Monday, January 4, 2010

Latvia Closed for 2010

In the final hours of 2009, multiple caravans of 40-year-old, Hungarian-made Icarus buses crossed Latvia's borders at all points. "Latvia is finally closed for business," said Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis. "Except for a few representatives of G4S and their German Shepherds, we have evacuated the country." Dombrovskis said he hoped the country would have funds to reopen as soon as 2011 or 2012.
Homeless shelters in Vilnius, Tallinn, and Navapolatsk (Belarus) quickly filled with hungry Latvians. "We will do whatever we can for our Latvian brothers," said Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in a televised address to Belarusian citizens. "I say to you, my countrymen, rejoice! Let us embrace our Latvian brothers for they are the needed labor for our night crawler farms and onion fields. Let them not go pluck turkeys in foreign lands."
Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves also welcomed Latvians in his New Year's address. Ilves, however, expressed doubts that Latvian labor might be able to help Estonia cope with its century-record snowfall. "Latvia," the president said, "is a nation of Soviet stick-brooms while E-stonia has embraced the Fiskars graphite-shafted shovel." An EU-funded campaign is underway to help Latvian refugees cope with life abroad, the first installment an effort to demonstrate that while outside their country Latvians no longer need to boil tap water before drinking.

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