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Vilks: Europe is stuck in the 19th century

Andris Vilks/LETA.
Europe is stuck in a welfare level with too high costs, and it is a neglected disease, believe former Finance Minister of Latvia Andris Vilks.

In his interview to Kapitāls magazine, Vilks states that Europe is no longer able to compete with markets that develop more rapidly. «Too good a life plus entrenched job relations,» – says the former minister.

He believes many countries have weak politicians that are incapable of explaining to society why exactly it is necessary to work more hours and why it is necessary to reduce specific expenses. Politicians are too weak for business matters as well, believes the ex-minister.

According to Vilks, Europe lacks the ability to look at itself critically and use the crisis as an opportunity. For example, people in Latin America think not so much about their retirement as they think about raising qualifications and using new opportunities to earn money. People there are dynamic. The same applies to Asia and Africa. «Europe, on the other hand, is stuck in the 20th or even the 19th century! And it hopes it can continue to live that way,» – says Vilks and adds that it is not possible to continue living like this. «If we look at USA, we see that people there are on the move all the time. They do this in order to stay in the look,» – said Vilks.

Vilks also admits that Europe has a lot of barriers for the protection of member states’ markets. Those are in place in order to maintain the achieved level of welfare.
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