A new book about former Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga by controversial journalist Lato Lapsa continues to make waves. Va(i)ras virtuve, published Feb. 1 by the Rīga-based Atena, discloses what Lapsa and co-authors Irēna Saatčiane and Kristīne Jančevska claim is evidence of the ex-president’s free-spending time in office.
Vīke-Freiberga, who returned from exile in Canada to become the nation’s second president after Latvia regained independence, served from 1999-2007. Although often seen as a last-minute compromise candidate, Vīķe-Freiberga is presented in the book as a person who clearly wanted to become president.
The 184-page book includes many reproductions of documents as well as a CD-ROM with more details about Vīķe-Freiberga’s years in office.
A Web site in support of the book, www.vairasvirtuve.lv, could not be accessed. However, a site in support of the ex-president, www.rokasnost.com, has called on readers not to buy Lapsa’s book. Registered to Roberts Šulcs in the Czech Republic, the site includes pages applauding an apparent decision by the director of the Jānis Roze bookstore not to sell Lapsa’s book and then criticizing the director for apparently having a change of heart. Jānis Roze’s online store offers the book for LVL 7.95.
Controversial journalist Lato Lapsa is the lead author of Va(i)ras virtuve.
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