Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius explained the rapid growth of emigration from his country to the reluctance of young people to serve in the army. His predecessor Andrius Kubilius, said the newspaper VIEW that his successor so just trying to explain to the public their “flaws”. Experts draw attention to the fact that the mass Exodus of people continues from the neighbouring Latvia and Estonia.
Significant increase of emigration from Lithuania is mainly caused by the renewal of universal military service, said Tuesday the Prime Minister of the Baltic Republic Algirdas Butkevicius.
“The Slavic groups stronger aging of the population, so that a more unfavorable situation in the sphere of natural increase now this group. And a significant migration factor”
“Do not be afraid to openly admit that the number emigrating has increased especially after, began in April army conscription”, – quotes its TASS. According to the head of the Lithuanian government, it became “one of the main reasons for the” departure of youth. “Another important factor that affects emigration is the fact that people in Lithuania in comparison with developed European countries pay a relatively small salary,” – said Butkevicius.
According to statistics, last year the emigration from Lithuania increased in comparison with 2014 from 25%. The departure of last year officially declared 46,5 thousand people, which is 9.9 thousand more than the year before. Lithuanians are forced to declare the fact of his exile, otherwise they, in particular, lose the right to free medical insurance.
Minus one year minus one percent
In Lithuania on 1 January this year, lived 2.89 million permanent residents, or 32.7 million (1.1 percent) less than a year ago, based on preliminary data, reported REGNUM news Agency on the eve of the Department of statistics. The main reason for the decrease is emigration. Negative net international migration (emigrated by 22.9 thousand people more than immigrated) accounted for 70% of the total reduction in the number of permanent residents.
As writes the Colossal portal, the demographic crisis remains one of the main problems of the Baltic States – the population has been steadily declining, and the territory empty. In total, since the beginning of the 90s from the region, according to conservative estimates, has left more than a million people.
Better than others the situation in Estonia, however, and its population has been steadily declining, and according to UN projections, by 2050 the state will remain 1 million 233 thousand persons that on 100 thousand less, than now. At least 60 thousand Estonians, for example, work in the neighboring Finland – and either every night or on the weekend they return on the ferry across the Gulf of Finland to Estonia. As for Lithuania, that, according to the census of the population, it is home to slightly more than 3 million – despite the fact that 20 years ago the inhabitants of this Republic, there were almost 3.7 million.
Former Lithuanian Prime Minister, now leader of the opposition, the member of the Seimas at the same time and freelance Advisor of the President of Ukraine Andrius Kubilius believes that his successor Butkevičius somewhat disingenuous.
“It has nothing to do with military service. This is an attempt therefore to explain some of their shortcomings before the election, scheduled for October, said the former Prime Minister the newspaper VIEW. – The main mistake of our government is that it failed to carry out reforms in our province, where there really are not enough jobs”.
In recent decades Lithuania has developed, and its gross domestic product has already reached 75 per cent per capita from the average level of the European Union, said Kubilius. “But salaries remain still far from the average in the European Union – where some 25 percent, and so, of course, the reason to seek a better life in people remains.”
Kubilius admitted that he was surprised by recent evidence of increased emigration, including among young people. “But also growing the flow and Lithuanians who come back – he misspoke. We see a shortage of workers, especially those enterprises that require a highly intelligent labor. But I my hopes are not linked with the current government. I think after the election we will be able this trend to reverse. In particular, the need to start a program of assistance to young families, they were not afraid to have more children”.
In General, the Kubilius considers emigration as a normal phenomenon. “We just celebrate the 25th anniversary of the events of January, during which we have won freedom, including freedom for our people to decide for themselves where they want to go. This is the first. Our young people are not afraid to go to other countries to gain experience and then return to Lithuania. It’s not a bad trend.” The leader of the Lithuanian opposition has expressed hope that after returning to power in the next election will be able to “break” the demographic trend is “fast enough”. However, did not name a specific date.
White man’s burden
Although in neighbouring Latvia, there is no conscription, the people emigrate from there at a slower pace than from Lithuania. The population is fading away: the beginning of 2014 in Riga were 701 thousand inhabitants, and by the beginning of this – only 698 thousand If the beginning of the 1990s in the Republic of population of 2.7 million people – now there are less than 2 million Although the official National plan declared objective is to overcome the depopulation until 2020, the demographic projections are disappointing by 2050 in Latvia will live less than half a million people.
What language prefer to use in everyday communication the inhabitants of the several countries of the former USSR”the Most dangerous situation is in small towns where there are 500-800 people,” – said the portal RuBaltic.Ru Professor, University of Latvia, academician, demographer Peteris zvidrins, adding that there population has declined by a third.
“For the titular nation, the Latvians, the situation is somewhat better. First, they have a better age structure. Unlike what happened in Soviet period, now the Latvians are much younger than the representatives of all Slavic groups. The number of births, and the intensity of fertility in General, these indicators Latvians also better. But it’s mostly due to the fact that Latvians are more represented in rural areas, where birth rate is higher. However, if we take separately only the city, the Latvians, the birth rate is also slightly higher compared to the Russian and other Slavic ethnic groups. At the same time if to speak about average life expectancy, the differences are minor,” explained demographer.
“The Slavic groups stronger aging of the population, so that a more unfavorable situation in the sphere of natural increase now this group. And a significant migration factor. In the 1990-ies, the Slavic groups had a high proportion have migrated from Latvia,” – admitted Professor.
“People leave with hope. And here they see that the politicians draw them Paulista perspective, however, they are groundless, – said the newspaper VIEW the member of the Seimas of Latvia, the leader of the Social democratic party, Janis Urbanovich. – The government is going to say toast, but, unfortunately, he does not trust people. Active people see that easier to realize their dreams not in this country and not for these rulers”.
In his opinion, the government have no objection to increase the birth rate and ready for this campaign, however, the budget does not allow her to encourage. “But, in my opinion, benefits the children – a second, – said Urbanowicz. – Every parent thinks not only about how to dress, feed and treat the teenager, but also about how this teenager becoming a young man or girl, will then be implemented. If he sees his own implementation did not take place, and not feel the positive change, he / she will not oppose the departure of the child, and sometimes he leaves. It’s trouble.”
Urbanowicz agrees that the aging of the Slavic minority is faster. “Russians in Latvia are under a lot of pressure, even, I would say, even oppression. They are, by birth, are deprived of many rights, in particular they can actively participate in selecting the best managers for the country. Participate in political life only two thirds of the residents, and the rest, whose interests I represent, deprived of full political participation. It seems that the factor of “non-citizens” is small – there are about 200 thousand. But remember – we only have a population less than two million. This is a big disaster. Even if his offspring will become the citizens of Latvia, is gonna leave a stain on the reputation of the family. It poisons the whole society”, – said the Deputy.
“People see it, some, it leads to departure, others to despondency. Some people are full of energy but forced to emigrate, while others are forced to vegetate, the spreading area of depression. Don’t even know what’s worse for the future of Latvia,” – said Urbanowicz.