Latviski English По-русски
Ceturtdiena 14.12.2017 | Name days: Gaisma, Auseklis

BATL: Lembergs’ policy would cause most companies to go bankrupt

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUNo one but the criminally accused and infamous resident of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs and his associates in Ventspils, Freeport management boards, Saeima, Latvian government and ministries and important national transit companies are responsible for running Latvia’s transit industry into the ground, notes the management of Baltic Association-Transport and Logistics and its associated companies.

BATL categorically denies the statements made by Lembergs in an interview to LETA, in which he said that the 8.9% decline in transshipped cargoes at Ventspils Freeport is related to the negative impact caused by sanctions against Russia and the latter’s response to them. In his usual manner, Lembergs blames others. This time he has decided to blame companies whose assets have been entrusted to Rudolph Meroni by the Prosecutors General’s office, as BNN was told by the association.

BATL draws attention to the fact that the criminally accused Aivars Lembergs has been using state resources to pay for lobbies (Large Ports Association; Latvian Transit Business Association [both are funded from budgets of Latvian freeports]; Transit and Logistics Council of Large Ports and others), all of which have managed to secure loyalty of Laimdota Straujuma’s government in the potential interests of the aforementioned criminally accused entrepreneur. Under influence of this forceful lobby, state representatives continue to intentionally ignore decisions by Latvian Competition Council, State Audit and Latvian courts. They refuse to follow recommendations provided by the World Bank, listen to opinions of associations that represent private companies working in the transit industry. Instead of resolving problems that plague the country’s transit segment, state representatives actively work to deform the project headed by the European Commission in regard to the country’s railway and ports, offering ‘nightmares’ instead of actually functional solutions and openly lying about having discussed proposals in depth.

BATL urges all state representatives to stop serving Lembergs. The association reminds that it was the action (or rather inaction) of officials from Ventspils Freeport and Latvijas dzelzceļš that served to frighten away foreign investors from Latvia’s transit market. For example, Belaruskalij Company, which had worked in cooperation with Kālija parks in Ventspils, has stopped providing its services to at Ventspils Freeport because of unreasonably high railway service tariffs. In response to this, Belaruskalij had said that actions taken by Latvijas dzelzceļš only serve to ruin the perspective of using Latvia’s transport corridor for exports. According to estimates, Latvijas dzelzceļš did not receive EUR 7.5 million as a result of the company’s departure. Losses of Kālija parks are estimated at EUR 7 million. Officials of Ventspils Freeport took the side of Latvijas dzelzceļš in all this. During a press-conference that was organized to cover this matter, Lembergs had announced that requests submitted by Kālija parks and the Belarus export company to maintain railway tariffs in 2009 on the level of 2008 had been unjustified.

On top of that, in order to completely halt all business activities of Kālija parks, Lembergs had even expressed the wish to build an alternative terminal in Riga.

In regard to the reduction of Ventspils Freeport’s competitiveness, BATL believes that by losing influence with certain commercial companies present at the port, Lembergs has turned his hungry gaze at companies present at Riga Freeport. This has resulted in the use of lobby mechanisms and unfair railway tariff policy in order to accomplish artificial increase of competitiveness of Riga Freeport at the expense of Liepaja and Ventspils. One of the actual reasons for the decline in cargoes at Ventspils Freeport is the methodology for calculating fees for the use of public railway infrastructure for transportation approved in 2006 and employed by Latvijas Dzelzceļš. The unfair tariff policy is one of the most notable factors that prevent companies working at Ventspils Freeport from attracting new clients, new cargoes and diversify cargo segments.

Lembergs lies. This is proven both by the silence of Ventspils Freeport in regard to the clearly unfair railway tariff policy (which lasted for eight years) and work results of companies present at the port in spite of Lembergs’ attempts to paralyze them. This includes Ventbunkers – one of the largest taxpayers in Latvia and the largest in Ventspils municipality’s budget in 2013, as noted by representatives of the association.

