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Yearbook 1998

Latvia. In recent years, the tension between Letters and Russians increased during the year, although it may also have its solution. According to Countryaah, the Russian Federation threatened with trade blockade and demanded better treatment of the Russians in L. The European Security Organization OSCE and the EU tried to get the litters on a more uncompromising line vis--vis the country's approximately 250,000 non-Letters who were about to become stateless. Latvia's parliament changed its citizenship law, but opponents of the change managed to push through a signatures through a referendum to stop the softening of the law. In the referendum, 53% wished it would be easier to obtain Latvian citizenship, while 45% voted against. With the new law, all children born in the country after 1991 (the independence year) will continue to be automatically Latvian citizens and all non-Latvian people living in the country will have the chance to become citizens since they, among other things. passed a language test.

1998 Latvia

At the same time as the referendum, the Latvians elected a new parliament. Turnout was around 73%. Despite the clear election result (victory for center-right parties), Latvia for two months lacked a functioning government. The political stalemate was broken with the formation of a minority government with Vilis Kristopans from the center of Latvia's road (Latvias cels) as prime minister; he replaced Guntar's Crust. Kristopan's tripartite government has 46 of the 100 seats in parliament.

Although the country liberalized the Citizenship Act, the controversial language law has been postponed for an indefinite future. The Language Act means that the Latvian strengthens its position, among other things. by being used in public schools and at official events.

Defense Minister Talavs Jundzis was forced to step down following a corruption scandal. His predecessor Juris Dalbins had been dismissed six months earlier after participating in a memorial celebration with Latvian SS veterans. The Russian radar base Skrunda was closed for good, an event that the Latvians came to call the definitive end of World War II.

Through L's new citizenship law, the country avoided a serious crisis with both the West and the Russian Federation, which resulted in the EU Commission deciding to start earlier negotiations with just Latvia. The extensive corruption, the decision to retain the death penalty and the weak government are some factors, however. which can prevent a membership.

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