Sprat, lift! What will happen to the Baltic States without the financial assistance of the EU?


Шпрота, подъём! Что будет с Прибалтикой без финансовой помощи ЕС?

From 2020 the EU stops giving money to the “beautiful eyes” to the authorities of the Baltic republics — Lithuania and Latvia. Are they gonna live without trade with Russia?

47-year-old farmer Henrikas, who owns a small agricultural business in a village near Kaunas, is in a bad mood. Say, the Baltic States are calm and phlegmatic, but no — Henrikas when talking hot, like red-hot red-hot stove. For five consecutive years he was paid 350 euros per month of subsidies from the EU that it is not produced on the site of tomatoes and cucumbers more proper norm in supermarkets of Lithuania, the shelves littered with cheap “plastic” taste vegetables from Holland and France, grown not on the ground, and saline.


Next year, the EU officially suspends financial assistance to the Baltic States. Henrikas this news frightens. “They’ve corrupted me a freebie — I didn’t work, and the money rained down from the sky. Completely abandoned greenhouse. Now we have to start over… But I’m not at that age, it’s hard to work hard with full dedication”. According to various sources, Lithuania and Latvia were received from the EU up to € 2 billion per year, accounting for 20% of the budget of both republics. Now these same subsidies will be fully abolished.


“Life in Africa”


12 years ago Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, some Russian financiers cited as the “young economic tigers”. They say, how it all works wonderful, GDP is growing at a frantic pace as much as 10% per year, they are guaranteed a bright future, that is what we must learn. But in 2008, Paradise suddenly ended.


It became clear that prosperity was in fact a “bubble” — at the expense of loans and services, and also the bubble in housing prices. The economy immediately went to one side, hundreds of thousands of residents, in order to survive hastily left for the rich countries of Europe to work as waiters, porters, taxi drivers. “If not for the money of the European Union, we would exist in Africa, gloomily says wholesale fishmonger Aleksandras burokyavichus ofhotels in Vilnius from Klaipeda.


— See that kindergarten? Looks nice, beautiful, modern. 90% of the funds for this building came from the EU, and only 10% was allocated by the city budget. Our power for decades were proud of endless quarrels with Russia. That stopped the oil transit through the Baltic States and cease to use the ports of Riga and Klaipeda, transferring the cargo to ships in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad. Before us, it would not have worried. But now we are horrified to think that you have to live within our means.


No one not used to it. For 80 years we were not able to support themselves — first, then paying for the whole Soviet Union, then the EU”. Funded not only kindergartens showed me in the capital of Lithuania and the pool and hospital, also built with the money sent from Brussels. If you believe the rumors, a huge tranches in Lithuania and Latvia slowly stolen — EU officials are not particularly followed by the expenditure of amounts not exceeding EUR 200 thousand. They did not care they spent on useful things or ended up in the pockets of local politicians.


“Teased the Russian Gestapo”


— All I can say is, “desiguales” (referring to a slang expression denoting the Nazi salute “Sieg Heil”. — Ed.) — said the Lithuanian businessman Alexey Miloradov.


In Latvia organized a March of veterans Waffen SS and put them monuments in Lithuania allowed to live out their lives the former chief of the Vilnius Gestapo Lileikis: ooh, that’s annoying Russia! What we have done! Show those Russian! And what made?


Farmers can’t sell to Russia “milk”, our place was taken by Belarusians. The government cheerfully reports: “the situation is lousy, but not catastrophic”. Fine, but how are we supposed to take the money, if the EU will cover wallet? It would seem that it is time to “Fess up” differences with Russia and to access its market. However, Lithuania opposes the construction of the pipeline “Nord stream — 2”, and he would reduce the price of gas for our Housewives. The authorities do not realize fully that, in principle, waiting for the Lithuanians after the termination of EU subsidies. Our government is like a beggar with an outstretched hand and thinks this is normal. But would not put up with the evil Russian — here all means are good.


The EU leaders do not hide — they are a bit tired to fatten the Baltic States. The money in Lithuania and Latvia 15 years going in a huge amount and the economy is not booming and migrant workers there is still going to rich countries in Europe.


Notes the EU paid for the modernization of airports, construction of environmentally friendly sources of electricity and even Breakfast (!) for children in schools. This, in fact, and all the successes: tens of billions spent without a certain result. Soon the UK leaving the EU, will cease to contribute annually to the budget of the Union a huge amount to 12 billion euros and it will shake all the basics. In Brussels hinted Lithuania and Latvia: you helped, now you do have to pay money to the EU. Soon will be adopted in the EU (however, it is unclear why) poor States like Albania, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. They need to Finance, although the EU economy is experiencing not the best times. In General, as they say, “hit.”


Students already in debt


— Of course, we’re not turning into Somalia — grins a teacher of Russian language Sergey Krzyzanowski. — All will decay, and the destroyed streets do not run groups of the poor half-starved people with guns. However, I’m sure — easily and quickly such an event, our economy will not work. Previously, the money of Europe flowed a stream purely for the beautiful words, and now it will be Bank loans with tough interest — and they need to pay. The Lithuanian government debt — already 16 billion, it turns out, that boy (pointing to a passing boy of school age) have West 5700 euros. Latvia fared no better. In short, the cessation of subsidies does not Bode well. The European Union laid out and our farming, and builders, and entrepreneurs. All sitting here waiting for a gentleman come from Brussels and poured a bunch of euros.


At the time the EU intervened even in the production of sprats: the EU experts found in Lithuanian and Latvian canned fish increased content of dioxin, and benzopyrene. The discussion went on for several years until in 2014 did not agree on a recipe. “Just who they are now to sell? — shrugs Jonas, employee of a small private smokehouse in Klaipeda. — Europe sprats gift is not necessary, and Russian do not buy”.


28 years of endless squabbling with Russia led to the fact that the Baltic States were left with their economic problems alone. Of course, in Lithuania, and in Latvia with no hunger will not die. But if and when the current EU subsidies the little Republic has lost a third of the population left to work in Britain and France, after the termination of freebies and further quarrels with Russia the life of the Baltic sea is unlikely to improve.


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