Changing Ownership in Latvia through Agrarian Reform

Roberts Zile
September 1992  [92-BR 5]

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Zile, R. 1992. "Changing Ownership in Latvia through Agrarian Reform." CARD paper 92-BR 5. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


The economic life of Latvia entered a new phase after the disintegration of the USSR and restoration of independence on August 1991. This period is characterized by a decrease in gross national product, by deterioration of living standards, by essential structural changes, by hyperinflation caused by monetary emission by an alien country, among other factors. The economic reforms should be based in acquisition of strategic targets, although this would prolong the crisis for a certain period of time. The economic reforms in Latvia are more closely linked with legal, political and demographic problems as they are in any other postsocialist country in Eastern and Central Europe. In accordance with the Hague convention and other international agreements, the rebirth of the Latvian Republic as an independent state claims to observe the principle of inviolability of property rights during the Soviet occupation. It means that in Latvia one should respect the property rights of Latvian citizens and others whose property was nationalized or illegally expropriated after June 17, 1940.