A jobless Latvian is ending a ten day protest hunger strike today against his country’s unemployment problems.
Gints Gaikens has been camped out in a tent for all that time in front of government buildings. Other protesters have gradually joined him, in what has become known as Riga’s tent city.
Hunger striker Gints Gaikens said:
“ I decided to go on hunger strike for ten days. Afterwards I will slowly recover, because I want to continue the fight. If I had ended up in hospital, then it would have been all over.”
Protester Janis Saulitis explained: “I want something done instead of writing us off. I am waiting for specific action towards reducing unemployment.”
Latvia has been hard hit by the global financial crisis and has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union. A government austerity programme has slashed public sector wages and raised taxes, heightening social tension.