The president of the famous cosmetics manufacturer Dzintars, Ilya Gerchikov, Doctor of Economics, told Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze newspaper that the declared Latvia’s GDP growth by 6% is "sly figures".
"The most significant increase was made by three Russian companies - Uralkhim, Uralkali and Severstal. It was these three enterprises that gave four percent of the six. We can thank them for what they have transferred to us. But these companies do not actually create GDP. Yes, Severstal processes something, but the other two just ship products from one country to another,” explained the businessman.
“Just look at these numbers! One can speak of growth! And the figures also show the second component of these six percent. This growth is due to prices. Our 6% increase caused by inflation and these three enterprises. And if we put everything together, we can say that in reality we do not have any GDP growth, it is a decline, actually,” Gerchikov is sure.
"And why do we have such a wonderful life? We, the people of Latvia, receive one billion euros, bypassing the government, from those who have left to live abroad. We officially get five hundred million, plus five hundred million more in cash. If this billion were not there, our situation would be quite sad. Do we really need such life prospects? Does this indicate that we are growing? In what respect? For now, we are just falling ... The fact that we are falling can be proved. We take a billion each year. We have borrowed ten and a half billion euros. If those in power do not lie, that everything is fine, that we are prospering, then why are we borrowing?" the reputable businessman asks.
According to Gerchikov, as far back as in 2006, in Latvia with a population of 2.1 million, the state administration apparatus numbered 160 thousand people. And now, when the number of residents, in fact, is only one and a half million, the state machinery has grown to 220 thousand officials. "Half of the budget is eaten up by the government. But instead of introducing drastic changes, discussions begin: we are going to cut three percent, but then we are not going to ... We create some new agencies. The point is that no government was doing anything with the state apparatus. Even in the worst times of the crisis, then Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis categorically refused to reduce the number of employees in the state administration," Ilya Gerchikov complains.