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Saturday 24.02.2018 | Name days: Diāna, Dina, Dins

BNN summary of the week: Grigule leaves, Lithunia no longer an outsider, gas get single bill

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUBNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories, including change, business, fight, truth, growth and future.

Change: Grigule submits resignation to leave LFU

MEP Iveta Grigule has decided to leave Latvian Farmers Union. In her interview to Panorāma, Grigule said she was shown social surveys that showed declines of ratings of the Union of Greens and Farmers and the government. «I don’t want to get in anyone’s way – if I am the reason for the decline in ratings, I hope this step will help recover lost positions,» Grigule said. When asked if she truly believes she is the reason for the rating decline, the politician asked to look at ratings in a couple of months.

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/grigule-writes-request-to-leave-latvian-farmers-union-159972

Business: Government approves open gas market principles

From now on all activities in the gas trade process involving customer service will be secured by the trader. With that, clients will only have to sign one contract and receive one bill.

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/government-approves-open-gas-market-principles-159876

Fight: NEPLP concerned about Latvijas Radio’s situation

«National Electronic Mass Media Council is very concerned over the situation at Latvijas Radio. Recent meetings and discussions have left the impression that LR does not function as a team. Such a situation is unacceptable. The council expects explanations, an action plan and specific solutions,» – says council member Ivars Abolins.

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/abolins-neplp-concerned-about-latvijas-radio-s-situation-160144

Decline: Sudraba and Aboltina believe Kucinskis’ mistake was the approval of this year’s budget

Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis’ government is as though an empty boat without a captain or crew tossed around by waves. Such an assessment to Kucinskis’ government’s first year was given by Inguna Sudraba in her interview to Rīta panorama on 9 February. Solvita Aboltina told LNT on 9 February that trust for Kucinskis’ government is below the lowest point of Laimdota Straujuma’s government, which is rather unfortunate to say the least, she said. Aboltina believes the biggest accomplishment of Kucinskis’ government is the reform in education. Its biggest mistake, on the other hand, was the approval of this year’s budget.

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/sudraba-and-aboltina-kucinskis-mistake-approval-of-this-year-s-budget-159986

Truth: Ombudsman reports many complaints are received in regards to work in SRS

The State Revenue Service does not comply with principles of the Administrative Process Law in its work. The service has had poor progress with introduction of good management lately, said ombudsman Juris Jansons. He said that even if a person is late with submitting some information, SRS responds very repressively. But if it is SRS who does not respond to residents’ applications, the service faces no penalties.

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/ombudsman-many-complaints-are-received-in-regards-to-work-in-srs-159705

Growth: Masjulis: Lithuania has become a leader of Rail Baltica

From an initially outsider position in the Rail Baltica project, Lithuania has become its leader, Lithuania Transport Minister Roks Masjulis told BNS on 9 February.

«During this meeting, I emphasized that Lithuania, which up until now was viewed as the project’s outsider, has become the leader. We already have a railway line from Poland’s border all the way to Kaunas. In addition, we have begun establishing a route from Kaunas to Latvia’s border. No other country has done as much,» Masjulis said.

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/masjulis-lithuania-has-become-a-leader-of-rail-baltica-160103

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Baltic States ask European Commission to maintain EU Cohesion Fund financially strong

Baltic finance minister ask the European Commission to keep the European Union’s Cohesion Policy financially strong and aim it towards results, BNN was told by Finance Ministry.

Police commence investigation on possible money laundering schemes at ABLV Bank

Latvia’s State Police has commenced an investigation about the possible money laundering operations at ABLV Bank, which were reported by Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) US Department of Treasury.

S&P Global affirms Latvia’s credit rating at «A-»

On Thursday, 22 February, S&P Global reaffirmed Latvia’s credit rating on the «A-» level, retaining a positive outlook for the future, as BNN was informed by the State Treasury.

Kristovskis: state officials should be equally strict to Lembergs and Rimšēvičs

«Lack of consistency – such a conclusion appears after looking at the behaviour of state officials in regards to their request for Ilmārs Rimšēvičs’ to step down as governor of the Bank of Latvia,» says Ventspils City Council member Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis.

LSRTC: Zaķusala TV Tower’s reconstruction will cost several dozen million euros

According to chairman of Latvia’s State Radio and Television Centre (LSRTC) Jānis Bokta, reconstruction of Zaķusala TV Tower will cost several dozen million euros.

Trade union worried teachers may not have time to prepare for new education content

Teachers may not have enough time to prepare to work with new education content, said manager of Latvian Education and Science Workers' Union Inga Vanaga in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV.

