bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 21.11.2017 | Name days: Andis, Zeltīte
LatviaLatvia

BNN summary of the week: Ušakovs’ suspicious attempts and ‘Lembergs factor’ effect

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: Decline; Change; Growth; Truth; Future and Opinion.

CHANGE: Administrative violation procedure launched against Latvijas dzelzceļš

For the first time since its foundations, the State Railway Administration commenced an administrative violation procedure against Latvijas dzelzceļš on 6 November 2017 for hiding information from state supervisory authorities.

Representatives of the State Railway Administration say that a supervisory institution is needed to perform an inspection of the reasons behind the decision to raise fees for infrastructure use, as well as possible discrimination of carriers by means of artificially making the country’s transit corridor more expensive.

The possible penalty, according to Administrative Violations Code, may reach EUR 14,000.

Latvijas Dzelzceļš had repeatedly ignored State Railway Administration’s request to provide a detailed deciphering of costs included in calculation of infrastructure use fees LDz plans to introduce on 1 January 2018, as noted by representatives of the administration.

It is the duty of the State Railway Administration to check if the fee for infrastructure use is established in accordance with the law. Because of the attempt to hide information from authorities, it is not possible for the administration to perform its duties.

State Railway Administration Director Juris Iesalnieks: «This is the first time in the history of the country’s railway industry when a state-owned company refused to provide requested information to a supervisory institution. Upon facing such an unprecedented case, the State Railway Administration is forced to apply sanctions against Latvijas Dzelzceļš.»

Full article here

DECLINE: Documents detailing Godmanis’ possible cooperation with KGB disappear from archives

Researchers of Latvia’s history were shocked to find that documents associated with activities of KGB branch of Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic were gone from court archives, says chairman of the research committee in charge of analysing KGB documents Kārlis Kangeris.

On Wednesday, 8 November, Riga District Court refused to provide information to the committee, saying that papers detailing possible cooperation of LSSR Supreme Council Chairman Ivars Godmanis with KGB are no longer found in the archive.

Latvian National Archive representative Māra Sprūdža has informed the committee that the request to check if the case is stored in the archive was sent to LNA Sigulda’s branch office, which stores documents from Riga District Court. However, the possibility of the case being in the archive is insignificant.

Kangeris notes that the loss of the case is rather distressing, because Valmiera Court had previously got rid of KGB cooperation documents, making it impossible to research testimonies. «We wrote about that to the National Archive and different institutions. Things like that should never happen – cases have to be stored and protected,» says Kangeris.

Full article here

TRUTH: Riga City Council is planning suspicious allocation of funds for Rīgas satiksme

Latvian Association of Regions and For Latvia’s Development ask Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs to explain the new and unjustified desire to provide funding to Rīgas satiksme, BNN was told by party members.

Considering the information that was reported during a meeting of Riga City Council’s Finance and Administrative Affairs Committee about adding amendments to Riga municipality’s 2017 budget in order to perform an investment of EUR 9.6 million for Rīgas satiksme, LRA/LA faction leader Juris Pūce has decided to ask Ušakovs to provide the necessary information and explain reasons for this decision.

Pūce explains that no answers were provided to the questions asked during the meeting.

«We asked many questions as to why taxpayers’ money is to be provided to a company experiencing serious financial problems. The desire to invest EUR 9.6 million in Rīgas satiksme seems rather suspicious. This is why we have decided to ask Nils Ušakovs to provide all necessary information about the reasons for this decision,» explains the faction’s leader.

Full article here

FUTURE: Ašeradens will remain as economy minister, but Āboltiņa will be expelled from Unity

Unity’s board chairman Arvils Ašeradens will remain as Latvia’s Economy Minister, as decided by the party’s board.

Ašeradens will not lead Unity’s Saeima faction, however. This task will be entrusted to Hosams Abu Meri. This was the recommendation given to Saeima’s faction. A final decision on this will be made soon.

On Monday, 6 November, the board decided to expel once the party’s leader and current head of Unity’s Saeima faction Solvita Āboltiņa for discrediting the search process for the new economy minister.

Unity chairman Arvils Ašeradens told journalists after the meeting that the party had discussed events in relation to the replacement of the country’s economy minister. Āboltiņa had acted opposite to the decision made by the party’s board about the search for a minister candidate and commenting on the situation.

Ašeradens emphasized that it was the prerogative of the party’s board to propose and coordinate candidates. This decision was breached by Āboltiņa. She is not the only person to blame. However, she did criticize candidates and comment on the process.

Āboltiņa had planned to step down before the end of the year. The decision remains in her hands, says Ašeradens. The process progressed opposite to the agreement, which came especially painful because Ābotliņa’s positions were defended at the last congress, said the party’s leader. He says he has seen the same opposition and intrigue process as before.

Full article here

OPINION: «Lembergs factor» impedes finance minister’s chances of becoming Eurogroup’s president

Because of «Lembergs factor», Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola’s chances of becoming president of European Union’s Council of Finance Ministers or Eurogroup are very low, says President of European Movement – Latvia Andris Gobiņš.

He explains that becoming a candidate is commendable in of itself. However, there are serious doubts if Reizniece-Ozola would be an appropriate leader for Eurogroup. According to Gobiņš, there are several arguments in favour of the minister: she is a woman, she has a love for chess, she comes from a small Eastern European country, and Latvia is one of the few countries that fit all Maastricht criteria. However, one very significant factor against her as a candidate is the «Lembergs factor».

«No one in the EU wants to rely on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s friends, which include UGF and Aivars Lembergs directly and indirectly. Ties are very strong there, and this is exactly what impedes Reizenice-Ozola’s chances of getting the post. Any doubts about the candidate’s independence and ability to thing independently only serve to reduce a candidate’s chances,» said the organization’s president.

Gobiņš also says that because UGF has no agreement signed with any of the European Parliament parties also reduces Reizniece-Ozola’s chances. «UGF have yet to decide which side to take. They still haven’t signed an agreement with any of the European parties. This does not bode well for any kind of defence of Latvia’s interests, because, while prime ministers are preparing for major meetings at the European Council, meet with leaders of political parties, Kučinskis is likely drinking coffee in some embassy,» said the president of European Movement – Latvia.

Full article here

Ref: 224.109.109.6395


Leave a reply

European Parliament triggers punitive procedure against Poland

Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution requesting for the application of the so-called «nuclear option» for Poland, Article 7 of the EU Treaty, because of the threat to the rule of law in the biggest Eastern European country.

BNN summary of the week: medicinal cannabis in Lithuania, cargo anti-record, and Lemberg’s dwindling influence in UGF

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

NAF: Russia’s attitude remains unfriendly towards Latvia

So far Russia’s demonstrated attitude has remained unfriendly towards Latvia, said Commander of Latvian Armed Forces Leonīds Kalniņš in an interview to LNT.

Lembergs’ turn to testify before parliamentary committee has come

Aivars Lembergs, who is accused of serious crimes and is suspended from performing duties as chairman of Ventspils City Council, has been invited to come to a meeting of the Saeima’s Investigative Committee and answer questions associated with so-called oligarchs case.

How Latvian communities around the world plan to celebrate Latvia’s birthday?

«Celebration of independence of the Republic of Latvia is an important tradition that allows members of Latvia’s diaspora to maintain ties with their homeland – this year’s event will be even more expansive and inclusive than ever before. This is because events associated with the country’s hundredth birthday will be organized all around the world,» says manager of World Federation of Free Latvians office in Latvia Jānis Andersons.

European Parliament triggers punitive procedure against Poland

Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution requesting for the application of the so-called «nuclear option» for Poland, Article 7 of the EU Treaty, because of the threat to the rule of law in the biggest Eastern European country.

Wage rules violations most often associated with envelope wages

To promote public awareness and improve commercial environment, honest competition and honest compliance with taxes, Latvia’s State Revenue Service intends to expand its database with new information about taxpayers, BNN was told by SRS.

Management of Unity’s Saeima faction to change in December

«Political consultations with all of Unity’s partner parties that are represented in the Saeima’s faction have concluded. An agreement has been reached to perform management change before the end of Saeima’s autumn session – around 21 December,» says Unity’s chairman Arvils Ašeradens.

EP prepared to commence talks with EU governments on reforming asylum system

The European Parliament is prepared to commence talks about reforming Dublin Regulation to ensure every member state is able to resettle a portion of asylum seekers.

Estonia to pour into Finnish-Estonian cultural fund 700 000 euros

Estonian cabinet of ministers has decided to attribute 700,000 euros to the Finno-Estonian Cultural Fund, an organisation working since 2015 aimed at fostering cooperation between the two states in culture, creative economy and training both for individuals and organizations.

Russia in UN vetoes extension of Syrian chemical attack investigation

At the UN Security Council, Russia has used its veto powers to block a resolution with which it would be allowed to continue the international investigation into a chemical attack this spring in Syria, which prompted the U.S. to launch missile strikes on a Syrian airbase.

Latvia’s birthday expected to be windy

A precipitation zone will reach Latvia from the west on Friday, 17 November. The precipitation zone will, however, pass over Latvia quickly, making rainfall short and periods of clear sky more frequent and longer. Air temperature is expected to stay within +5° C… +8° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

State of emergency in force in flood-hit Greece

Rescue services in Greece are looking for no less than five people, who have gone missing following unexpected and disastrous floods on Wednesday, November 15, that killed 15 people; however, bad weather is still expected.

Laupīšanas 101 director: Latvia’s film industry has yet to reach its potential height

There is sufficient evidence to prove that Latvia’s film industry is capable, but at the same time many films are directed basically the same way. There is a lack of creativity, which means very slow development for the industry, said Kaspars Marhlevičs, director of short comedy Laupīšanas 101, in an interview to BNN.

Medical cannabis bill paves way in Lithuanian legislature

Otherwise conservative Lithuania has made a big stride forward legalising cannabis for medical use with 92 Lithuanian parliamentarians voting Thursday, November 15, to open the bill draft on medication containing cannabis. The law draft should go back to the parliamentary floor for deliberations on December 12.

Latvian sentenced to ten years in prison for fighting on the side of ISIS in Syria

On Thursday, 16 November, Latvian citizen Mārtiņš Grīnbergs was sentenced by Riga Regional Court to ten years and three months in prison for fighting on the side of Islamic State terrorist organization.

European Parliament: Africa’s development requires a new stimulus

To resolve economic, social and migration-related problems, which usually accompany lasting crises, better African-EU cooperation is needed, European Parliament members say.

Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry proposes preventing new MPC reforms

Increase of mandatory procurement components cannot be allowed. Exactly the opposite – this cost should be dropped entirely for end electricity prices in an attempt to improve international competitiveness of companies, BNN was told by council members of Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry.

Matīss: LDz cannot raise tariffs and perform rail electrification under cargo anti-record

Because Latvijas dzelzceļš has set an anti-record in cargo transports in the first ten months of this year, Saeima deputy and member of the National Economy Committee Anrijs Matīss says raising the fee for the use of infrastructure cannot be allowed. He adds that the intended railway electrification project should be considered very carefully.

Lithuania and Latvia placed in top 10 in climate policy index

In the annual Climate Change Performance Index, where climate policy action in 57 countries has been evaluated, on a scale from «very high» to «very low», 11 EU member states have been evaluated with as having been highly active, with Sweden showing the best results ahead of Lithuania, the UK, Finland and Latvia.

Bite Latvija buys Stream Networks and Latnet

Mobile commutations operator Bite Latvija has signed a purchase agreement for 100% of shares of Stream Networks and its subsidiary Latner Serviss, as BNN was informed by Bite manager in Latvia Kaspars Buls.

airBaltic carried three million passengers in first ten months of 2017

In the first ten months of 2017, airBaltic carried a total of 3,007,034 passengers to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East, BNN was told by the company.

Kaljulaid sees African opportunities to outplace EU in digitalisation

During a visit to Ethiopia, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has discussed African-EU relations with the African Commissioner for Trade and Industry and recommended investing into digital development that would be beneficial for the continent itself.

Most employed people in Latvia are satisfied with their jobs

More and more often employers experience lack of qualified labour force, as well as increase of employees’ confidence about their competitiveness on the labour market and their openness for better job offers.

Estonian railways operator happy about increasing freight volume

Freight carried on the infrastructure of the Estonian state railway company Estonian Railways in October amounted to one million tons, which is a 10.4% hike compared to October 2016.