Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 22, 2008

Nov 21, 2008

TBT Staff in cooperation with BNS

VENTSPILS – The rector of Ventspils University College has expressed his surprise over the detention of a lecturer for attempts to destabilize the Latvian financial system.

University College Rector Janis Vucans told the Baltic News Service that he did not know the exact reasons for the detention of lecturer Dmitrijs Smirnovs, but that he expected to receive a written explanation.

The rector said that the discussion that led to the lecturers detention was an ordinary talk in which each participant voiced his own opinion and vision.

Asked whether Smirnovs’ detention should be taken as interference with a person’s freedom of speech, Vucans said that Smirnovs is a lecturer at the Ventspils University College, delivering lectures on banks and monetary systems. “On what basis should we lecture? Not on examples of some Switzerland or the US, the situation in Latviais more important to us,” he said.

“The question is whether we are teaching something abstract, what does not refer to us, or we are trying to educate our students on issues that are topical,” said the rector. “As far as I understand, his statements are not populist, but based on analysis,” said the rector.

Smirnovs’ detention was one in a string of detentions allegedly following a rumor that the lat was on the verge of devaluation. Parliament made it a crime to spread such rumors after a previous incident saw hundreds of thousands of lats sold over the course of a few days.

Smirnovs said in the discussion: “The only thing I can advise: first, not to keep money in banks, second, not to accumulate savings in lats as it is very dangerous now. Convert them to the US dollars. The euro is an artificial currency, and what is achieved by the euro in a year, can be lost in a month. These are real threats to the value of the euro. Maybe some people do not understand it, but the main oppositionist and competitor to the US is the European Union (EU). The main goal of the US is to destroy the EU as it does not benefit from a strong and united Europe, strong currency – the euro.”


PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BALTIC TIMES’ (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.)

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