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18.05.2017 - 07: 05

Baltic dissolves in the European Union

The fact that the Baltic countries are affected by the outflow of population, has long been known. But now the question is an edge - unless a miracle happens, Latvia will disappear within a century. A similar situation exists in Lithuania, but not in Estonia. What caused such a drastic depopulation? And truthfully whether the assertion that, by joining the EU, the Baltic countries have embarked on a path leading to the grave?

In the past year, died seven thousand more people in Latvia, what came to light. Tens of thousands have emigrated. The head of the Riga office of the International Organization for Migration Ilmars Mezs stresses that if current trends continue for a hundred years in Latvia in general there will be no Latvians. This announcement came as a bombshell, but then surprised by and large nothing.

No exit

The same Ilmar Mezs sounding the alarm for a long time. For example, in June last year, he told the media Riga, the Latvian government declared that "rapid economic growth" does not interfere with an equally rapid exodus. According to him, six or seven years ago, at the peak of emigration of Latvians, the country was "deafening concussion severe economic crisis" - and the flight from it seemed quite understandable. Now Latvia nominal number of EU leaders in terms of economic growth, but is still growing and the pace of emigration. "In the 2010-2011 years. each year left on 30-40 thousand population. We had hoped that the outflow is reduced in the past year. But, unfortunately, the number of immigrants has not decreased, but increased ", - complains Mezs.

In this case, a demographer recognizes that the birth rate in the country increased slightly, but this weak positive trend negates the statistics on who left. And the main problem - in the ratio of retirees to working-age population. "This imbalance will increase by several times. Or pension will be several times lower, or to us gush migrants. Where did they come - the future will tell, "- concluded the expert.

According to official figures the number of population in Latvia in recent years has decreased from 25 2,7 million to less than 2 million people, or one-third. Unofficially, the opinion is expressed that the State has no more than 1,7 million. Earlier, former President Valdis Zatlers has proposed an ambitious goal - three million Latvians to 2050 year. However, almost none of the specialized professionals do not believe that this can be achieved "natural methods" - due to the improvement of social conditions and increasing the birth rate.

"Since independence, we lost about 700 thousand people - confirms another Latvian Peteris Zvidrinsh demographer, stressing that Latvia has got in the top ten countries in terms of population decline. - This includes international migration - 450 thousand, including former soldiers of the Soviet Army and their families, who left Latvia in the early 90-x. Then, many residents of Latvia went to their ethnic homeland - Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and so on. etc. The peak of the first wave came in the year 1992 when the country abandoned immediately 100 thousand. After joining the EU, when the citizens of Latvia had the opportunity to travel without visas in the old Europe, decreasing the flow resumed. In addition, the natural decline in the population continued to be higher than the birth rate. "

According Zvidrinsh, if you look at how many people live in some districts of Latvia, it appears that every year the country loses a full-fledged town or a small city like Cesis. At the same time, based on the survey results, we can say that only a small proportion of Latvians who have left to work, busy packing suitcases for the journey home.

"Today we came to the conclusion that accumulated over 25 years, the difference between the born and the dead reached 250 thousand. All these years, demographers talk about depopulation in Latvia, but no one is listening. Remember census 2011 year. Policy had already been interested in, to indicate a large population than Latvia was actually because of this depends on the distribution of UCITS. And we have to census warned that Latvians have about two million. Now in Latvia lives 1,96 million people, and the annual loss of close to 1% of the population. We, demographers believe the unfavorable situation in the coming years see no way out of it ", - says Zvidrinsh.

The kingdom of desolation

Already 3 June Latvia will municipal elections. And we already know that the number of voters in some of the edges will be substantially lower than four or eight years ago. As a historian Denis Hanov notes many government caught in a vicious circle. People do not give birth to and run from there, where do not see their future, where they have no jobs and prospects. As a result of lower activity in the tax business is going places not enough, then, opportunities to improve people's lives and spend money on social needs in local government simply does not. The remaining population is aging, a skilled labor force is less, a new business does not appear, investments do not come, there is no tax, life is hopeless ...

The leader of the inhabitants of the rate of loss is Strenči Municipality in northern Latvia. By the year there 2015 15% missed by all who resided in the province in the year 2010. No wonder - there are also social burden highest: 759 from 1000 inhabitants are disabled.

A couple of years ago the Riga Latvian TV crew tickled nerves of the audience, presenting the report of the parish, which can be considered the poorest in the state. In the south-east of Latvia is Vārkava Municipality, where the official work is only in 103 1791 from able-bodied residents. And the majority of these "lucky" are employed in government administration. Another 743 varkavtsev somewhere part time, receive benefits, but do not have income exceeding the amount of "minimal salary." Yes, 314 people have a steady income, but 211 of them work outside the region. 670 still in general there are no earnings, that is, they either do nothing doing, or have gone abroad.

The head of the local municipality Anita Brakovska not hide the fact that more than half of their income (650 000 euros per year) Vārkava Municipality receives from the State Fund of financial equalization municipalities. Yet something in the form of grants podkidyvayut Ministry of Education (on teachers salaries) and Minsoobshchenija (road maintenance). Hung over the edge of a spirit of hopelessness, people simply run - with 2000 2014 year on the number of residents decreased by 25,7%.

