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Votes split in Bulgaria and Latvia

Monday, October 06, 2014 - 01:48

Coalitions are on the cards in two European countries after weekend elections. Bulgaria and Latvia had both been causing concern in Europe for different reasons. As Sonia Legg reports Bulgaria still is

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It will still be ruled by a coalition but there was some relief in the euro zone after weekend elections in Latvia. With ethnic Russians making up almost a quarter of the population there had been fears a pro-Russian party would hold the balance of power. Just months after Latvia joined the euro and with the Ukraine crisis showing no sign of ending that was a real worry. Instead the centre-right ruling coalition won a clear majority - and it took a hardline over Russian actions in Ukraine. Edgars Rinkevics is Latvia's Foreign Minister and a member of the ruling Unity Party. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LATVIAN FOREIGN MINISTER AND UNITY PARTY MEMBER, EDGARS RINKEVICS, SAYING: "We want to continue with the existing coalition. So it's Unity, the Union of Farmers and Greens and the National Alliance. We also have said that the current Prime Minister is ready to continue if the president asks her to form the government." Bulgaria's election offers less stability. Former bodyguard and karate expert Boiko Borisov won a third of the votes. But his GERB party is likely to be dozens of seats short of a majority. And there are seven other parties he must negotiate with. (SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) DELEV [SURNAME NOT GIVEN], PENSIONER, SAYING: "Forming a government will be extremely difficult. There is a huge decentralization in the political forces; and a desperation in the big parties." (SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) HADZHIEVA [SURNAME NOT GIVEN], SOFIA CITIZEN, SAYING: "All this sounds to me like a play for fools and it will be a pity for Bulgaria if this will lead to new elections, because so much money is being wasted." Bulgaria is one of Europe's poorest countries. The average monthly salary is just over 400 euros. It also has a banking crisis to sort - it's fourth biggest lender was closed in June after a run on deposits . Political squabbles prevented a solution before the election - that could well still be the case now it's over. ////

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Votes split in Bulgaria and Latvia

Monday, October 06, 2014 - 01:48