"Non citizens" to become Latvians
As of 2020 all children born in Latvia will receive either Latvian citizenship or the same citizenship as their parents. In this way the children of non-Latvian citizens of the former Soviet Republic - who as "non citizens" had no democratic rights until now - will become Latvians. Press reactions to the end of years of controversy range from relief to concern.
Situation in Latvia finally normalising
Neatkarīgā is delighted with Latvia's new citizenship law:
“Finally we can say that the transition phase is over and only Latvian citizens and citizens of other countries live here. What's more, there's no sense at all in calling children under 18 citizens of the former Soviet Union. In the next step it would only be consistent to also abolish the stateless status. For children who were born in independent Latvia as well as for adults.”
Why the government doesn't speak with one voice
The national-conservative governing party National Alliance sided against its coalition partners and rejected the law. Delfi offers an explanation for this:
“The party is firmly convinced that it is implementing the will of the Latvian people. And the prime minister and the other government partners will hold their tongues so as not to hurt the coalition. It's to be expected that before the parliamentary elections [next year] the national conservatives will become clones of the Estonian Ekre party and assume an increasingly xenophobic stance.”