Latvia's Crisis Mirrors Eastern Europe's Woes

A detachment of military personnel face off protestors during a rally in Riga on Jan. 13, 2009. ILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images

Linards Naglis says he can't sleep at night. For the past 15 years, the enterprising Latvian has made a good living as a project manager for a consortium of Western investors in his Baltic homeland, buying up land to be used for real estate development. But recently, Naglis—and nearly all of his company's staff—was handed his notice as business evaporated. Now, instead of planning family holidays to Florida, he worries about how he will pay household bills. His life savings, invested in property in Bulgaria, have vanished, too. "I never thought I'd be in this situation, to be honest," he says. "I wasn't expecting to be a millionaire, but I expected a comfortable, decent life. Now I really don't know what will happen."

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