Attitude of the Citizens towards the Privatization of Land in Latvia

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"The process of land privatization has two aspects - its objective necessity and the subjective attitude of the population. The point of view of the society about the fact, that the change of the property is necessary was created already before 1990, when on June 3 the Supreme Soviet the Republic of Latvia adopted the decision 'On the Agrarian Reform in the Republic of Latvia.' Thus our investigations carried out in 3 different rural districts of Latvia during the late 80-ies proved that the attitude of the people was mainly positive. Regarding Latvians the positive attitude varied from 67.8 to 81.7%, but from 57.3 to 73.4% for other nationalities. 25.0 to 31.5% of Latvians were ready to start fanning , 19.8 to 39.8% of the people of other nationalities. It was planed by the people of all ages. While continuing the investigations regarding the problems of land privatization 658 people working in agriculture were questioned in all districts of Latvia. Approximately only every fifth of the inquired had a definite point of view about the privatization. The main reason was the contradictory character of law of privatization. "4. In January 1995 there were 56748 farms. There are two large groups of population in Latvia countryside at present: (1) real and potential land owners; (2) hired workers or the people having no land. There are pagasts where 70 percent from the total number represent the second group. The attitude towards the land privatization of both groups is completely different. The potential land owners consider that the land privatization process is too slow. The second group - that it is too quick. The last group say that the main reason is that old economical structures have been often destroyed in a very short time, but the development of new structures is to slow. The result is a high level of unemployment that reaches 20% in some rural districts in Latvia. The people of the 2 groups questioned consider that an explanatory work as regards the official legislation bills has not been sufficient by the mass media. There are many proposals as regards the improvement of the legislation."
IASC, common pool resources, privatization, land tenure and use