In total, Ventbunkers had transshipped a total of 4.3 million tons of oil products in 2013 (40% more compared with 2012). The company’s clean profits reached EUR 20 million in 2013. In 0214, the company’s terminal transshipped a total of 2.4 million tons of oil products. Ventbunkers had achieved especially good results in the handling of dark oil products in 2014, increasing handled volumes by 42% in comparison with 2013. The company’s profits reached EUR 15 million last year.

By allowing Lembergs to continue his disastrous policy in relation to Ventspils Freeport, it can be safely said that the majority of companies working there will be pushed to the brink of bankruptcy. Although he can be blamed for most of the disasters that have struck once the most influential and important port in the region, because lost control means lost opportunity to make money, Lembergs will likely cast blame on others for ruining perspective companies, as he always does. And this will result in the fulfilment of one of Lembergs’ dreams to make Ventspils a port for tourist yachts, earn money in Riga Freeport and graciously declare «I have been great. And so I will be!» concludes BATL.


Leave a reply

Maxima: residents have become more conservative in their choice of products

In Q2 and Q3, a higher degree of conservatism was noticed in residents’ choice of products. The number of buyers who gladly purchase new products has declined, whereas the number of buyers who do not change anything in their purchasing habits has increased, according to results of a study performed by Maxima.

Civil processes to be sped up and simplified in Latvia

On Thursday, 14 December, Saeima supported amendments to the Civil Process Law in the final reading. Amendments propose several major changes to the process of review of civil processes to make court sessions quicker and more efficient.

State Auditor dissatisfied with parliament’s slow legislative process

Latvian State Auditor Elita Krūmiņa plans to inquire to the Saeima about the delay with the approval of the legislative draft on the expansion of authority of her institution, as she mentioned in an interview to Rīta panorama programme of LTV.

Aldaris commences exports to France, China and Netherlands

Aldaris concludes 2017 with three new export contracts, commencing exports of products to China, France and Netherlands. Until now Aldaris has exported products to eight markets, with the largest one being United Kingdom, taking up 78.71% from Aldaris export volume, as reported by the company.

Estonian budget passed with 0.25 billion-euro deficit

The Estonian Riigikogu with 55 votes against 41 has passed the country’s 2018 state budget bill planning to spend by 0.25 billion more than it is planned to earn.

AFSAL: loan requests in non-banking industry are declined in 69% of all cases

In the first six months of 2017 Alternative Financial Services Association of Latvia (AFSAL) issued a total amount of EUR 84.7 million in consumer loans. No increase is noted in this amount when compared with the same period of 2016. Increase did not exceed 0.2%, as reported by the association.

European Parliament supports changes for combating activities detailed in Panama Papers

Public registries with names of true owners of businesses, effective protection of whistle-blowers and stricter requirements for financial intermediaries are some of the proposals intended to assist with the fight against tax avoidance, as noted by members of the European Parliament.

Former deputy chief of anti-corruption bureau: Christmas lights are more important to Riga mayor than residents’ welfare

«Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs focuses a lot on ‘shiny things’ and procurements performed by capital associations in which flow of money is hard to control. For example, Ušakovs has decided to allocate from the budget EUR 200,000 for Rīgas Gaisma to procure Christmas decorations. Meanwhile in Riga there are nearly 50 km of streets with no lighting. This demonstrates that the mayor focuses on ‘shiny things’ instead of improving life for Riga’s residents,» former deputy chief of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) Juta Strīķe told BNN in an interview.

Turkey and 56 other countries recognise East Jerusalem as capital of Palestine

In a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, held in reaction to Washington’s decision to recognise the city of Jerusalem as only the capital of Israel, Turkey and 56 other Muslim countries have called on the rest of the world to recognise «the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital».

Ventspils City Council opposition member sees possibility of establishing closer ties with Unity

«If Unity is interested, and wants to come back to the values it once had, we may consider working more closely. My knowledge and experience from the past 5-6 years may be useful in restarting political cooperation and restoration of lost influence,» said Ventpils City Council opposition member Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis.

FM mentions progress in combating grey economy; prime minister expects more

Latvia will continue combating grey economy in construction field and fight envelope wages, said Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola during the ministry’s Taxpayer Forum 2017 organized by the ministry on Wednesday, 13 December.

EP agrees to EU moving on to phase II of Brexit talks

Members of the European Parliament have overwhelmingly supported what has been negotiated upon in the joint EU-UK progress report in Brexit talks and have recommended Brussels to move on to phase two negotiations on the future relations of the parties.

Businessmen share stories: ‘surviving’ and taking risks in Latvia when starting a business

The silent period – the time for Christmas wishes – has begun. Snow covers Tukums, and the city slowly becomes white. Everything is quiet at Pils ielā. The phone rings, interrupting a quiet moment of watching snowflakes fall under the light of a lantern. «You’re here for us, aren’t you?» BNN goes to interview manager of Merci Cafe Anija Rabkeviča (23) and cafe’s founder Rinalds Pluģis (22). They tell about their experience of ‘surviving’ in Latvia.

BATL: Transport Ministry plans to increase burden on taxpayers’ shoulders

Latvian Transport Ministry’s developed development plan for the transit industry, which was presented to Saeima’s National Economy Committee this week, states that raising competitiveness in the country requires subsidizing railway cargo transports.

Croat soldier dies in Lithuania barracks

A soldier from the Croat contingent in Lithuania, who served in the Rukla military town as part of NATO international forces, has passed away.

LMP President: proposal for LMT and Lattelecom merge was only politically discussed

Only political discussions were held proposal on the merge between Latvijas Mobilais Telefons and Lattelecom, and it is good that this matter has been taken off the agenda, said LMT President Juris Binde in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LNT.

Survey: 55% of employed people are not paid for overtime

More than half of employed people work overtime. On top of that, 55% of them are not paid for working overtime and 45% are paid, according to results of a survey performed by CV Market.

Estonian military receives anti-tank missiles, bought with U.S. funding

The Estonian military has acquired another lot of missiles for the American-made man-portable Javelin antitank system bought with U.S. money allocated for supporting European defence measures.

Tallinners can claim millions for overpriced water, says competition watchdog

In the Estonian capital, the result of a legal dispute between water utility company Tallinna Vesi and the Estonian Competition Authority is that consumers are considered to be able to claim tens of millions of euros in compensation for overcharged water tariffs that have been in place for a number of years.

Latvian Association of Regions decides against working with For Latvia’s Development political party

It was decided at a meeting of representatives of Latvian Association of Regions (LAR) that the party will not work with For Latvia’s Development. The party has also decided to start in 13th Saeima elections with its own list of candidates.

Italy in state of emergency after fire at Austria gas hub

Italy has declared a state of emergency in its natural gas sector as a large explosion at a major natural gas hub in Austria killed one person, injured at least 18 and is prone to affect supplies in central Europe.

LEC: more expensive MPC is a serious burden for international competition

«To maintain GDP growth rate, the government should address priority matters like prevention of mandatory procurement component costs and electricity price rise to reduce costs for both businesses and residents. It is very important for employers to have the energy policy closely tied with production, because processing industry is the main driving force behind development of Latvia’s national economy,» says Latvian Employers’ Confederation (LEC) Director General Līga Meņģelsone.

Pilots of Ryanair expected to strike prior to Christmas

The clients of Irish low-fare airline Ryanair will face inconvenience before Christmas as pilots and crew announced industrial action seeking to achieve union recognition and better conditions in the company, which is criticised by unions that it fails to offer pilots the same pay and conditions as its rivals.

Corruption in public sector remains a major problem in Latvia

Money laundering activities and grey economy are in decline in Latvia. However, corruption in the country’s public sector and smuggling activities remain serious problems for the national economy, as noted in the report on unaudited economy, corruption in the public sector and money laundering activities in Latvia published by Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, 12 December.

Saakashvili released from detention in Ukraine

Former Georgian President, now opposition activist in Ukraine, Mikheil Saakashvili, has been released from arrest by a judge, who denied a request from prosecutors to subject him to house arrest, but the case against him continues.

When do you go shoping for Christmas gifts?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive

Category feed: Feed: