Friday, December 5, 2008

Bank of Latvia: detentions "laughable, pathetic"

Bank of Latvia (the Latvian central bank) president Ilmārs Rimšēvics told the newspaper Diena on December 3 that the actions of the Latvian Security police in detaining a university lecturer, questioning a musician and starting criminal proceedings against both were "laughable and pathetic".
Rimšēvics said:

Logically, the detention of these two people in connection with spreading rumors is, unfortunately, laughable and pathetic, for they were not the true rumor-mongers. The real rumor-mongers are watching this and laughing. The rumor-mongers work with SMS messages, naming specific dates when decisions will be made, even saying what the new lats rate will be. No such person has been detained. I truly feel uncomfortable, seeing how singers and lecturers are detained.

This is fine and should be put on the record. But Rimšēvics also told the media in an earlier statement (that seemed to refer to the Security Police actions) that in other countries, rumor-mongers would be arrested within 15 minutes of expressing their views about the finance system or currency. One can only guess which authoritarian regimes and dictatorships would act this way.
And while we are compiling idiot statements of the month, we cannot forget what Mārtiņš Bičevskis, Finance Ministry state secretary said about the point of the Security Police action being to scare and intimidate. A valiant defense of the chilling effect, as expressed, if I am not mistaken, to the Wall Street Journal.

2 comments:

Wannabe Sorosieši said...

I saw the "chilling effect" on Monday. I am working with a LV company with Finnish ownership. The Finnish overlords came in on Monday for a strategic meeting. In a crowded restaurant at lunch the CFO asked (rather loudly) "What are the chances of the Lat being devalued?" A quick glance at the LV CEO and he said "maybe we should discuss this later in the conference room." We all from the LV side definetly had that feeling of "the walls have ears." I am glad that the Finns didn't notice our discomfort and ask for explanation.

LV Resident said...

Actually a number of peoples is frightened by devaluation,that my might accur if money is borrowed by the government.People do not believe their leaders at all,and it is small chance that they won't be re-elected. LV problem is the lack of professionals.It is easier to manipulate with puppets than with people who has it's own opinion.Most of politions are such puppets.