bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 22.11.2017 | Name days: Aldis, Alfons, Aldris
LatviaLatvia

Economic Diary of Latvia. Our ship is away

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUSummer has come to Latvia; the season of vacations has begun. This is the time when the country’s political and economic life slows down. This is certainly not something that can be said about this week. Life blossomed as never before in Latvia.

First of all, Latvia lost the head of its State Revenue Service. After long and hard work, or wait, or resistance, Director General Inara Petersone decided to step down. Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola accepted her decision even though during their previous meeting Petersone had assured her that she would not leave her post.

Petersone explained her decision by saying that she sees no opportunities to improve the situation in Latvia’s state administration. According to her, SRS has done much to make the organization a modern and open institution. Nevertheless, she believes state administration should develop instead, as Petersone mentioned that the government is fractured and lacks a team with a common goal.

It is worth mentioning that Petersone’s role in the service remains unclear, especially if she failed to notice the dishonest behavior of the service’s workers and shady deals that are carried out within. But she has noticed the flaws in state administration. If SRS is to be viewed as part of the system, or rather its lack, Petersone’s own options in sorting out the service were rather limited.

Petersone will remain in her post until 27 June.

In her interview to Latvijas avīze, Petersone mentioned the possibility of leaving SRS.

At the beginning of a long road

Secondly, Latvia’s Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis and Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Ángel Gurría in Paris signed the agreement on accepting Latvia into this organization.

After the signing of this agreement and its ratification in the Saeima, Latvia will become the 35th member state of OECD. It is planned that the parliament will view the ratification on 16 June.

But this is not the end of the long road Latvia began in 2013. Membership in this organization proves Latvia’s commitment and hard work in accomplishing serious structural changes in its finance sector and enhancing its reputation on the international arena. But even after joining OECD it will remain important to continue launched reforms, reminded President Raimonds Vejonis during his meeting with the head of the Finance and Capital Market Commission Peteris Putnins.

As previously reported, during the preparation of reports on Latvia’s sectors, OECD experts expressed concerns that 14 out of 20 banks registered in Latvia service foreign clients, whose deposits form more than half of the EUR 30 billion invested into Latvia’s banking system.

As though reacting to criticisms and reminders, banks and other financial structures have announced plans to start checking whether potential clients are politically influential in Latvia or are related in some way to influential figures starting 1 June.

If a potential client turns out a politically influential figure, relative or close associate of an influential person, banks will carry out in-depth evaluation of said client to comply with requirements of the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing – all to reduce the possibility of money laundering and corruption.

At the beginning of February, the Saeima added amendments to the aforementioned law, making it obligatory for banks to carry out in-depth analysis of financial transactions carried out by politically influential figures. This year, the Saeima adopted amendments to the Law on Credit Institutions. According to those amendments, maximum fines for breaches of the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing would be equal to 10% of annual income. If 10% of the total revenue does not reach EUR 5 million, FCMC will have the right to apply a fine under EUR 5 million.

The increase of fines is tied to the fourth AML (anti-money laundering) directive of the European Union, which Latvia has to adopt in the near future.

All the best for children

Thirdly, Saeima Defence, Interior Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee has approved the adoption of a fee of EUR 5,000 for repeated extension of some of the issued residence permits.

The approved norm provides that residence permit holders who were provided with residence permits before the adoption of amendments in 2014 will not be able to pay for the first extension of their permits. They will have to pay a fee for a second extension. When extending residence permits received after the adoption of amendments in 2014 will have to pay a fee of EUR 5,000.

Residence permits are provided for five years in exchange for investments into banks. With that, the payment for extension will be allowed to be paid 10 years after being provided with the permit.

Previously, Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens mentioned that the programme for support of housing acquisition for families is financed using money acquired from the residence permit programme. Nevertheless, the number of issued residence permits continues gradually reducing, the minister said, whereas demand for assistance for housing acquisition keeps rising.

To ensure continued function of the family support programme, it may be partially converted into a commercial one with financial assistance from Altum, the minister explained. This means that families participating in this programme will have to pay interest.

