President Fischer visits Latvia

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 1 Jul, 2014 Updated Tue 1 Jul 2014 10:33 CEST
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President Heinz Fischer continues his three day visit to Estonia and Latvia on Tuesday with a visit to the Latvian capital Riga.

There he will meet with Latvian President Andris Berzins. Fischer is accompanied by his wife Margit, Economics Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner, and Minister for Families, Sophie Karmasin, as well as by a business delegation.

In the context of the Ukraine crisis the topics of the discussion were expected to include the problem of recognised non-citizens. These are persons who are neither citizens of the reporting country nor of any other country. In Latvia 13 per cent of all inhabitants have no citizenship and scarcely enjoy full rights as citizens. Two thirds among them are of Russian origin.

Furthermore economic and socio-political topics as well as EU-relevant issues are likely to be discussed. Before Fischer returns home on Wednesday, he is due to speak with Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, and visit several museums.

Latvia has been a member of the EU since 2004, and on 1 January 2014, the Euro became the country's currency, superseding the Lats. Riga is together with the Swedish city of Umea the European Capital of Culture this year. In the first half of 2015 Latvia will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

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