10 January 2008

Borderlands (VI)

There is a fresh and bizarre footnote to the loss of the eastern civil parishes of Abrene. Latvia is embroiled in a stunning scandal once again -- the sale of perhaps a hundred passports to wealthy individuals, mostly Russian citizens seeking to take advantage of Latvia's EU and Schengen membership. The Baltic Times has a brief article on the subject here. This latest episode of corruption, which may well involve the highest levels of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, was a deal worth at least seven million euros.

In Diena, the filmmaker and pundit Laila Pakalniņa adds fascinating detail -- apparently, no apparatchik noticed that many a millionaire suddenly hailed from Abrene (according to the falsified data on these fictitious citizens). If they had, either the crime would have been discovered -- or the area we've now recognized as merely "magical" wouldn't have been handed to Russia so smoothly, what with its wealth (in reality, it was the poorest part of interbellum Latvia and is now an impoverished Russian backwater, Pytalovo).

But what can one expect in a country with so many prosperous corpses?

My previous post has links to all of my posts on border issues. The photograph of a 1930s Latvian passport is from the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Renegade Eye said...

You have to respect the creativity of the scam.

I get several hits from being linked to you.


Regards.

11 January, 2008 08:41  
Blogger abdelmoaty said...

I admire your writings for the sake of freedom and independence,and good luck fighting all figures of corruption

12 January, 2008 16:44  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

جزيل

12 January, 2008 16:57  

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