«For every normal person, invoking the name of God, Allah, Buddha or any other higher power is always associated with great awe. Rulers of Ventspils, especially the small dictator, have no taboo. Buying decisions of municipalities, freeports, the Saeima, the Cabinet of Ministers and even the president is a usual thing. It’s time to ask churches to gasp in awe before the self-declared monarch,» – Ventspils City Council deputy Aivis Landmanis told BNN.
On 25 September, Metropolitan Aleksandr of Riga and All of Latvia presented Aivars Lembergs with Order of the Saint Martyr Archbishop of Riga and Latvia John Pommers for the support he had provided for the restoration of Ventspils Orthodox Church. It should be mentioned that the support of EUR 35,000 was provided to the church by Ventspils City Council, not Lembergs. Aside from that, provision of support should be a self-explanatory duty for the municipality; something that is provided selflessly without expectation of any reward, Landmanis said.
«The fact that ethics are a foreign concept for our hero is clearly reflected by historic facts and one specific decision: in the 80s one of the main duties of head of Latvian Communist Party’s Ventspils Office’s Propaganda Committee Aivars Lembergs was oppression of faith and churches. Under Aivars Lembergs watchful eye, operative actions were performed to oppress religion. This included the ‘Action plan of Latvian Communist Bureau’s order of 3 November 1981 On Execution of Atheistic Upbringing Plan’,» – added the deputy.
He continued: «On 16 September, under the watchful eye of their restricted master, Lembergs’ cultists in Ventspils City Council supported a project. Its title is ‘Execution of measures to enhance public health and combat diseases in Ventspils, especially for residents under the risk of poverty’. A good project that is worth supporting. For its realization, Ventspils City Council intends t spend EUR 416,320. 85% of this amount could be requested from the European Social Fund. Unfortunately, the ones in power in Ventspils are morally bankrupt, and they will likely use the funds requested from the European Social Fund for a noble goal for their own interests and to enhance their image, not help those in need.»
According to them, the most important expenditures aimed to help reduce the risk of poverty and social isolation are: catering costs for participants of summer camps organized by Spars sports school (EUR 105,245); skating training programme for schoolchildren (EUR 19,209); the ‘Come and do sports’ sports event; Ventspils city marathon; a Nordic Walking Festival; Health Week events; sports and games for invalids and veterans (only EUR 3,000). This also includes organization costs (EUR 31,800); procurement of prizes for winners and participants of different entertainment events (EUR 29,259); advertisements (especially to polish the images of important politicians) and catering services for all participants (EUR 19,335).
«To cover up the fraud project, it is also planned to allocate finances for some of the project’s intended goals, including measures to combat cardiovascular diseases, oral hygiene preventive measures for pre-school institutions, speech therapy assistance for children with speech impediment. Unfortunately, no assistance for the project’s target audience – residents under the risk of poverty and social isolation – is found in accompanying documents describing the programme and all activities,» – Landmanis adds.
«Will the Saeima, Cabinet of Ministers and responsible institutions stop yet another attempt to defraud EU funds? Time will tell. If not, it will only once again demonstrate who the public servants actually serve,» – the politician concluded.