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Monday 21.05.2018 | Name days: Ingmārs, Ernestīne, Akvelīna
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BNN summary of the week: Loginovs stays at the Freeport and Riga Coach Terminal to leave

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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: Change; Business; Fight; Decline; Truth and Growth.

Change: Relocation of Riga Coach Terminal to the ‘other side’ becomes more realistic

The relocation of Riga Coach Station to the ‘other side’ is becoming more and more realistic, as a proposal has been voiced to relocation Riga International Coach Terminal to Tornakalns. The planned construction of a transport hub in Tornakalns has already attracted funding of EUR 7 million from the European Cohesion Fund, as reported by Transport Ministry.

Mayor of Riga Nils Usakovs previously told Latvijas Radio that the coach terminal will likely be relocated, and that it would be necessary to combine it with suburban and public transport stops in Riga. One option would by building a transport hub beneath the new Central Station. Another includes relocating the terminal to Tornakalns, where it is also planned to build Rail Baltic Station.

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/relocation-of-riga-coach-terminal-to-the-other-side-becomes-more-realistic-163778

Business: Government supports continuation of talks about purchase of shares in Conexus Baltic Grid

On Tuesday, 11 April, the Cabinet of Ministers supported continuation of talks with Conexus Baltic Grid shareholders about a possible procurement of shares in the company.

The state will evaluate its possible involvement in Conexus Baltic Grid to ensure energy security and form a regional gas market among Baltic States and Finland by 2020, BNN was told by Economy Ministry.

It will be possible to achieve the government’s goal by securing infrastructure development (Estonian-Finnish Balticconnectorun and Lithuanian-Polish GIPL connecting infrastructure), achieving high market efficiency and equality in competition, as well as securing price equalization with Central Europe.

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/government-supports-continuation-of-talks-about-purchase-of-shares-in-conexus-baltic-grid-163780

Fight: Usakovs calls Latvia’s education minister a liar and fraudster

Baiba Brigmane, representative of Unity’s faction in Riga City Council, has requested to add the matter on Riga City Council’s behaviour in improving the quality of education in Riga’s general education facilities to the agenda of the next meeting of the city council’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee.

She also requests inviting to the meeting the management of schools in which result index of exams in the 2015/16 school year was below 30%.

In response to the claim that schools in Riga have low-quality education, Mayor of Riga Nils Usakovs posted a statement on this Facebook page, saying: «The Education Minister – is unprofessional and, possibly, a fraudster».

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/usakovs-calls-latvia-s-education-minister-a-liar-and-fraudster-163913

Decline: Loginovs to continue working at Riga Freeport as advisor for Pecaks

Riga Freeport’s long-time CEO Leonids Loginovs will not stop working after retiring. He intends to continue working at the Freeport as the new CEO’s advisor, as reported by LTV.

Loginovs has been appointed as a freelance advisor to acting CEO Aigars Pecaks. Loginovs’ wage in the new post will be EUR 3,500 a month after taxes.

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/loginovs-to-continue-working-at-riga-freeport-as-advisor-for-pecaks-163772

Truth: Estonian PM recognises gender pay gap as serious problem

It is necessary for Estonian society to address gender pay gap, said to be worst among EU nations, Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas has evaluated.

«According to Eurostat data, our pay gap of 26.9 percent puts us at the very top in the European ranking; this situation has remained unchanged for several years now. Our message here should be clear and unambiguous — men and women must receive equal wages for the same job,» noted Ratas published on April 10, the European Equal Pay Day, as cited by the ERR.

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/estonian-pm-recognises-gender-pay-gap-as-serious-problem-163696

Growth: World Bank asks Latvia to introduce labour force tax progressiveness

Latvia has to improve its tax system in order to offer its residents better services, say specialists of the World Bank in the report on Latvia’s tax system.

To reduce social inequality, the World Bank suggests introducing progressiveness for PIT in addition to social support for people with low income.

The World Bank notes – if Latvia wishes to realize residents’ hopes for better public services in healthcare, education and transport field, the country should consider the option to increase budget revenue by improving its tax system.

It is mentioned in the report that income tax and benefits are the most appropriate tools for the reduction of inequality. Progressiveness in PIT in addition to social support for people with low income could help reduce inequality in Latvia.

According to the World Bank’s estimates, introduction of three levels of PIT rates – 19%, 23% and 33% – and non-taxable minimum could help reduce inequality and raise budget revenue in Latvia.

Full article here: http://bnn-news.com/world-bank-asks-latvia-to-introduce-labour-force-tax-progressiveness-163881

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  1. alex says:

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Estonian producer prices higher by 2.1 on year, due to energy supplies

Estonian producer price index of industrial output increased by 2.1% between April 2017 and April this year, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Vitol: limitation of shell companies’ activities cannot possibly affect transit companies

Changes to the law that provide restrictions for shell companies cannot possibly affect transit companies. Because of that, claims voiced prior to adoption of said amendments and their possible impact on transit sector seem rather confusing, says Vitol Baltic chairman Robert Kirkup.

De Facto: Latvian minister’s business partner manufactures ships for Russian army

Latvian Agriculture Minister Jānis Dūklavs’ business partner in Piebalgas alus brewery – Russian businessman Igor Shekhelev – manufactures ships for the Russian army, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV.

