When the Baltic States became part of the EU, the leaders of Latvia and Lithuania hoped their countries would turn into economic paradise with a high standard of living. However, soon their dreams about the bright future turned into a nightmare, Nrg Maariv said.
"Over the last decade, thousands of people left these countries, especially the young generation. They took advantage of their European passports and migrated to more developed European countries, such as Britain and Germany. Thus, Latvia and Lithuania are left with nothing: with the economy on the brink of collapse and an aging population," the newspaper reported.
In 1991, before the fall of the Soviet Union, Latvia had 2.7 million people. Today, there are only 1.97 million. The situation will only continue to get worse — by 2060 there will be 1.4 million people in Latvia.
The situation is similar in Lithuania. Out of 3.7 million people in 1991, there are now 2.9 million. The country is expected to lose another 40 percent of its population by 2060, according to EU forecasts.
Until both Baltic nations start to develop their own economies and introduce innovations they will be considered as the backwater of Europe and young folks will continue to run away to more developed countries in the West, the newspaper said, citing words of a Latvian politician.