bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 28.07.2017 | Name days: Cecīlija, Cilda
LatviaLatvia

BNN summary of the week: Latvia’s tax reform progress and gas pipeline project fights

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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: Change; Decline; Future; Truth and Growth.

CHANGE: Coalition parties close to making final decision with tax reform; no more obstacles

Coalition parties no longer have any more differences of opinions in regards to tax reform principles. Parties are close to making the final decision, said Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens after the meeting with Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

Unity member Ints Dalderis has confirmed that coalition parties seem to have found common ground in regards to the tax reform. Nevertheless, the Unity member refrained from giving any specific numbers, saying that Finance Ministry still has calculations to perform. The final decision will be presented by Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis on Monday, 26 June.

The coalition is close to reaching an agreement on greater progressiveness of PIT than initially planned.

Full article here

FIGHT: Latvian government asked to compensate profits lost from rejecting Nord Stream 2

Considering the stance of the Latvian Republic in relation to Nord Stream 2 project, in which the Cabinet of Ministers decided not to permit the participation of Ventspils Freeport, Noord Natie Ventspils Terminal and Baltic Express have decided to ask the government to compensate lost profits. An official request has been submitted to the prime ministers.

It is mentioned in the two companies’ statement that the government had asked the economy minister, transport minister, environmental protection and regional development minister and finance minister to ensure that state representatives appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers to the management board of Ventspils Freeport to vote against any possible involvement of the freeport in Nord Stream 2, which in turn resulted in the rejection of cooperation between Ventspils Freeport and Nord Stream 2.

Full article here

DECLINE: local media in Daugavpils are corrupt

«Now that we constantly face new and more elaborate security risks, concerns tend to increase about the fight for people’s minds in the information space. This is why the bar for professional journalists should be held high. Baltic Centre for Media Excellence plays an important role in all this,» said chairman of Saeima’s Foreign Affairs Committee Ojars Eriks Kalnins after the meeting.

Saeima’s press-service reports that the director of the Baltic Centre for Media Excellence Rita Rudusa was invited to the meeting to report on the centre’s work

Rudusa told deputies that Latvia does not have legislative measures to combat fake news and corrupt media. Changes have to be added there, said the centre’s director, adding that media serve as an important aspect for state security.

«The situation for Latvian media is nothing short of critical in Daugavpils – local media are corrupt, their content is openly sold, and the buyer comes from Russia. What is particularly worrying is that Latvian content often does not reach residents in Daugavpils,» says Rudusa.

Full article here

TRUTH: Lembergs has not been able to perform his duties a long time

After yesterday, when Aivars Lembergs was once again re-elected as mayor of Ventspils, Aivis Landmanis says that «experience shows we have spent ten years working with a chairman who has not been able to perform his duties all this time».

Aivars Lembergs, who is accused of serious crimes, was re-elected in his post with nine out of thirteen votes. The remaining four votes were given to Girts Valdis Kristovskis, who represents the joint list of Unity, National Alliance and Latvian Association of Regions.

After the vote, Ventspils City Council deputy Aivis Landmanis mentioned the security measure applied to Lembergs – the prohibition to perform duties as chairman of the city council.

«Experience shows that we have spent the last ten years working with a chairman who has not been able to perform his duties all this time. As far as I’m aware, restrictions are still in place. Should we really entrust such duties to a person who has not been able to work in full capacity in the past and will remain unable to do that for an indefinite amount of time?» Landmanis rhetorically asks, urging For Latvia and Ventspils to propose a different candidate.

Full article here

GROWTH: Amendments to street trading approved to combat grey economy in Latvia

To reduce grey economy in agricultural and food products trading, the Cabinet of Ministers on Monday, 19 June, approved Economy Ministry’s amendments to Cab. Req. for the organization of trade at markets and street vending.

To help remove dishonest traders from the market, the government has decided to establish additional rights for trade organizers and market managers. The ministry’s statement mentions several points:

The rights to allocate territory to a trader on the market territory are to be provided if the trader complies with all conditions and performs honest business activities;

Full article here

FUTURE: Latvia wishes to change its state president’s election process

Reviewing proposals to change the state president’s election process, Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee decided to submit proposals developed by the work group to different Saeima factions for review, as BNN was informed by Saeima’s press-service.

«We intend to ask factions to provide feedback on the proposed changes to the state president’s election process. This is important for the committee to know even before developing the legislative draft which proposals are sure to receive majority of votes to be able to change the Constitution,» says chairman of Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee Gaidis Berzins.

Full article here

Ref: 224.109.109.6109


Leave a reply

Juncker to held stop food discrimination of EU's eastern members

Reacting to criticism from Slovakia, Bulgaria and other European Union member states on differences in food product quality in Eastern Europe, the head of the EU's executive body, Jean-Claude Juncker, has pledged to help end the «totally unacceptable» practice.

Property purchase and rent trends are similar among Baltic States

Currently the proportion of standard apartments in Riga in comparison with new projects is rather significant – while the number of standard apartments in the capital is 3,200, new projects are limited to only 300 buildings, according to information compiled DNB Bank and Ober-Haus on apartment demand in Latvia and Baltics.

Construction costs in Latvia up 0.2%

Compared to May, the level of construction costs in Latvia increased by 0.2 % in June 2017.

