bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 18.10.2017 | Name days: Rolanda, Rolands, Ronalds, Erlends
LatviaLatvia

BNN summary of the week: Vējoņis’ authority under fire and Loginovs ordered to repay illegal donations

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: Fight; Truth; Business; Future; Growth and Opinion.

BUSINESS: CETA between EU and Canada comes into force

On Thursday, 21 September, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada came into force, as confirmed by European Commission’s r press service in Latvia.

Expressing his happiness over this important turn for Europe’s trade policy, European Commission’s chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said: «This agreement reflects what we want to see for our trade policy – a growth instrument that will benefit Europe’s businesses and residents and provide finances that will help project our values using opportunities provided by globalization, as well as define rules for international trade. This trade agreement has been reviewed in depth in parliaments of different countries – it reflects citizens’ great interest for trade policy.»

Juncker also notes that intensive exchange of opinions about CETA throughout the entire process demonstrates the democratic nature of Europe’s decision-making process.

European Commission’s office in Latvia reports that Juncker hopes that member states will perform comprehensive discussions about the agreement’s ratification process in member states. «Now is the time for our businesses and residents to benefit the most from this opportunity. Anyone can see that our trade policy can provide specific benefits for all.»

More here

FIGHT: Delna invites Saeima to support initiative to liquidate option to abstain from votes

Society for openness Delna invites Saeima deputies to support public initiative and liquidate the option for deputies to abstain from votes.

On Monday, 18 September, Saeima received an initiative that gathered more than 11,000 signatures, asking to liquidate the option to abstain from voting for members of the parliament. Delna asks Saeima to support the initiative and thereby increase both the openness and responsibility of deputies, as well as general trust towards the Saeima.

The organization’s announcement mentions that Delna expects their elected deputies to be active and responsible, and that they will be able to find their way in specific matters and explain their decisions clearly and publicly. «By abstaining from votes, deputies demonstrate their passiveness and having to make explanations. This kind of behaviour only increases the general distrust towards politicians.»

Delna representatives also note that the option to abstain misleads society into thinking that being present at a parliamentary meeting without a clear position on a specific matter is normal. «In practice, deputies use the option to abstain fairly regularly. One of the goals behind doing so is making sure the parliament votes against. The Saeima approves its decisions when 50% +1 of the parliament’s members vote in favour. With that said, there are also situations possible when there are more votes in favour than there are against, but the matter of the vote ends up declined because votes against and abstain together make up more than votes in favour. This means deputies who abstain from voting basically vote against.»

More here

DECLINE: KNAB commences criminal process in state institution’s service

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has commenced a criminal process for, possibly, illegal activities in a state institution service.

KNAB and State Border Guard had detained employees of the State Education Content Centre as part of a criminal process. Those employees are suspected of providing desired state language category to persons in exchange for material wealth an in circumvention of the order stated in regulations, as reported by the bureau.

Such behaviour provided third country nationals with an opportunity to receive legal rights to stay in Latvia and other EU member states.

Five persons are declared suspects and ten have been provided with status of a person under criminal process.

More here

TRUTH: Judins says parliamentary committee «is going nowhere»

The work performed by Saeima’s investigative committee in charge of oligarch case does not fit the established goal to investigate and analyse possible state capture, says member of the committee and Unity’s Saeima faction Andrejs Judins.

He admits that the committee is divided: one side has him and deputy Ritvars Jansons from the National Alliance and the rest of the committee is on the other side.

The majority of members do not understand their primary goal – investigating and analysing signs of state capture, because they think it is enough to listen to presentations and close meetings without discussions, says Judins. This is why the politician is positive that his public proposal for discussions has been heard by the committee’s chairperson Inguna Sudraba and that she has decided to hold a discussion on conclusions made so far at the next meeting.

The politician notes that some members are completely disinterested in committee’s work. Judins says he does not understand how it is possible to work if a member of the committee does not take the time to go to the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau to go through materials of the case the committee has been tasked with analysing. Parliamentary committee’s member Igors Pimenovs was asked if he gone through materials of the criminal process. Pimenovs responded by saying that he first wishes to focus on documents from the operative case.

More here

GROWTH: Court orders Loginovs and Pečaks to pay back illegally spent finances

Riga Regional Court has ordered former Riga Freeport CEO Leonids Loginovs and his deputy Aigars Pečaks to repay illegally spent finances in the amount of EUR 856,951.

On Tuesday, 18 September, Riga Regional Court applied a fine of EUR 45,600 to Loginovs and EUR 34,200 to Pečaks for abuse of official power.

Loginovs also has to pay back EUR 207,856 from illegally spend finances, and Pečaks has to pay back EUR 378,750. On top of that, the two have to pay back an additional amount of EUR 270,345 together.

Loginovs is also prohibited from taking post in state and municipal institutions and capital associations for a period of three years and six months. The same restriction has been applied to Pečaks for two years and eight months.

On 15 May, an appeal process was launched for this criminal case. Following a request from the prosecutor, court debates have been scheduled for September.

The prosecutor was the one who submitted an appeal in this case. Riga City Northern District Court acquitted Loginovs and Pečaks.

The court’s ruling can be appealed within ten days after publication of the full text, which is planned for 3 October.

The criminal case against Loginovs and Pečaks was launched for abuse of official power, performing illegal donations and paying bonuses. The accused deny their guilt in the incriminated crimes.

More here

FUTURE: Ozoliņš says transit and logistics industries should communicate more actively

Mutual communication and information exchange among businesses working in the industry is the pre-condition for improvement of Latvia’s transit industry, said Transport Ministry’s state secretary Kaspars Ozoliņš at a meeting of the Logistics Council.

The Logistics Council discussed the situation in the transit and logistics industry, as well as predictions and proposals for improving competitiveness.

Council members (Latvian Post, Riga International Airport, Ventspils Freeport, Transit Business Association, Liepaja Special Economic Zone, Latvian Auto, Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics, Riga Freeport and LDz Logistics) provided topical information about the situation in different businesses, work and plans for attraction of cargoes and different problematic matters and external influence.

It is emphasized that the situation in which Russian cargoes – mostly coal and oil products – have a tendency to decline has to be taken into account. This forces businesses to concentrate their efforts on alternative cargo segments and new markets.

It was noted at the meeting that there is a number of positive tendencies forming for the increase of container and Ro-Ro cargoes at ports, as well as development of cargo transports in aviation and e-commerce cargoes’ growth passing through Latvian Post in transit.

More here

OPINION: Politologist comments whether Vējoņis’ authority is at risk or not

Saeima’s vote in which Latvian President Raimonds Vējoņis’ proposal on the status of non-citizens’ children was not pushed forward was as though a strike against the president’s authority, comments Filips Rajevskis.

The politologist added that it is not worth to look for winners in this vote, because the coalition and opposition are in the roles of losers in this case. The president is the biggest loser in this case, however. As an experienced politician, he should have known better than to push this matter through the Saeima. The claim that Vējoņis only had an interest in merely raising this issue and then allowing it to disappear after one vote is questionable.

«Such a legislative draft would require a referendum, but it is unlikely Vējoņis will be brave enough to initiate it,» Rajevskis says.

More here

Ref: 224.109.109.2501


Leave a reply

Sale of MTG’s business in Baltics to Providence concludes successfully

Wednesday, 18 October, marked the successful conclusion of the sale of Baltic assets owned by Swedish media concern Modern Times Group to Providence Equity Partners. From now on companies previously owned by MTG in Baltics will function as a single organization named All Media Baltics, as confirmed by the company’s manager Pierre Danon.

Estonian port company makes 29% more revenue in January-September

Estonian state port company Port of Tallinn has made the revenue in the amount of 99.1 million euros in the first nine months of 2017, which is a 29% increase compared to January-September in 2016.

42 gambling halls to be closed down in Riga in next five years

On Wednesday, 18 October, Riga City Council supported plans to close another 33 gambling halls in the city. With that, a total of 42 gambling halls will be liquidated in the next five year.

Latvia has the highest index of female CEOs among EU member states

The highest index of female CEOs among European Union member states belongs to Latvia – 47%. In total, only 33% of CEOs in EU were female last year, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Survey: more and more people take notice of benefits provided by EU membership

65% of Latvian residents believe the country’s membership in the European Union has brought tangible benefits. A similar opinion was voiced by 64% of residents of all EU member states in the Eurobarometer study performed by the European Parliament.

17 persons in need of international aid are relocated to Latvia from Turkey

On Tuesday, 17 October, seventeen individuals, including nine children, in need of international protection were relocated to Latvia from Turkey as part of EU resettlement programme, as confirmed by Latvian Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

BATL: to avoid crisis in transit sector, government and Transport Ministry must act

Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis’ led Latvian Ports, Transit and Logistics Council also supports Saeima’s National Economy Committee’s decision on the need for Transport Ministry to develop a long-term vision for the development of the country’s transit industry.

Psychologist: six-year-old children are not ready for school

«It is wrong to believe that the sooner a child starts going to school, the better their academic results will be. Reforms are performed aggressively, without asking pedagogues or other specialists for their opinion. We lack a comprehensive analysis of the current situation that would be based on studies, not international ratings,» says certified clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Jolanta Lamstere.

Klaipeda transport ticketing system to be installed by Estonian Ridango

In the Lithuanian port city of Klaipeda, Estonian firm Ridango has been selected for installing its technology on public transport.

Policeman in Malta posts he's happy about killing of journalist Galizia

In Malta, where an investigative journalist has been killed this week, a police sergeant has posted on Facebook he felt happy about her death and has been suspended from office a day after.

Exchange indexes reach new records; oil prices increase as well

Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index reached new record-high values on Tuesday, 17 October. US dollar value before euro and Japanese yen increased.

Anti-corruption protesters in Ukraine push for reforms

Three protesters and a policeman have been injured in Kyiv, Ukraine, as a crowd of anti-corruption demonstrators voiced their demands for reforms aimed at tackling corruption in the country.

«Islamic state» capital conquered by Syrian Democratic Forces

An alliance of Syrian-Kurdish fighters, which is supported by the U.S., has stated it has gained full control of Raqqa, which has been for three years the centre of the «Islamic state» regime.

Poland hopes Turkey would join EU

Polish President Andrzej Duda meeting his Turkish counterpart shortly before an European Union-Turkey summit has expressed a hope that the country located at the cross-roads between Europe and the Middle East would join the EU some time.

Number of people at risk of poverty in Baltics in higher than the average in EU

The ratio of people subjected to poverty or social exclusion risk in Baltic States is higher than the average in the European Union, according to Eurostat data compiled for 26 out of 28 member states in 2016.

E-voting defended in Estonia after criticism from party leader

Responding to claims from a leader of an Estonian political party that the country’s e-voting system lacks transparency, the head of e-Government Academy’s e-democracy department explained it was possible that the voters of one party are more active e-voters than supporters of other parties.

Residents’ mood worsens; people become more critical about their finances

Over the course of the past month, residents’ general mood has worsened significantly – declines have been noted on all positions analysed by the survey. Residents were critical the most in the survey about their material state – the index in this category declined from -9 to -11, according to the latest Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer.

Antāne: Saeima’s National Economy Committee has heard the transit industry’s cry

Inga Antāne, president of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics, is satisfied with the decision that was made at the recent meeting of Saeima’s Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee, asking the Transport Ministry to develop and present a sustainable development strategy for the industry and putting an emphasis on raising the competitiveness of railway tariffs.

Latvian’s attitude towards combating cancer in late stages seems irresponsible

The attitude towards combating cancer in late stages in Latvia remains very low, says former healthcare minister of Latvia Ingrīda Circene.

Hydrogen-powered transport technology – a reality in Latvia

There are plans to establish a hydrogen refuelling station in Riga before the end of 2017. A publicly available H2 refuelling station in Riga would secure an inter-state network of hydrogen refuelling stations: the closest other station will be established in Pernava, says Association Zero Emission Mobility Support chairman Arnis Bergs.

Estonian ministry to collect 270 000 euros from IT company over failure to build information system

Tieto Estonia, the Estonian branch of Finnish IT firm group Tieto will compensate the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs 270,000 euros for the failure of the SKAIS2 project, the aim of which was the development of a new information system for the Estonian social insurance authority, but was deemed a failure in August.

Latvia invites Iran to act constructively to ensure security

Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs participated in a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, where he discussed about the role of Iran in the region and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in light of the upcoming report from US President Donald Trump to the Congress on Iran’s progress realizing the plan.

Vigil held in Malta over killing of investigative journalist

Several thousand people in Malta have taken part in a vigil held after news broke of the killing of an investigative journalist, who blamed Maltese government for corruption.

American exchange indexes reach record-high values; oil prices on the rise

In response to price rise of bank stocks, three leading indexes of US exchanges reached new record heights on Monday, 16 October. In addition, US Federal Reserve System manager Janet Yellen’s prediction regarding a soon inflation rise has increased confidence that base interest rate will increase in December.

54.14% more alcohol exported from Latvia; most of it to Russia

In the first eight months of 2017, a total of 102.259 million litres of alcoholic drinks was exported from Latvia, which is 54.14% more when compared with the same period of last year.