Best Bitcoin Card for Latvia
The Republic of Latvia lies in the north-east of Europe on the Baltic States and is with an area of 64 600 km² about three quarters as large as Austria. In the north the country has borders with Estonia, in the east with Russia, in the south with Belarus and with Lithuania. In the north (Riga Gulf) and west the country borders on the Baltic Sea.
Latvia is the northwest of the Eastern European Plain, characterised by a hilly lowland with wide, fertile plains. More than half of the total state area is less than 100 m above sea level. On the flat peninsula Kurland (Kurzeme) in the west of the country rises a terminal moraine range (Kurland Switzerland) up to 184 m high. In the east of Latvia, the highest point of the country, the Gaising (311 m), lies on a terminal moraine range belonging to the Baltic Ridge. The Semgall plain extends from the border of Lithuania in the south of the country to the Gulf of Riga.
A dense network of rivers and small lakes runs through the country. Of the approximately 3,000 lakes, the Lubãnas lake (Lubãnas) is the largest with about 80 km². Its average depth is 40 cm, so that the size of the lake is reduced if drought persists. The longest river is the Düna (Daugava), which rises in Russia and flows through Latvia for 357 km before flowing into the Gulf of Riga near the capital Riga.
Latvia is – according to the current Constitution of 1922, which has been in force since 1993 – a parliamentary republic with a multi-party system. The head of state is the president, who is elected by parliament for a term of four years (since July 2011 Andris Berzins). The executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers under the leadership of the Prime Minister (since March 2009 Valdis Dombrovskis). Ministers are appointed by the People’s Assembly on a proposal from the Prime Minister.
The legislative power lies with the Parliament (Saeima), whose 100 members are directly elected for four years. Latvia is divided into 109 municipalities and nine cities.
The Latvian economy has overcome the economic and financial crisis. Economic output has grown steadily again since 2010. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 5.6 % in 2012. The unemployment rate fell from 21 % in the meantime to just under 15 % in 2012. The euro was introduced on 1 January 2014.
Agriculture employs about 8 % of all gainfully employed persons, but generates only about 4 % of GDP. The main crops are potatoes, cereals, sugar beet and vegetables. Dairy and fattening livestock farming and pig breeding dominate the livestock sector. Both fishing and the timber industry play an important role.
The most important branches of industry are mechanical and engine engineering and the electrical industry; food and wood processing companies are also important. Latvia has very few mineral resources (peat, limestone, clay). Only about half of the total energy required can be covered by Latvia’s hydroelectric and thermal power stations.
Raw materials and food are among the most important export commodities, with the main imports being oil, food and chemical products. Imports come from Lithuania, but to a large extent also from Germany. Exports are mainly to Russia, Lithuania and Estonia.
The road network is about 60 000 km long and there are 2 300 km of railways. The most important seaports are Riga, Liepāja and Ventspils. The airport in Riga is the most important of the country’s three airports. The currency is the euro.