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How much has EU membership really helped countries like Latvia?

A generation after breaking with the Soviets, the mood in Riga is far from upbeat

By Mary Dejevsky   November 2018

Candidates for the Harmony party. Photo: TOMS KALNINS/EPA-EFE/ SHUTTERSTOCK

Membership of the European Union, it is widely accepted, transformed the economic fortunes of the countries of East and Central Europe, helped consolidate their independence and brought them into the European mainstream. If you visit almost any of those nations that joined in 2004 and compare them with how they looked, felt and functioned as communism collapsed across Europe, the transformation is astounding. To take the three Baltic states, their capitals are now jewels of restoration. Most of all, though,…

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