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Friday 20.04.2018 | Name days: Mirta, Ziedīte

Conversation with a politologist about voters in Latvia and stupid re-emigration plans

Among the new political parties in Latvia, only the New Conservative Party has chances of entering the 13th Saeima. Ratings of the Union of Greens and Farmers were not affected by the published oligarch talks. Unity will have recovered prior to elections, raising its rating to 5%, as BNN was told by politologist and University of Latvia Assoc. Prof. Ojārs Skudra.

39% of Estonians bought alcohol outside their country

With the alcohol excise in Estonia being considerably higher in than in its neighbouring Baltic country, Latvia, it has been found in a poll that close to 40% of Estonians have either purchased alcoholic beverages in Latvia or asked compatriots to buy some for them over the past 12 months.

Cuba selects first president after Castro brothers

The Cuban National Assembly has picked Raúl Castro's right-hand man, Miguel Díaz-Canel, as the sole candidate to succeed him as the President of Cuba, ending the family's long rule.

British Steels wants to purchase all of KVV Liepājas metalurgs assets

In a letter sent to KVV Liepājas metalurgs administrator Vita Dika, Privatization Agency’s subsidiary FeLM board member Jānis Rībens and CItadele Bank on 17 April, the consortium, which includes companies like British Steel, Greybull Capital and Estonian company Baltic Metal Holding, affirmed its interest in purchasing all assets of the insolvent company.

Turkey to hold snap presidential and parliamentary election

Turkey has unexpectedly decided to organise early presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 June, one an a half years earlier than scheduled.

Circular economy: more recycling, less waste in landfills

On Wednesday, 18 April, European Parliament approved new rules for circular economy, supporting plans for large-scale waste processing goals, as BNN was informed by the parliament’s information office in Latvia.

Government wants to reduce administrative burden for foreign students

Administrative burden for foreign students and researchers, as well as education and research institutions that host them is planned to be reduced in Latvia. This is provided by amendments to the Immigration Law conceptually approved by Saeima’s Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee on Wednesday, 18 April.

April 18 in pictures

BNN offers you to take a look at topical, interesting and simply beautiful pictures of the day.

Lithuania asks Russia to explain patrol ship’s breach of country’s border

Lithuania has submitted a note to Russia, requesting explanations regarding a border breach incident on Monday, 16 March, when a Russian patrol ship crossed the two country’s border and spent at least two minutes in Lithuania’s territorial waters.

Latvia experienced more rapid growth in car registration numbers that EU in Q1

In the first three months of 2018 Latvia experienced a more rapid increase of the number of car registrations than the average in the European Union, according to the latest data from European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Agriculture Commissioner urges EU farmers to invest in technology

Farmers in the European Union European should make investments in agriculture as after 2020 the subsidies of the Common Agricultural Policy would be less bureaucratic, more focused on «technology breakthroughs» and would improve their standard of living, has said agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan.

Association: will Latvia step on Estonia’s excise tax rake?

Rapid and economically unjustified increase of the excise tax has cut a big hole in Estonia’s budget, according to Latvian Alcohol Industry Association. Because strong alcoholic drinks cost less in Latvia, Estonians regularly travel to Latvian to buy cheaper alcohol, says the association’s CEO Dāvis Vītols.

Estonian tax collector to ask population: «Do people wish to pay taxes?»

Inspired by a Finnish survey, which found that 95% of respondents see paying taxes as a key obligation of a citizen, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board has revealed plans to conduct a broad-based survey of Estonian attitudes towards giving their money to the state.

Latvian Prime Minister offers no solution for finding additional money for teachers’ wages

Latvia’s Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis is not yet ready to provide any proposals to help resolve the matter regarding the deficit of finances for the planned increase of teachers’ wages in the country. He says there aren’t enough numbers and analysis results to formulate an opinion.

ABLV Bank responds to US FinCEN’s report on planned sanctions against it

ABLV Bank has submitted to US Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network answers to its February’s report on planned sanctions against the bank, as confirmed by representatives of the credit institution.

Estonia: Russia must see that violating international law comes at price

In the wake of the accusations on the use of chemical weapons by Russia and the Syrian government regime under the wing of Moscow, Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser has noted to his European Union counterparts that Russia should be made aware of the high price that comes with acting in breach of international law.

Some of Latvia’s municipalities may lack finances for planned wage increase

After a formal re-organization of the school network, some of Latvia’s municipalities may lack the finances to afford the planned wage increase for all teachers, according to what Education and Science Minister Kārlis Šadurskis said during a meeting of Latvian Council of Local and Regional Governments.

EU has to stand against authoritarian trends in members, says France's Macron

Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, has called on the European Union to renew its commitment to democracy, evaluating that «there seems to be a European civil war» between liberal democracy and rising authoritarianism.

Unity to interview regional minister about securing democracy in local governments

On Wednesday, 18 April, Unity’s Saeima faction deputies will interview Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Kaspars Gerhards about his institution’s accomplishments in security compliance with democratic principles in municipal governments, as confirmed by the party.

Armenian ex-President Sargsyan sworn in as PM during mass protest

Armenia's National Assembly has unanimously sworn in a new prime minister after days of protests against him as demonstrators object to the former president, Serzh Sargsyan, becoming the new premier.

Air passengers in Latvia – the most passive in Baltics in terms of complaint submission

Latvia is behind Estonia and Lithuania when it comes to the number of compensation requests, as reported by Skycop flight compensation processing company. Data compiled by the company shows that there had been a rapid climb of the number of compensations submitted in Baltic States in Q4 2017.

Requirements for Latvian language education in national minority kindergartens to increase

Education programmes of national minority kindergartens will soon be amended to ensure increased requirements for Latvian language education, as the Director of the State Education Content Centre Guntars Catlaks told journalists, presenting new pre-school education guidelines.

April 17 in pictures

BNN offers you to take a look at topical, interesting and simply beautiful pictures of the day.

Saeima committee supports ban for banks to work with shell companies

Banks registered in Latvia will be prohibited from working with shell companies and servicing their accounts. New restrictions are provided by amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing supported by Saeima’s Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee on Tuesday, 17 April.

Mass protests in Yerevan oppose Armenia power shuffle

Mass protests in the Armenian capital have resulted in clashes with police as protesters continue a series protests aimed at a perceived power grab by the ex-President of the Caucasus country, Serzh Sargsyan.