HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Good Reads (Forum) » Insight: Baltic countries...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 11:38 AM

Insight: Baltic countries' austerity lesson for Europe - Just Do it

(Reuters) - Near a former Soviet naval base and dilapidated Cold War-era housing estate, this 84-year-old Latvian plywood factory is the kind of success story of which EU policymakers dream as they struggle with economic meltdown in southern Europe.

Workers in yellow and blue uniforms eye digital camera readings of an endless stream of plywood on conveyers, new automation that has helped this firm survive what many describe as the world's deepest recession. Steam hisses nearby, part of a novel water recycling scheme that has cut energy costs.

Some 15 percent of workers were fired after sales in 2009 plummeted a third. The remainder saw wages cut and four day weeks. But now production of the company, with more than 2,000 workers, exceeds pre-crisis levels, part of a cog in a Baltic economy that is now Europe's fastest growing.

"Things were very difficult here," said Latvijas Finieris manager Arvis Svanks over the din of hot, humming machines in a factory the size of several football pitches. "But you can say with some reason that the crisis made us stronger."

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/06/25/uk-baltics-crisis-idUKBRE85O0CF20120625

3 replies, 923 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply Insight: Baltic countries' austerity lesson for Europe - Just Do it (Original post)
dipsydoodle Jun 2012 OP
aquart Jun 2012 #1
dipsydoodle Jun 2012 #2
Lydia Leftcoast Jun 2012 #3

Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 12:49 PM

1. Executive salaries are WHAT compared to worker salaries?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to aquart (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 04:09 PM

2. Thats a red herring

in context with one in four of their population being employed in the public sector.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 04:18 PM

3. Interesting comment on the original page

A key element regarding the Baltics is missing here. When Latvia regained itís independence in 1990 it had nearly 3 million people. Now itís less then 2 million. People are just voting with their feet. And the same goes for the other two Baltic nations. Also wages are I guess less then in Shanghai. While in the resort town of Jurmalla prices for itís beautiful houses are skyrocketing. I wonder if ordinary Latvians are now better of then befo"re independence.

A few months ago, I attended the funeral of a former teaching colleague who was from Latvia. When I was growing up, all the Latvian immigrants were of the World War II generation, people who had been deported as slave laborers by the Nazis and who chose not to go back after their homeland was taken over by the Soviets, or people who up and left when the Soviets took over.

Now, the Latvian church where the funeral took place was full of young people. The women who served the funeral lunch were all young and all had accents. They were part of the 1 million who have left since 1990.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread