Riga Economic Forum organizers cancel invitation of Paul Krugman

EU

Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Princeton University Professor Paul Krugman will not participate in the First Riga Economic Forum due to the controversy that his invitation to the forum has caused in Latvia, reported the Baltic Course. The forum will be held July 24-26, and Krugman confirmed his participation, however, forum organizers have decided to cancel his invite. According to organizers, the invitation of professor Krugman caused unexpected political resonance. Krugman is known in Latvia for criticizing the way Latvia exited the crisis. He has said several times that devaluing the national currency would have been the best way to battle the crisis in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Krugman said the Latvian government’s austerity measures resulted in a major decrease in the gross domestic product, and notes that Latvia’s economic growth has still not returned to the pre-crisis level. The Baltic country - an ex-Soviet nation of two million people - has requested EU approval for entry as the zone’s 18th member on January 1. Riga insists that it already meets euro zone criteria on inflation, public debt and deficits and an EU decision is expected in early July. A majority of Latvians oppose their government’s drive to join the euro zone, an opinion poll showed in May.

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