Beer brewers: many will lose jobs because of increased excise tax on beer

If the Saeima supports the initiative on increasing excise tax on beer by 50% this Thursday, 27 July, the number of people employed in the beer industry will decrease 30%, which will especially impact residents of Latvia’s regions, according to Latvian Breweries Union.

Helsinki-Riga route to be tested by Tallink

Estonian ferry and cruise company Tallink is testing this week the interest of passengers to take a cruise trip from Helsinki to Riga.

Where is the piece of land Duklavs’ associates wanted 15 million for?

Ir magazine has surveyed several hectares of land on Daugava River’s left bank, specifically within the territory of Riga Freeport, to find the piece of land that was mentioned by Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs during his conversation with other politicians in Ridzene hotel.

Opinion: candidates of the last presidency have all been intellectually weak

One of this summer’s hottest and most discussed piece of news was the proposal to allow residents to elect the country’s president. Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis’ 22 June speech to the parliament, in which he proposed allowing the people to elect the president in 2019, caused even more discussions.

Flat rental fraud increases in Estonia

Police in Estonia have observed a increase in fraud complaints in the area of rental flats as fraudsters typically ask for prepayments and deposits for listed flats they do not own.

Latvian troops to participate in Northern Strike exercises in USA

Throughout 27 July – 14 August, more than 70 troops of Latvian Armed Forces will be taking part in Northern Strike 2017 joint land and air exercises organized by Michigan National Guard in USA.

Delna: if the prime minister chooses to stifle emotions, the president should step up

On Wednesday, 26 July, Delna received a response letter from Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis to Delna’s previous letter, in which the organization requested the dismissal of Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs.

Saeima supports tax reform laws in final reading

Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee has concluded work on tax reform laws, supporting them in the final reading. Part of the proposals on additional benefits and multiple other matters will be put off for a later date.

Latvian Shipping Company sells its office building on Elizabetes Street 1

On Tuesday, 25 July, Latvian Shipping Company signed an agreement on the sale of its current office building. The buyer and the next owner of the house will be the United Arab Emirates, who purchased the six-story building on Elizabetes Street 1 in Riga for the needs of the embassy, as confirmed by the company.

Farmers Saeima: beef industry in Latvia is not sufficiently developed

Farmers Saeima believes Latvia’s beef industry is not sufficiently developed, and existing farms have not sufficiently stabilized – many farms have major debt. Because of that any kind of support for the industry is welcome.

Puce: Latvia should ratify Istanbul Convention without reservations

For Latvia’s Development political party has turned to Welfare Ministry with a request to ratify Istanbul Convention without any corrections as soon as possible, BNN was informed by the party’s representatives.

More than half of Latvian businessmen work on weekend; study shows

Businessmen normally spend eight hours and five minutes on work every day. More than 58% of Latvian businessmen also work on weekends, according to data from the latest Citadele Index study.

Farmers: crop yield this year will be positive thanks to weather

In Zemgale, crop harvest began a week ago. Harvest of winter crops is almost over. Harvests elsewhere in Latvia will commence no sooner than August, farmers say.

Murniece offers UGF to consider replacing Duklavs

«The policy is that, considering Duklavs’ involvement in Ridzene talks, the Union of Greens and Farmers should consider ways of resolving the situation,» says Saeima speaker Inara Murniece.

Chinese-Russian navy drill takes place in Baltic Sea

Russian and Chinese navies have launched their first joint military drill in the Baltic Sea raising concern to NATO member states Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, cautious of Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine.

Tax loss forecast by Estonian food producers dismissed by Finance Minister

Estonian Finance Minister Toomas Tõniste has rejected the grim forecast published by the Estonian Food Industry Association this week that the state budget would lose 170 million euros in tax revenue in 2018 due to excise tax hikes.

Antane: excise tax for diesel fuel should be reduced, not increased

«Unfortunately, when making the decision to increase excise tax rate for diesel fuel, the government did not consider all possible risks this decision could bring to the transport and logistics industry and the country’s economy as a whole,» BNN was told by President of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics Inga Antane.

Association: rapid increase of excise tax would cause dramatic rise of smuggling activity

National Association for Tobacco Product Manufacturers is confused about Finance Ministry’s submitted proposals for tax reform that provide for raising excise tax on cigarettes by 11% instead of previously planned 5.5%.

UK plans to ban petrol and diesel vehicles

In an attempt to curb air pollution the UK plans to set the goal to ban from 2040 new diesel and petrol engine cars and vans.

Members of Saeima delegated to the investigative committee in charge of Oligarch case

Andrejs Judins from Unity, Martins Sics from Latvian Association of Regions, Igors Pimetovs from Harmnony, Ritvars Jansons from VL-TB/LNNK, Inguna Sudraba from To Latvia from the Heart and Ainars Mezulis from the Union of Greens and Farmers have been delegated to the parliamentary committee for the investigation of Oligarch case.

U.S. legislators back additional sanctions on Russia

The House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress has adopted imposing additional sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran, even though U.S. President Donald Trump has opposed fresh sanctions on Russia.

Government allows Bite Lietuva to become the owner of TV3, LNT and Star FM

On Tuesday, 25 July, the Cabinet of Ministers permitted Lithuanian company UAB BITE Lietuva to acquire decisive influence in Latvian media companies TV 3 Latvia, LNT and Star FM.