Latvian leader to visit Berlin

Latvian leader to visit Berlin Berlin - Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis is to visit Berlin next week for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said Friday.

They are to discuss the world economic crisis.

Latvia has been resisting tough terms set out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a 7.5-billion-euro (9.7-billion-dollar) bail-out package. The government has foreshadowed huge spending cuts as the embattled Baltic state struggles to meet IMF economic criteria.

Latvia has already missed out on one 200-million-euro payment from the IMF because of its inability to get reforms in place quickly.

After years of strong growth, Latvia's economy imploded in 2008. Official estimates say GDP will shrink by at least 13 per cent in 2009, the largest projected contraction in the European Union. (dpa)