"I believe that we all need. We're citizens, we are also part of Latvia. Therefore, it is necessary to take care of us as equals. Let us at least a little longer to reach the countryside ... "- says Brakovska.

"God withdrew from Latvia"

"The village is dying out, and everything is concentrated in the cities. But noticeable new trend - these people came to the city, discovering that there can not earn good money solely because of the infrastructure, "- complains counselor on affairs of business of the Latvian association of local governments of Andhra Feldmane.

Indeed, in large cities the situation is much better than in rural areas. As an example, Daugavpils, beginning 90-x met populous (by Latvian standards, of course) from the city of 130 thousand population. A sense of the relative crowds remained there throughout the 90-2000's and early-ies. Of course, once a powerful city industry is gradually declining, citizens lost their jobs, someone somewhere to go, but the impoverishment of the human resource is not felt good in that time the border with the European Union still existed, and they managed to overcome the relatively few. When Latvia joined the European Union, citizens are literally rushed abroad.

In the 2011 was home already 93 018 people in Daugavpils. Now, six years later, the city officially listed just over 89 000 inhabitants. Many of Daugavpils' mistrust even such figures and believe that everything is worse - many Latvians, leaving freely in other EU countries do not consider it necessary to put the authorities notified.

Move people not only in the western direction. Businesswoman Elena Kuranova, moved from Daugavpils in Voronezh, told the newspaper VIEW, which initially did not even think about leaving, moreover, discouraged friends contemplating such options.

"Then there was hope that the situation can be changed for the better, to direct the path of development of Daugavpils. Now these hopes have disappeared completely, and in fact, my husband, until old enough, I wanted something else to do in life. I do not want to languish in vain, moreover, has a goal to ensure the child a decent education. And we are not alone ... For people Daugavpils turned into an all-out "zone of hopelessness", a complete lack of optimism about the prospects for the region makes them "vote with their feet." Now, I feel that the city is unlikely there are more than 65 thousand. The rest at best there are in Daugavpils only on short visits. Will visit the remaining are friends and relatives, relatives graves, nostalgic will walk through the streets and again leave back home ... "- she says.

By the way, the other day the first post-Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, the deputy of several convocations of Parliament Janis Jurkans declared that Latvia go not only people - from Latvia left God himself. "I think that the twenty-seven years, we squander our state. It can be sound rude, but, in principle, the state is no more. There area. whether we are masters of your budget? No, it is necessary to negotiate with creditors. Can we protect the border? And there again. we have created the nation over the years? We do not have a nation, a society, split into two camps "- said Jurkans. In his view, new horizons in front of Latvia not prosmatrivaetcya - while ruling circles, in order to "translate arrows" intimidate people the upcoming Russian attack.

Other Estonia

In neighboring Lithuania the situation with the outflow of the population is not better, but worse. Over the years 15 Republic led the European Union on the scale of emigration. According to data presented in the April report of the Prime Minister Saulius Skvernyalisa last year emigrated from Lithuania 50 333 resident that 5800 more than 2015 year, and 13 712 more than 2014 year. The scale of migration poses serious risks to the economy in the past two years, one in three had emigrated at the age of 20-29 years, and every fourth - at the age of 30-39 years. "In connection with the reduction of the number of able-bodied people and the aging population in the future Lithuania may face difficulties financing the pension system, health care and education," - says the head of government.

Earlier, a senior fellow at the Lithuanian Center for Social Research Vidmantas Daugirdas admitted that sparsely populated areas (less than 12,5 inhabitants per square kilometer) "very soon become a challenge to the state." "Sometimes it is called the demographic depression, hoping that this is a temporary phenomenon. But this process is irreversible in the sparsely populated areas ", - the scientist explains. Currently, the average population density in Lithuania is 43,6 people per square kilometer, while the area of ​​the 22 57 can be called a sparsely populated. In the 2001 year the figure was only seven.

As for Estonia, there is a natural decline in population to a large extent offset by positive net migration. However, according to the Department of Statistics, on January 1 2017-1 315 first resided in the republic 635, 309 that less than a year ago.

It should be added that in April, the Russian Association of Baltic Studies (Rapi) held a debate on the socio-economic and political development of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The central subject for discussion was just demographic projections in the development of the Baltic States in the period up to 2030 and 2050 years. And it emphasized that economic factors have resulted in the expulsion of these countries not only to ethnic Russian, but also representatives of the titular nation.

"The main problem is that emigrate from those countries, young people between the ages of 20 to 40 years .... According to forecasts, it is expected to decrease the population in all three countries in the 30 percent or more to 2035 year ... In this case, these states are firmly on the idea of ​​confrontation between Russia, ready to be a buffer zone, and therefore depend heavily on the US financial support, which is obtained through organized on their territory of NATO bases - Lithuania and Latvia are European leaders in military spending. Finally, in those countries marked reduction and weakening of social ties that are always programmed degradation of society, "- said the newspaper VIEW Associate Professor of St. Petersburg State University of International Relations Natalia Eremin.

All of these trends, in her opinion, is too difficult to reverse.

A source: LOOK

Author: Ilya Belkin

Tags: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Baltic States, Demography, Research, Society, Statistics, EU, Europe, Migration, Economics