bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Sunday 23.07.2017 | Name days: Magda, Magone, Mērija
LatviaLatvia

Opinion: Magonis demonstrates the system’s level of manners

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe saddest thing about the criminal drama with the arrest of President of LDz Ugis Magonis is the reaction of the industry’s officials to this piece of news. It came as a surprise to Transport Ministry, said deputy state secretary Dzineta Innusa. LDz Vice-President Aivars Strakss, who is the acting President of LDz at the moment, had not expected anything of the sort, notes Ir magazine journalist Aivars Ozolins.

«We can only imagine whether or not surprise is all about the fact of taking a bribe – then we should also conclude the people responsible for the industry are either naïve or incompetent – or the way everything was carried out – accepting half a million euros in cash and carrying all that money in a paper bag (in this case surprise should be expressed about the naiveté of Magonis and his incompetence in resolving these matters), or the fact that law enforcement authorities actually managed to catch Magonis,» – said Ozolins in an interview to TVnet.

«There is no doubt that guilt for such crimes can only be determined by a court of justice. But one would doubt that a person like Magonis, who has led a state company for as long as he has, would suddenly decide he is no longer satisfied with a salary of EUR 100,000 per year. The minister and others know well that uncertainty regarding his annual income had surfaced nearly every time after submitting his declaration. In 2009, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau had launched an inspection of Magonis’ transactions, which led authorities to believe there had been illegal money laundering activities. Magonis’ possible involvement in a conflict of interests was investigated in 2012. His managed state company is frequently mentioned in relation to questionable deals and procurements.

This is why is seems unbelievable the minister and other officials don’t know the principles that govern the procurement system, which may be dependent on Russian business culture more so than LDz depends on railway system of its neighbours,» – said Ozolins.

It is possible that LDz’s most valuable business partner Vladimir Jakunin, President of Russian Railway, is somewhat surprised about Magonis’ arrest. As it is common in Russia, the head of a large state enterprise should be politically influential enough to deter others from looking too deeply into his income.

It is with Latvian partners that Jakunin could reach an agreement in regard to matters of economic relations and international politics. It was Latvia that did not allow the EU to introduce sanctions against him. Last September, Matiss announced: ‘It is in Latvia’s interests to have Russian Railway unaffected by EU sanctions.’

«Jakunin is not just the head of a massive state enterprise, but also Vladimir Putin’s associate since KGB times, President of St. Adrei’s Fund and board member of Russkiy Mir. He coordinates activities of pro-Kremlin parties in Europe. He was a guest of honour at Magonis’ birthday celebration in Rundale Castle. This celebration was also attended by Transport Minister Matiss, Economy Minister Daina Reizniece-Ozola and her husband Andris Ozols and the Director of Latvian Development and Investment Agency.

After the celebration, Matiss concluded that Jakunin’s appearance at the celebration was a signal of good relations with Russia. Reizniece-Ozola, on the other hand, said it was a game played by Magonis and Jakunin, and deciding whether or not it was right of him to play this game is, at the very least, impolite.

Jakunin believes growing interest about the income of heads of state enterprises is a very impolite form of invasion of personal space. In January 2015, he threatened to leave his post as President of Russian Railway when the Russian government asked him to provide information about his income. ‘I cannot stand people’s digging through other people’s laundry,» – he said.

«[…] In the strategic corruption game Russia plays in the hybrid war against the West, economic blackmail and temptation is far more effective influence tool than mere bribes. This is why his surprise about some people taking a bit more for themselves in such a business environment is out of place. Magonis is an index of the system’s manners, not a lonely enthusiast of carrying large amounts of cash,» – said the journalist.

«It should be added that Magonis guilt in accepting the bribe has not yet been proven in court, […] However, there are at least two questions that may raise concerns about the case’s successful resolution.

First of all, all news detail the bribe’s reception. There is next to no information about giving the bribe, aside from cautious speculations that Magonis had met with Osinovskis in Pernava and that the bribe was supposedly handed during that meeting. Following a request from Latvian law enforcement authorities, Estonian police carried out a search in Osinovskis’ offices. Neither Osinovskis nor anyone else has been detained as the person who gave the bribe to Magonis.

Secondly, KNAB avoided providing any information whatsoever on this case. No information was given in regard to this operation even being real. The fact that Magonis has been detained was announced by minister Matiss. It was later confirmed by Estonian security service KaPo. Only on 10 August did KNAB reluctantly confirm that the detainment really take place. Unusual reluctance, considering this is the most serious KNAB operation in recent years.

[…] Strelchenok was on vacation when the operation to detain Magonis was taking place. This case will be a test for him to demonstrate whether or not he is more concerned about his formal rule in the bureau or combating corruption as a whole,» – said Ozolins.

Ref: 102.109.109.6982


Leave a reply

BNN summary of the week: Kucinskis in Ridzene’s room and government’s rushed decisions

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

Tourists die in Aegean Sea earthquake

A powerful quake that struck in the Aegean Sea has taken the lives of two persons in Greece, local authorities have stated.

Fashion in business: how to be heard in the modern-day world?

It would seem that nowadays strict fashion trends have «died». This is because people for ways to look beautiful and comfortable. One of the minds behind TRÉS fashion line, Enija Mugurevica shares advice how to start a business in the fashion industry from scratch and be heard and noticed in the modern-day world.