Judins, Loskutovs, Čigāne and Dālderis to continue working in Unity’s faction

Saeima members Andrejs Judins, Aleksejs Loskutovs, Lolita Čigāne and Ints Dālderis will continue working in Unity’s faction and coalition.

Saeima supports member’s proposal to publish wages of Bank of Latvia employees

Latvia’s parliament has decided to support Ints Dālderis’ proposal to publish wages paid to employees of the Bank of Latvia, education institutions, as well as municipal capital associations.

More snow expected on weekends; air temperature to drop even more next week

On the night to Friday, 23 February, air temperature in most of Latvia declined to -21° C… -27° C. It was only warmer in Kurzeme and some parts of Vidzeme, as reported by Latvia’s State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

SEB Bank: more employment options will open up and workers will become more selective

«It is becoming easier to change jobs nowadays. The largest selection of employment options are found in regional centres and cities, especially Riga and Pieriga. We see fewer employment options in regions even though there is still considerable demand for workers there,» predicts SEB Bank’s macroeconomics expert Dainis Gašpuitis.

ABLV Bank’s manager claims the bank is ready for cancellation of payment restrictions

ABLV Bank is ready for cancellation of payment restrictions, said the bank’s chairman Ernests Bernis during a press-conference on Thursday, 22 February.

62.9% of Latvia’s population was employed in 2017

Compared to the year before, in 2017 employment rate grew by 1.3 percentage points and number of employed persons by 1.5 thousand. Employment rate among men grew faster than among women – by 1.6 percentage points and 1.0 percentage points, respectively. 894.8 thousand people or 62.9 % of Latvia population aged 15–74 were employed in 2017.

Lithuania and Latvia: the tale between two sisters marked with rivalry

Relations between Lithuania and Latvia, two tight-knit Baltic neighbours, may exemplify a sisterly relationship from the first sight, but just over the course of a single week, several pings rang, signalling that rivalry is, and has always been, a component of coexistence.

Lembergs unable to organize his private life because of intense court proceedings

Lembergs unable to organize his private life because of intense court proceedings

Unemployment level in Latvia decreased to 8.7% in 2017

85.4 thousand people aged 15–74 in Latvia were unemployed in 2017. Compared to 2016, the number of unemployed persons has dropped by 9.9 thousand or 10.4 %.

Council member: ECB is openly dissatisfied with restrictions imposed on Rimšēvičs

The European Central Bank (ECB) is openly dissatisfied with restrictions imposed on one of its council members – governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, said council member of the Bank of Latvia Edvards Kušners in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Defence expenditures in Latvia planned at EUR 234 million in 2018

Latvian government plans to spend EUR 234 million on defence projects, including procurement of transports, ammunition, armaments and individual equipment, in 2018 as confirmed by Defence Ministry.

Ministry cancels mandatory procurement component permits for five CHP plants

Latvia’s Economy Ministry has made a decision to cancel the permit to sell electricity within mandatory procurement component for five other renewable energy co-generation plants plants: SIA Madonas Eko, SIA Eiro-Āzijas investment agency, SIA EVOKEM, SIA M Parks, and SIA Eco Latvis.

NSC proposes Maizītis for a second term as Chief of Constitution Protection Bureau

Members of Latvia’s National Security Council have decided to propose the current head of the Constitution Protection Bureau Jānis Maizītis for another term at the helm of this institution, as BNN was informed by the State President’s Chancellery.

Latvijas gāze’s subsidiary Gaso proposes reducing gas transmission price

Latvijas gāze’s subsidiary Gase has turned to Public Utilities Commission with a proposal for a new natural gas transmission system service’s tariff project, providing for a reducing gas transmission price by 18-46% for more than 95% gas consumers.

FCMC invites Bank of Latvia to provide ABLV Bank with yet another emergency loan

The Finance and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) has invited the Bank of Latvia to issue ABLV Bank another emergency loan.

Crime rate in 2017 was the lowest in Latvia’s history

Last year’s crime rate turned out the lowest in Latvia’s history, as reported by Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers in his annual report.

LEC: government priorities should include searching for causes and solutions, not the guilty

Latvian Employers’ Confederation (LEC) is worried about ongoing events and their negative effect on the stability and future development of the country’s economy. LEC believes that stabilization of the financial situation requires careful coordination of actions between institutions and the government.

Producer price level in Latvia grew 0.9% in January

Compared to December 2017, level of producer prices in Latvian industry rose by 0.9 % in January 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market went up by 1.2 % and prices of exported products by 0.6 %.

Latvian President believes country’s financial system is stable; prime minister plans to report to European Council

«Latvia’s financial system is stable, and there is no reason to worry about possible instability of the banking system. Banks continue working as usual,» says the President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis.