Latvia is in the headlines around the world, after the violence yesterday night. There are of course a number of reasons for the protests (10 ooo peaceful demonstrators before a few hundreds started attacking the parliament).
In a short note on Aftonbladet´s Europablogg, I adress one factor. The irresponsible way Swedish banks has acted the last years, lending money in Latvia without any reasonable caution.
When the financial crisis hit, the Swedish government was eager to minimize the losses of the banks. Anders Borg´s Ministry of Finance did what it could to convince Latvia not to devaluate its currency. Instead, Sweden and the IMF pressed Latvia to implement drastic reductions in teacher´s and nurses´salaries.
General mistrust of the present government and corruption charges are other factors behind the protests. But the Swedish government should take its responsibility for this crisis very seriously indeed.