Ref: 017.109.109.7952


Leave a reply

Study: taxes for business in Latvia – the most attractive among Baltic States

Latvia’s tax system is the most attractive among Baltic States and 13th most attractive among 190 countries of the world, according to the latest study performed by the World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers on tax systems around the world.

Turkish journalist punished with prison term for tweet

A court in Turkey has sentenced on Tuesday, November 21, a journalist from opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet to three years behind bars over accusations of spreading terrorist propaganda in relation to a post on Twitter, which had been briefly on the microblogging site this spring.

Latvia – 35th country in the world ICT development-wise

This year Latvia reached 35th place in the world in terms of development of information and communication technologies, as mentioned in the latest report by UN International Telecommunication Union.

Instant payment infrastructure comes online in Europe

On Tuesday, 21 November, instant payment infrastructure will be introduced across Europe. On top of that, European banks’ founded EBA Clearing will also introduce its RT1 instant payment system. The European-level solution has also been coordinated with the instant payment processing infrastructure prepared by the Bank of Latvia in August 2017, as reported by the bank.

Police dismantle criminal group that caused damage worth seven million euros to the state

Latvian State Revenue Service’s Finance Police dismantled a criminal group in November 2017. A total of 34 searches were performed and two people were found suspect. The criminal group performed tax avoidance and money laundering operations, causing damages worth nearly seven million euros to the state, BNN was informed by SRS.

Zariņš: deputies who vote for the state budget without amendments will have breached their vows

It is unacceptable for the Saeima coalition to follow the Cabinet of Ministers and like the Cabinet of Ministers breach laws during the budget approval process, says Saeima member Ivars Zariņš, adding that deputies who vote for the budget without amendments will thereby have to breach the vow they had previously made to the Latvian nation.

Estonia’s ruling Centre Party shows door to 31 competing members

The leadership of Estonia's Center Party has accepted the proposals of the party's local branches on fellow members, who ran in the Estonian municipal elections this autumn from a separate list, and expelled 31 members from the political party.

Pabriks: state interests should be held higher than party interests

Latvia cannot be allowed to drown in provincialism. It is in the country’s interest to maintain a course towards European and NATO values. In a situation when the number of centric and European-oriented parties is large, it is becoming harder and harder, because it leads to political fragmentation, and the main goal of it is reaching the 5% barrier during elections, not ensuring growth and development for Latvia, says MEP Artis Pabriks.

Reacting to e-commerce growth, Omniva rushes to expand its parcel locker network

Estonian state-owned postal company Eesti Post, which operates the Omniva brand, stated that it will broaden its network of parcel lockers expand its current parcel machines up until Christmas.

Programme: introduction of ‘honest’ taxi counters is stuck

Taxi drivers that had to replace their counters as far back as 15 October, continue delaying the process, as reported by De Factor with reference to State Revenue Service.

Ministry considers reorganizing Latvian Environmental Protection Fund’s administration

After reviewing information from the State Audit, Latvian Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry may consider the possibility of reforming the administration of the Latvian Environmental Protection Fund.

Uber to buy 24 000 self-driving Volvo XC90s

U.S. ride-sharing technology firm Uber has agreed with Chinese-owned Swedish carmaker Volvo on the purchase of up to 24,000 self-driving cars.

Snow expected in Latvia this week

Weather in Latvia will be cloudy at the beginning of the week and, although the sun may appear every now and then precipitation, precipitation is expected in most of the country. It will begin with rain and gradually move up to wet snow and snow, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Lengthy German coalition talks collapse

The German political parties that entered the country’s federal parliament after elections in September, still cannot reach an agreement on making a coalition and a majority government, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has evaluated that new elections would be better than a minority government.

airBaltic carried more than 4,780 in flights between Riga and Liepaja

In the first six months since airBaltic has started performing regular domestic flights between Riga and Liapaja more than 4,780 passengers have been carried on this route.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian parliament passes Magnitsky act

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.