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Latvian Government Survives No-Confidence Vote


Latvia's government has survived a no-confidence vote called by opposition parties, as the country faces a deepening economic crisis.

Lawmakers Wednesday voted 51-40 against the motion that would have forced Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis and his government to step down.

Latvians have demonstrated in the streets of the capital, Riga, in recent weeks, to demand the dissolution of parliament and the holding of early elections. Frustration has grown over the state of the country's economy, which has been hard-hit by the global financial crisis.

The Godmanis government received a blow Tuesday, when Agriculture Minister Martins Roze announced his resignation. Roze quit after hundreds of farmers surrounded the agriculture ministry building in Riga with tractors and farm equipment.

The government has offered financial help as the farmers struggle to survive a sharp drop in milk prices. But it is still not clear if the farmers will accept the offer.

Latvia had one of Europe's most thriving economies before the global financial crisis plunged it into recession.

A major Latvian bank collapsed and the country needed to secure a $10 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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