Hardship has long been common here — and still is. But in just four years, the country has gone from the European Union’s worst economic disaster zone to a model of what the International Monetary Fund hails as the healing properties of deep budget cuts. Latvia’s economy, after shriveling by more than 20 percent from its peak, grew by about 5 percent last year, making it the best performer in the 27-nation European Union. Its budget deficit is down sharply and exports are soaring.RECENTLY on the failure of Obamanomics:
“We are here to celebrate your achievements,” Christine Lagarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund, told a conference in Riga, the capital, this past summer.
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