Harmony Centre & Its Geopolitical Uses (6)
The current dream of Latvian nationalist coalition parties to control Riga is based on the fact that Riga has been the capital city of Latvia since the foundation of Latvia in 1918.
Though Riga remained the capital of Soviet Latvia during the Soviet occupation, “occupied” Riga underwent significant changes. For one, the Latvian population, which had replaced a largely German population at the beginning of the 20th century and constituted a majority of the Riga population by 1940, decreased as Riga became the domicile of many Russians in the fifty year period under the occupation of the USSR.
Today the seats in the Latvian Saeima are roughly proportional to the ethnic divide http://www.economist.com/node/21530161 in Latvia, even as Riga, with roughly 42% of Latvian Russians http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russians_in_Latvia , remains a major centre of Latvian Russians.
From a point of view of tactical manuverability and geopolitical advantage, the Latvian nationalist dream and the consequences of the attempt to realize it, have proven as unrealistic as disastrous (currently fait accompli) to the interests of Latvians. There are two reasons for this:
a) The Latvian Latvians who were forced to leave the countryside due to neo-capitalist agricultural policy of the EU (largely favored by Latvian nationalists) did not result in an increase of Latvian population in Riga. This is because of the corruption in the Latvian Latvian government (which uses ethnic jingoism to bamboozle the rest of Latvians into a deadlock http://deadlocked.askdefine.com/ vote) and misguided economic policies. In real-life, most Latvians bypass Riga to this day for Ireland, England, and other countries offering competitively better job opportunities.
b) The corruption of Latvian Latvian politicos resulted in straight-jacketed Latvian economic policies that led to a take-over of Latvia by foreign (largely Swedish) banking operations. The infiltration of Latvian interests by the “West” (a term used to avoid using the terms “Swedish”, NATO, or Brussels) has turned Latvian economic policies into a Ouija board like http://www.skepdic.com/ouija.html exercise. The Latvian Ouija board actually works, because the forces that guide the pointer remain largely unknown to most Latvians and turns them into easily duped believers in magic.
The deadlock vote, the result of a never-ending stoking of jingoism (encouraged by the “West” of course), has allowed the nationalists to create a dogma of sufficiently long duration to engineer an inter-Latvian geopolitical advantage for Riga. This is to say, a reapportionment of the territories of the earlier four regions of Latvia (formerly a mythic three) into five, created the Region of Riga.
The Region of Riga expanded Riga’s territorial influence at the expense of the three regions surrounding it, re Vidzeme, Zemgale, and Kurzeme.
With the exception of Kurzeme, all the other regions were deprived of access to the sea.
In effect, the three landlocked Latvian regions (formerly only the region of Latgale had suffered from this disadvantage) have been forced to become economically dependent on Riga http://mapsof.net/map/latvia-regions-map.
No wonder that Riga could so readily misspend 130 million to build a totally useless (I call it ‘broken wing’) glass frame for its library. [I have my ideas about its used, but that at another time.]
Were it not for the self-induced ineptness of the Latvian Russian controlled Harmony Centre Party [its ineptness clearly a result of knee-jerk jingoist reaction to the Latvian Latvian coalition (thus failing to unite all Latvians], Riga might have fought off the penetration of Latvia by foreign banks and the weakening of its sovereignity.
Part 2 follows. Original at http://rigacapital.blogspot.com/