival, and it bounced back to growth in 2011, cannot be refuted.
Towards the close of 2012, the nation’s economic revival was perhaps the strongest and the most impressive in the EU. Irrespective of the disapproval of the development, the nation became a part of the euro zone at the beginning of 2014.