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Monday 21.05.2018 | Name days: Ingmārs, Ernestīne, Akvelīna

MEP: there may be dishonest players hiding behind innocent EU investments

«I we want to know the actual inflow of investments and their influence from third countries, as well as survey possible risks, we have to know how to find out what happens in other EU member states, and understand that there may be dishonest players hiding behind visibly innocent investments,» says MEP Roberts Zīle.

French children to start school from age of three

The school starting age in France has been lowered to three years instead of six, in line with new reforms announced by French President Emmanuel Macron, according to which the country, would have one of the lowest mandatory school starting age among European countries.

NATO, three more countries expel diplomats, Russia sees «blackmail» by U.S.

NATO military alliance as well as Moldova, Ireland and Belgium have been the latest to announce expulsions of Russian diplomats. Russia, in turn, has reacted by explaining the measures as the result of «a colossal blackmail» by the U.S.

Baltic Express: our children will have to pay for Latvia’s railway electrification project

«Latvia’s railway electrification project will not only fail to provide any tangible economic returns but will also cost so much that our children and their children after them will have to pay for it. Similar to any investment project, those who wish to use it expect also a return of investments. Unfortunately, we can predict that the cost of using Latvia’s railway infrastructure, which is already the highest in Europe, will only grow as a result of this project. Unjustifiably high costs have never benefited competition,» says AS Baltic Express Train Movement Organization Office manager Linards Gulbis.

March 27 in pictures

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

Former Microsoft Latvia manager to be appointed as state secretary to Economy Ministry

Latvian government plans to appoint former Microsoft Latvia manager Ēriks Eglītis to the post of state secretary to the country’s Economy Ministry.

Construction costs in Latvia increased 0.3% in February

Compared to January, level of construction costs in Latvia grew by 0.3 % in February 2018. Labour remuneration of workers rose by 0.9 %, while prices of building materials as well as maintenance and operational costs of machinery and equipment by 0.1 %.

Tax increase on fuel has affected car use habits in Latvia

The increase of excise tax on fuel, adopted on 1 January 2018, has affected 93% of drivers in Latvia, according to a survey performed by Neste petrol station network. So far 39% of all drivers admit that fuel price changes were a major reason for them to change their driving habits.

Prime minister: shell companies have begun leaving Latvian banks

We have noticed that shell companies have started leaving Latvian banks, said Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis in an interview to Rīta panorama programme of LTV.

Baltics, other EU members, Ukraine, U.S., expel over 100 Russian diplomats

In reaction to the Salisbury attack and citing violations by Russia of the Vienna convention of diplomatic relations, the three Baltic states, 11 other member states of the European Union, as well as the U.S. and Australia have stated they would expel well over a hundred Russian diplomats.

Expert: EU-Russian relations will depend on Putin’s foreign policy

The future of relations between the European Union and Russian Federation will largely depend on whether or not Russian President Vladimir Putin decides to continue an aggressive foreign policy, says East European Policy Research Center’s researcher Māris Cepurītis.

Estonian Versobank loses operating license

The credit institution's license of Estonian lender AS Versobank has been withdrawn by the European Central Bank at the recommendation of the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority.

Riga City Council adopts new restrictions for internal order

After members of the opposition left an extraordinary meeting of Riga City Council, members of the coalition once again changed rules for internal rules, cancelling the restrictions criticized by Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry in regards to the number of questions deputies are allowed to ask.

U.S. to investigate Facebook over possible user privacy violations

The United States' Federal Trade Commission plans to investigate Facebook over how private data on estimated 50 million users have allegedly been transferred to election consultant Cambridge Analytica.

Stock exchanges on a rise in USA and Europe; oil prices decline

On Monday, 26 March, stock indexes increased in USA, increasing investors’ optimism for trade talks. In Europe, however, stock indexes declined, which was partially caused by increased euro value.

Death-toll rises in Siberia shopping mall fire

In Russia, the number of victims of the tragic fire in a shopping and entertainment complex in Kemerovo has risen to 64 and another 10 people are missing as investigators point to key safety rule violations.

Maxima: turnover grew in food stores at the beginning of 2018

Retail trade turnover in food stores grew by 9% in January 2018 when compared to the same month of 2017. This includes 5.8% increase in non-specialized stores and 62.2% in specialized stores, according to information from Maxima retail compass industry review.

Russian ambassadors summoned in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, report Russian agencies

Russian news agencies report that ambassadors of Russia have been summoned by Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.

Riga City Council to set up 20 minute time limit for Q&A sessions

The ruling coalition of Riga City Council plans to add changes to the controversial rules. Instead of limiting the total number of questions deputies are allowed to ask, the coalition has decided to set up a time limit for questions and answers sessions.

March 26 in pictures

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

Diena: ex-minister plans to build a pharmaceutical factory in Uzbekistan

The newly founded company SVC Group, which belongs to the now former Healthcare Minister of Latvia Guntis Belēvičs and deputy chairman of Latvijas gaze, chairman of Itera Latvija and Dinami Riga council Juris Savicskis, plans to build a pharmaceutical factory in Uzbekistan, as reported by Diena.

Minister orders Riga City Council to cancel controversial internal rules

Latvian Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Kaspars Gerhards has signed the order to cancel amendments adopted by Riga City Council, as confirmed by the minister’s representative Santa Vaļuma.

Bank: residents plan to entrust their life in retirement to the state

Latvian residents plant to put the weight of their lives in retirement on the shoulders of the state. 61% of them hope to receive on average EUR 860 in their pension. General involvement in creation of timely savings for retirement remains low, as shown by results of Swedbank’s performed study.

Official: European Union strengthens countries’ sovereignty

The European Union strengthens its member states’ sovereignty, not reduces it. It is a union that combines many small and medium-sized countries, and together we are stronger. Without European Union’s assistance and our mutual cooperation we would be much more vulnerable on our own, said chairperson of Latvian Saeima’s European Affairs Committee Lolita Čigāne during ‘Baltic EU talks 2018: has Europe recovered?’ conference.

Russian ministry: transition to education only in Latvian will impact Latvian-Russian relations

Amendments approved by the Saeima to perform a full transition to education in Latvian language in the country’s schools will have a negative impact on mutual relations between Latvia and Russia, and Latvia will be the one responsible, as announced by Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry.