A new plan to encourage the re-emigration of Latvian citizens back to the Baltic country is almost certain to fail, according to the people who live there.
A survey carried out by the Public and Market Research Centre reveals that 72 per cent of Latvians believe the proposals to encourage expats back to Latvia will not be successful, while 10 per cent have not even heard anything about the plan.
In July, the country’s government approved the Economy Ministry’s re-emigration support plan for 2013-15. The proposals include Latvian citizens living in most other countries being able to take out dual citizenship for the first time, government subsidies being offered to businesses that bring highly skilled professionals back to Latvia, and help learning the Latvian language being provided to citizens living abroad who have direct family members who don’t speak the language.
Official statistics show that between 2000 and 2011, over 213,000 Latvians of working age left the country, with around 37,000 citizens leaving the country in 2011 alone, the majority moving purely for work reasons.
Only 4 per cent of Latvians who responded to the Public and Market Research Centre’s online survey felt that the government’s plan will be successful.