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Ex-President: if current demographic trends persist, the future will be rather bleak

Vaira Vike-Freiberga.
 Maintaining a demographic profile in which Latvians and Latvian speakers are a majority will be a challenge for Latvia, believes ex-President Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

When asked about challenges to Latvia’s security, the ex-President mentioned in her interview to Rīta Panorāma that Latvia is not at risk of being at war, as it was before.

According to her, it will be a challenge to maintain the kind of demographic profile in which Latvians as a people are the majority in the country and are able to maintain their national face. «Nature does not like emptiness. If all Latvians leave, someone else will move in,» – said Vike-Freiberga.

The former President of Latvia added that she does not oppose visitors coming to Latvia to live. But this is about having enough Latvians living in a country to be called a nation and for this nation to exist.

If demographic indexes remain the same as they are now, the future will be especially bleak, said the ex-president. She added that the situation is expected to stabilize. «We may be less Latvian than we like to be, but at least we will not go extinct in the next hundred years,» – said Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

BNN had previously reported that University of Latvia Professor Mikhail Hazan had warned back in 2011 that not 30,000 (as claimed by official statistical data) but 200,000 people had left Latvia in the past decade.

According to Hazan, the problem of country’s ‘brain drain’ becomes even more important, as every third Latvian resident who leaves the country has higher education. On top of that, this proportion has a trend to increase.
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