01 May, 2009

Shoot to Kill or Set up business in another country

We all have created our financial environments. In Latvia a higher percentage of people choose to organise their finances outside of the law. Now with the economic downturn their recourse of action is to apply threats, physical abuse and even to kill. The word going around in those circles is that for many life is a misery as the family is also threatened and the debts become life long obligations. Recent killings in Latvia just add to the overall feeling of subjugation.

Then there are those folk that have chosen to organise their finances according to the law and contracts. But the rule of law in Latvia lets them down. The legal system in Latvia is full of lawyers that focus more on how to milk their clients rather than professional representation. The result of this is that there are increasingly fewer business-people wanting to do business with or in Latvia. Russia is an example of where Latvia is heading. The leadership fools of Latvia would argue that a serious business in Latvia finds its own way forward with the best lawyers etc. But they are fools because the best business for Latvia are small businesses. Small businesses employ the most amount of people, are most innovative and lead to the most diversification in export income. But these same small businesses are easily strangled by a legal system that milks them and does not result in the remedy they expect and would achieve in another European country.

Personally I am heading towards the first year anniversary or a court case that should have had a preliminary decision at the first hearing. The judge contradics himself frequently requests information for the next hearing that he does not even look at and then postpones decisions without any request for further information and having a translator translate in the court is forbidden by the judge. This is a ridiculous situation as I initiated proceedings to give the other party increased rights under law. I would have been better to behave like a local and sit on my first court ruling that gave me all the rights instead of trying to do the right thing in Latvia. If the next hearing does not provide the remedy then I will simply withdraw my submission.

Business people are fed up with this. I have recently met business people in Warsaw, Krakow, and Prague that are sufferring from similar lawless environments. The consensus is to move business to somewhere like Berlin where there is the rule of law and prices for property and supplies are lower there. Automation removes the higher labour costs.

Just to emphasise the point here. One friend in Krakow won a government tender to set up a small zoo in a location that was failing. It has become so successulfull that the locals have put an injunction on further development. He will win the legal battle but the fact that the injunction was allowed in the first instance is sheer corruption. It is the children of Poland that benefit from this zoo as it will be years befre my friend will get back the million plus euros he invested. So for the Polish legal system to restrict something that educates their children is a disgrace. These same shameless acts are being allowed all over New Europe by the people of New Europe.

One thing for ceratin is that the shoot to kill business people would not be as successful in New Europe. If Latvia does not improve I know where I would prefer my business to expand in. Why surround yourself by people that do not care about their country and their children and is in debt to its eyeballs. All this would not be such an issue if Latvian leaders gave priority to people like myself that can access resources that can make a positive difference to the country.

1 comment:

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