TELEGRAPH.- The tins of smoked sprats, pickled herrings and mackerel in tomato sauce were a favourite staple of Soviet kitchens, as familiar as Heinz beans and Marmite in the West. But now the sprawling Brivais Vilnis cannery on the shores of the Gulf of Riga is facing hard times.Seguir leyendo...
First the forklift truck drivers left for building sites in Ireland. Then the computer programmers headed to London, and the women who gut and thread the fish onto long needles for smoking departed for plants in Norway and Sweden.
While Britain weighs up leaving the EU because of a tide of migrant workers, for the little Baltic state of Latvia the long-sought dream of membership has come at a phenomenal price: the loss of hundreds of thousands of its educated young.
Now a grand national effort, likened by diplomats to Israel’s immigration programme, has been launched to lure the diaspora home and avert a demographic catastrophe.
“Last November, we were seeking 20 workers, and it was almost impossible to find them,” complains Arnolds Babris, the chairman.
The town of Salacgriva has shrunk by a quarter to 7,959 people in 15 years.