Property-sharing site Airbnb agrees to share owner income with tax authority

The home-renting service Airbnb has agreed to automatically report homeowners' income to tax authorities in Denmark in a landmark agreement, which is expected to make it easier to detect tax evasion by homeowners, who are renting out rooms and houses on the website.

Latvia shipped 11.7% more oil products in Q1 2018

As part of the postponed excise tax payment regime, the volume of oil products shipped from Latvia in Q1 2018 was 13,869 or 11.7% larger than the one recorded in the same period of 2017, according to data compiled by the State Revenue Service.

What have Italian makers of government agreed on?

In Italy, the two populist parties preparing form a national government have published joint policies including tax cuts, a guaranteed basic income for the poor and deportations of 500,000 migrants.

Thunderstorms expected in Latvia this week as well

On Monday, 21 May, weather in Latvia will not change much – dry and not cloudy for the most part. On Tuesday and Wednesday, however, precipitation areas will pass through Latvia, bringing heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and strong wind, as reported by Latvia’s Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. Liberal Movement to turn to court over VSD statements

The board of Lithuania's Liberal Movement has decided to turn to court over information published by the State Security Department, allegedly damaging the party's reputation.

BNN summary of the week: distorted state administration, Liepājas metalurgs recovery, and Latvia unemployment level

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Growth; Business; Fight; Future; Opinion

New approach to combating drunk drivers – forced correction programme

Latvia’s Justice Ministry reports that the administrative penalties reform proposes introducing stricter punishments for drunk drivers. If a person is caught drunk driving, their license would be confiscated. On top of that, to recover the license, that person would have to pass a social correction programme.

Latvian MEP to «cause a scandal» where he can to stop school reform

Members of the European Parliament Andrejs Mamikins and Miroslavs Mitrofanovs have gathered support from 114 of their fellow MEPs to request the Latvian government and Saeima to review the already approved amendments to the Education Law and General Education Law that govern realization of the national minorities’ school reform, as confirmed by Mamikins.

Germany criticises U.S. attempts to block Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

As to the controversial Nord Stram 2 Russian gas pipeline via Baltic sea to Germany, the German Economy has evaluated that American attempts to block it could be aimed at increasing U.S. a planned Russia-Germany gas pipeline to increase its own energy exports.

Number of complaints about taxi services at Riga International Airport on a rise

The number of complaints about taxi services at Riga International Airport continues to increase, said the airport’s board chairperson Ilona Līce in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Ryanair sees Estonia as important market, considers local hub option

Irish low-fare airline Ryanair considers Estonia an important market, the firm's chief executive Michael O'Leary noted while visiting Tallinn earlier in the week.

Minister: UN should act to call violators of international law to justice

«The United Nation Security Council, as the main institution maintaining peace and security, has a special responsibility, because its activities affect compliance with international law,» says Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Banks to report private persons whose account turnover exceeds EUR 15,000

From 18 May onward, banks will have to report private persons whose annual account turnover exceeds EUR 15,000, as provided by the Cabinet of Ministers’ supported order, under which the State Revenue Service is to be provided with information about a private person’s turnover and balance.

Baltic States request expanding NATO’s battalion with air and naval forces

Baltic States plan to request expanding international NATO battalion with air and naval forces, as confirmed by Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Lino Linkevičiaus, who met with US President’s National Security Advisor John R. Bolton in Washington alongside his Latvian and Estonian colleagues.

Poland uncovers Russian hybrid war networks

Poland has detained a Russian national suspected of working with accomplices to stimulate social tension with neighbouring Ukraine and neutralised two Russian hybrid war networks, the Polish Internal Security agency has stated.

Weather in Latvia to remain moderately warm in Latvia; precipitation to be low

On Friday, 18 May, some areas of Latvia will experience thunderstorms. However, starting from the end of the week, weather will become dry again with little precipitation. Rain cloud will form above Latvia in the second half of the week, as reported by Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Construction output rise in Latvia was more rapid than EU’s average level in Q4 2017

Compared to last year’s October-December, Latvia’s construction output in Q4 2017 grew 19.9%, which is a much more rapid rise than the average in the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 May.

Latvian Saeima’s committee does not support Kušners’ re-approval in Bank of Latvia council

On Thursday, 17 May, Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee decided not to recommend Edvards Kušners for a repeated term in the council of the Bank of Latvia.

Control Service Chief: wages in the service should be twice as large

Wages in the Anti-Money Laundering or Control Service should be equal to what is paid to people working in the Finance and Capital Market Commission, so twice as large as it is now, said Control Service’s Chief Ilze Znotiņa in an interview to Ir magazine.

SEB Bank’s factoring portfolio up 41% in the first quarter of 2018

In addition, similar to the volume of goods and services of Latvia’s exporting companies, which had increased unexpectedly rapidly in Q1 2018 – by 15%, there has also been a significant increase for the number of factoring deals.

Latvia experienced a rapid increase in registration of new cars in January-April period

In the first four months of 2018, Latvia has experienced a more rapid increase of newly registered cars than the average in the European Union, according to information from European Automobile Manufacturers' Association.

In Slovak Kuciak's investigation, phone of his colleague journalist confiscated

As Slovak law enforcement continues to investigate the murder of Ján Kuciak, prosecutors have confiscated the smart phone of a colleague of the investigative journalist – a move condemned by the country's media organisations.