Badly built
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 14:50
Badly built 2.0 out of 5 based on 1 votes.

THE tragedy was the worst in Latvia's peacetime history: 54 people killed and dozens injured when a supermarket roof in the capital Riga collapsed. That exemplified, many felt, the corruption and weakness in parts of state administration which has plagued the country since it regained independence in 1991. Was the building constructed in defiance of building codes? Or was a winter garden on the roof poorly drained, so that sodden earth brought concrete beams crashing down on crowds of shoppers?
Answers to that should probably come from the Riga municipality, the public body directly responsible. But the government's lacklustre response also epitomised a government failing: a detached and unsympathetic approach to Latvians' human and daily concerns. That seems to be why the prime minister, Valdis Dombrovskis, suddenly tendered his resignation after an unscheduled meeting with the president, Andris Berzins on November 27th.
Mr Dombrovskis's coalition governments have piloted the country through economic storms following a banking collapse in 2008. Despite a 25% peak-to-trough fall in GDP, he won re-election in 2010. Now the economy...Continue reading

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