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Report: Latvia president dissolves parliament, effective immediately

By the CNN Wire Staff
Latvia President Valdis Zatlers dissolved parliament Saturday.
Latvia President Valdis Zatlers dissolved parliament Saturday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The IMF, which loaned Latvia $171 million on Thursday, has no comment on the situation
  • President Zatlers says he is dissolving the legislature, says Latvia's official news agency
  • He made the announcement following a nationally televised address
  • A day earlier, Zatlers and other Eastern European leaders met U.S. President Obama in Poland
RELATED TOPICS
  • Latvia

(CNN) -- Latvia's president disolved the national legislature on Saturday, according to the Baltic country's official news agency LETA.

President Valdis Zatlers made his announcement following a nationally televised address. The move takes effect immediately, LETA reported, though there was no immediate indication.

Zatlers made the move one day after he met U.S. President Barack Obama at a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, that also included other central and eastern European leaders.

On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund authorized a $171 million loan for Latvia. According to the IMF website, the loan came because "strong policy actions ... have helped restore confidence, contributed to economic recovery, and enabled significant progress toward Latvia's goal of euro adoption."

Reached Saturday, IMF spokeswoman Simonetta Nardin said the organization had no immediate comment -- either on the political situation in Latvia or how it might affect its relations with the fund.

Also on Thursday, the World Bank approved a $143 million loan, which expires in 10 years, to protect "vulnerable groups ... during the economic contraction, to mitigate the social costs of fiscal consolidation, and to ensure that structural reforms lay a foundation for sustainable improvements in the social sectors," that world body's website said.

During a speech last month at The European Institute, a public policy group dedicated to fostering U.S.-European relations, Zatlers said "Latvia was arguably the hardest-hit country" in the latest economic crisis because the global downturn came at the same time as an independent dip in Latvia itself.

Since taking various measures, including tightening government spending, Zatlers said that Latvia -- a U.S. ally -- was on the rebound. He claimed that exports had risen back to precrisis levels and predicted the government deficit would fall to 3% of the gross domestic product by next year.

 
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