FCMC fines Norvik Banka for EUR 1.3 million and Rietumu Banka for EUR 1.56 million

Finance and Capital Market Commission in cooperation with Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counterproliferation Center found out in a target inspection that Latvian banks – Norvik Banka and Rietumu Banka – have not followed requirements of regulations for the prevention of money laundering and terrorism funding.

Saeima approves controversial amendments to Credit Institutions Law

On Friday, 21 July, Latvian Saeima approved amendments to the Credit Institutions Law, which were previously returned to the parliament for a repeated viewing by President Raimonds Vejonis, completely unchanged.

Bank of Latvia: tax reform is a disappointment; it will not improve competitiveness

The tax reform submitted to the Saeima for approval is one big disappointment that will not improve competitiveness, said head of the Monetary Policy Office of the Bank of Latvia Uldis Rutkaste in an interview to LNT 900 seconds.

Betsafe predicts: will Duklavs remain Latvia’s Agriculture Minister?

Although Unity has asked the Union of Greens and Farmers to replace Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs with someone else after the scandalous oligarch talks in Ridzene hotel, Duklavs will likely keep his post, according to Betsafe bookmakers. There is a 33% probability of Duklavs losing his post.

Latvian alcohol industry has an offer to increase excise tax rate

Experience shows – rapid increase of excise tax results in rapid increase of prices and rapid decline of revenue for the state treasury. Based on careful calculations, Latvian Alcohol Industry Association asks the government to stick with the current excise tax increase plan.

Air temperature to reach +24° C… +25° C in Latvia on weekend

Weather is expected to be largely dry this weekend in Latvia. Next week, however, is expected to be rainy, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Saeima deputies sign agreement on Oligarch talks committee’s formation

So far only parliament members have signed the agreement on the formation of a Saeima committee for the investigation of Oligarch talks. Neither of them represents Unity – Karlis Serzants from Union of Greens and Farmers and Einars Cilinskis from VL-TB/LNNK.

Seaima Praesidium approves parliamentary budget for 2018

On 20 July, Saeima Praesidium approved the parliament’s budget request for 2018. It is planned to be EUR 22.04 million, setting funding to maintain current functions on the level of 2017, BNN was informed by Saeima press-service.

Beer brewers: fooling around with tax reforms could destroy Latvia’s beer industry

By increasing excise tax for beer, the goal of reducing alcohol consumption will not be achieved. This is because consumption of other alcoholic beverages will increase as a result, notes CEO of Latvian Breweries Union Peteris Linins, commenting on the government’s plans to raise excise tax for beer.

4,558 marriages registered in Latvia in first six months of 2017

Over the past three years, Latvian birth number almost has not changed and constitutes 22 thousand annually. 10,175 children were born in the first half of 2017, which means 990 newborn fewer than in the same period a year ago.

Broadcasting organizations ask NEPLP to stop meddling with public media contents

The board of Latvian Association of Broadcasting Organizations urges the government and National Electronic Mass Media Council to continue realizing reforms in public media.

Kucinskis also met with Slesers in the infamous meeting room of Ridzene hotel

Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis admits having met with Ainars Slesers in the now infamous meeting room in Ridzene hotel a couple of times, specifically when the People’s Party made the decision to join Par labu Latviju.

Pumpurs hands 99% of Užavas alus capital shares to his son

Ildis Pumpurs, up until now the only owner and board member of Ventspils Užavas alus brewery, has handed 99% of the company’s capital shares to his son Oskars Pumpurs.

Repeated elections in Kekava – activity twice as high so far

Repeated election has commenced in Kekava’s 785 election site. 274 voters or 7% of local voting population took part in elections in the first day, according to data from the election site.

Estonia plans accepting from Turkey 160 Syrian refugees

Estonian police are looking into the documents on 160 refugees from Syria that are to be moved to Estonia in line with an agreement reached between the EU and Turkey.

Experts: potato harvest in Latvia may come later than usual this year

Potato harvest in Latvia may come one week later than usual. Still, the harvest is expected to be on the level of last year, BNN was told by Potato Growers and Processors Union.

News feed to be added to Google's website and mobile app

Internet search giant Google has said it would add a continuous feed of news and other content to its homepage and mobile app, which would be displayed before a user makes a search query.

NATO and Chinese ships perform joint manoeuvrer before entering Baltic Sea

This week, Standing NATO Maritime Group One welcomed in international a group of Chinese Navy ships that entered the Baltic Sea through the Strait of Denmark from the North Sea. Ships of both groups performed a mutually coordinated manoeuvrer for the ships to ensure safe entry of ships into the Baltic Sea, as reported by Latvian Defence Ministry.

Russia distances itself from proclamation of «Malorossiya» in eastern Ukraine

The Kremlin has noted that the proclamation of a county entitled «Malorossiya», or «Little Russia» in the pro-Kremlin-separatist-held eastern parts of Ukraine is a personal initiative of the rebel leader.

Expert: oil prices will likely remain zigzag-like

Aside from one week, oil reserves have been continuously declining since April. This trend will likely continue. Oil refining activities were not too high. This reduced demand for oil. In Q3, oil producers will increase production output and compound stores, comments macroeconomics expert Dainis Gaspuitis.

Construction output in Q1 in Latvia – tenth largest in EU

In Latvia, construction production volume in Q1 2017, when compared with the same period of last year, grew 8.4%. This puts Latvia on the tenth place among EU member states, according to the latest data from Eurostat.

Do you have an acquaintance currently looking for a job?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: