bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 20.09.2017 | Name days: Marianna, Ginters, Guntra
LatviaLatvia

Economic Diary of Latvia. All entrepreneurs to be made honest

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s presidency over the European Union Council concluded this week. And although some experts are inclined to call Latvia’s presidency «mediocre – without any major failures and achievements», considering that Latvia had no prior experience, the result can be considered significantly better than what experts say.

On Tuesday, 30 June, Latvia’s term in the EU Council officially concluded. Latvia handed the aforementioned post to Luxembourg on 1 July. As noted by some experts, Latvia managed to avoid making big mistakes, but this is most likely related to fears of ‘doing something wrong’.

Latvian President Andris Berzins’ advisor Andris Piebalgs has said that Latvia used the six months of presidency to increase its recognition in the world and strengthen its security and investment attraction ability. Looking at Latvia’s accomplishments in completing different tasks, Piebalgs gave Latvia a solid 10 out of 10.

Nevertheless, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has said that Latvia tried balancing its duties in the EU Council during the past six months.

Latvia carried the burden of presidency in a complicated geopolitical situation. In spite of that, Latvia managed to realize strategic priorities like Jean Claude Juncker’s investment plan. Among other accomplishments besides Juncker’s plan, an agreement was reached with the EU Parliament during Latvia’s presidency that roaming fees would be cancelled in the EU starting from 15 June 2017. For consumers, as explained by Latvia’s Foreign Ministry, this means they will be able to use mobile communication services in EU countries at the same prices as they have in their home country. There will be a transition period, which will begin 30 April 2016, during which roaming fees will be reduced. For Latvian consumers this will mean a reduction of up to four times the current rate?

And although the Easter Partnership Summit did not become a sensation, it was not the failure that was the summit of 2013 in Lithuania. On top of that, there were no prior plans for potentially historic agreements or entry of new member states in the EU.

Latvia and especially Riga were rather popular among foreign tourists during the former’s presidency over the EU Council. This helped compensate the dramatic decline of tourists from Russia.

Al in one boat

The only thing that cast a shadow over Latvia’s presidency over the EU Council was the deterioration of the situation in Greece. Decisions in regard to the Greek problem will be made during Luxembourg’s presidency.

The Bank of Latvia has stated that it does not have any deposits in Greek bonds (the European Central Bank and central banks of some other Eurozone member states have, however). The decline of value of Greek bonds or refusal to comply with obligations by the Greek central bank could insignificantly impact revenue from the monetary policy used by all central banks in Eurozone.

It is also noted that Latvia’s exports to Greece make up a mere 0.1% from the total volume of exports to foreign markets. Latvian banks do not have any investments in Greek government bonds. Furthermore, Latvia will not experience any losses from the possible insolvency of the Greek government.

Funds were paid to Greece as part of financial assistance programme carried out by the European Financial Stability Fund. Latvia is not part of it. Having joined Eurozone, Latvia became a member of the European Stability Mechanism. Payments were made to it, but this instrument is not involved in the provision of financial assistance to Greece.

And although experts and member of the government claim the possible economic default in Greece will not have a major impact on Latvia, it is nonetheless important to be more careful in predictions. This is because Latvia is in the same boat as everyone else – the boat called Eurozone. Financial collapse in a country that has billions worth of debts is not likely to go unnoticed in countries of the monetary bloc.

No matter how difficult the upcoming decision in regard to Greece may be, it is clear that now is the time to act.

Voluntarily or not

Continuing the topic on ‘what to do once patience runs out’, it is worth noting that 1 July marked the entry into force of amendments to the Unfair Commercial Practice Prohibition Law and Law on Advertisements. These amendments expand the authority of the Consumer Rights Protection Centre and other management organisations and increase the maximum size of fines for unfair commercial practices to EUR 100,000.

Amendments to the laws were carried out in order to motivate entrepreneurs to perform honest and fair commercial activities in regard to rules of posting advertisements and allowing them to voluntarily fix any breaches without resorting to fines.

Legislation was not effective enough to keep entrepreneurs away from unfair practices, as it was more convenient for them to pay a fine than to stop cheating.

In order to change this, authorities decided to raise the maximum fine to EUR 100,000, as noted in the announcement of Latvia Economy Ministry.

Ref: 017.109.109.5234


Leave a reply

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.

Study: residents criticize development of Latvia general situation the most

With the coming of autumn, residents’ optimism has declined significantly, according to results of Baltic International Bank’s Latvian Barometer.

Number of occupied jobs in Latvia up 9.3 thousand

At the end of the first half of 2017, in Latvia there were 903.2 thousand occupied posts, and, compared to the end of the first half of 2016, the number has grown by 9.3 thousand or 1.0 %.

Latkovskis says sometimes questionable votes are lobbied in Saeima in secret

There have been cases sin which questionable votes were being lobbied in the parliament in secret. Compared with last year, this tendency is demonstrating growth, said Saeima deputy Ilmārs Latkovskis in an interview to Latvijas Avīze.

E-governance advocate Ilves comments on alleged Estonian ID card vulnerability

The ex-President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who has been an active advocate of e-governance has emphasised that a possible security risk with Estonian ID cards has not put that the country's reputation as an e-state at risk.

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.

82% of Estonian households use mobile internet at home

As to the choice of internet connection in Estonia, 82% of Estonian households use mobile internet at home, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Baltic Express attracts railway cargoes; decline noted for other carriers

Railway cargo carrier Baltic Express more than doubled its cargo volumes in the first seven months of 2017. Meanwhile, other two cargo carriers – LDz Cargo and Baltic Transit Service – have suffered cargo declines. Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics notes that it is ringing the alarm over the situation in the industry, not over the interests of its members.

Survey: more than half of Latvian residents are half-serious about their health

44% of Latvian residents use all medicine prescribed by their doctor when they get sick, according to data from Mana Aptieka&Apotheka health index.

In pictures: Zapad drill in full swing

BNN offers you an insight into the quadrennial join military training of Belarus and Russia, which have been inspected in person by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu.

Rinkēvičs invites India to open an embassy in Latvia

During the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday, 18 September, Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs met with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. The two discussed political and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Norwegian top policeman sentenced to 21 years in prison for aiding hashish contraband

A court in Norway, a country often recognised as one of the least corrupt globally, has convicted a senior Norwegian police officer to 21 years in prison after finding him guilty of taking bribes and helping drugs contraband.

Road Transport Administration: transport planning in Riga does not reflect region’s scale

Road Transport Administration plans to speak with Riga and Pierīga administrations about the fractured public transport system in the region, says the administration’s chairman Kristiāns Godiņš.

Mass Ryanair cancellations expected

Irish airline Ryanair has warned that due to an internal planning problem up to 400 000 flights could be cancelled in the European Union.

Legislative draft proposed to simplify referendum procedure

The Central Election Commission has registered Open Management Partnership in Latvia signature collection association’s legislative draft submitted for the fourth time. This legislative draft proposes cancelling amendments of 8 November 2012 to the Law on National Referendum, Legislative Initiative and European Citizens’ Initiative, as reported by the commission.

Greece to lift wine tax due to low revenue

The government of Greece plans to submit draft amendments to lift the country’s year-old excise tax on wine, Greek Minister for Agricultural Development and Food has stated.

Reirs: pension budget will increase by EUR 160 million next year

Next year, pension budget will increase by more than EUR 160 million, says Latvian Welfare Minister Jānis Reirs. He explains that the total pension budget will be EUR 1.93 billion, which means funding for next year’s pensions will be 9.19% higher.

Oligarch case’s parliamentary committee settles disputes with shouting

During a meeting of Saeima’s committee entrusted with investigating Oligarch case, a loud argument broke out between Unity faction member Andrejs Judins and publicist Imants Liepiņš.

IDB: it is too soon to expect corruption to go down in traffic monitoring field

Society’s condemnation of bribery is positive, but it is currently too soon to expect the problem of bribery in road traffic monitoring field to go down, admits Internal Security Bureau chief Valters Mūrnieks.

Apinis: Latvia’s Healthcare Ministry is intellectually weak

Pēteris Apinis, head of Latvian Association of Doctors, criticizing the reform plan, saying: «Just like the Napoleon cake has no Napoleon, the reform plan has no reforms.» He believes Healthcare Ministry’s intellectual potential declined in the past three to four years and that the institution in its current state is intellectually weak.

airBaltic performed 14,324 flights in summer

In August 2017, Latvian airline airBaltic carried 386,597 passengers or 21% more than it did in the same period in 2016, as BNN was informed by the airline.

Sudraba: deputy quotas matter will be resolved in officials’ offices this year

The matter of the so-called deputy quotas will be resolved in officials’ offices this time, deputy Inguna Sudraba of To Latvia from the Heart told Latvijas Radio.

Estonia should invest in long-term productivity, environmental protection – evaluates OECD

As Estonia’s economic recovery gathers pace, it is time to work for sustainable development by protecting the environment and looking for ways to increase productivity, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has recommended.

Option to abstain from vote proposed to be liquidated to reduce possibility of hiding opinions

On Monday 18 September, a citizens’ initiative will be submitted to the Saeima to liquidate the option to abstain from votes in the parliament.

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.