Latvia’s Government Collapses
Latvia’s center-right coalition government collapsed Friday, a victim of the country’s growing economic and political turmoil and the second European government, after Iceland, to disintegrate because of the international financial crisis.
Public discontent, unsurprisingly, is rising, while trust in the government has plummeted along with the economic figures. After about 10,000 people gathered for a peaceful demonstration in January, violence broke out. Scores of protesters battled police officers and ransacked stores, while 40 people were injured – the country’s worst rioting since the Soviet Union’s breakup.
In February, farmers, who say they have seen both foreign and domestic markets dry up, blockaded the capital in tractors and forced the resignation of the agriculture minister, Martins Roze.