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".
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.