bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 02.09.2014 | Name days: Lizete, Elīza, Zete
LatviaLatvia

Opinion: political zombies and Lembergs' rematch

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+3 of 3)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU‘2014 is the year of elections for Latvia and European Parliament. Latvia’s pre-election scene often offers a wide variety of absurd and populist political groups. Oligarchs also often come to visit,’ – writes journalist and media researcher Sandra Veinberga on TVNET portal.

She believes the age of ‘political living dead’ continues in Latvia, because money is often a more effective persuasion tool than actual innovative ideas.

‘With the motto “money instead of ideas” Latvian oligarchs continue to ram Latvia’s political Olympus using all kinds of different methods.’

Veinberga notes that the pressure of oligarchs on political processes in Latvia was ended by the now ex-president of Latvia Valdis Zatlers in 2011. He was the one who proposed the dissolution of the ‘oligarch parliament’ and restored society’s hope for there to be positive changes.

‘The people supported Zatlers’ initiative. This forced the “oligarch parliament” to step down. However, as the oligarchs left, they played their final card: they elected a publicly unknown Latvian oligarch, former banker and wealthy pensioner Andris Bērziņš as the next President of Latvia. This final act of revenge lit the fuse,’ – she writes.

She believes when rescuers carried the bodies of the people who died under the debris of Maxima supermarket in Zolitude, Latvia’s largest metallurgical company Liepājas metalurg went bankrupt and most of Latvia’s residents started to question the safety of newly built buildings, stadiums and other public buildings in Latvia, oligarchs’ ace in the hole – President Andris Bērziņš – theatrically announced a request for Lembergs’ party to return to the government.

‘In order to distract everyone from the actual situation, he chose someone from the side – Laimdota Straujuma – to take charge in the government formation process. She had only just joined Unity, and it is to secret to anyone that Aivars Lembergs himself was also openly involved in the government formation talks. Therefore, the person who is charged with serious crimes (a kind of person who would never be allowed to take even the lowest of posts in a normal country) is back in the game,’ – writes Veinberga.

‘He believes himself above the law. His extreme image forging methods (court marathon, using media channels, making Ventspils City Council his personal PR office, etc) show the skills he learned during the Soviet era and his current views on things – 20 years after the restoration of independence,’ – she adds.

The journalist emphasizes that one of the main skills Lembergs learned during the Soviet times was the skill to manipulate and the skill to cultivate his own image of a leader (not empathy for his fellow man – a trait that is a requirement for politicians in a democracy). Ventspils is the source of the funding that is provided to Lembergs’ ‘pocket party’ in Riga.

‘Similar to a sports car that speeds through populated areas, swiping everything in its way, Lembergs continues his tidal run across Latvia’s politics and countless courts. He does this with no respect to anything or anyone. Money is the source of his “power”. It fuels his anarchic activities. A lot of this money was sucked from oil shipment opportunities stolen from Ventspils sea port, as well as his direct and indirect misappropriations of funds from the state and municipality. Money allows Lembergs to bribe and claim anything and anyone he wants. Starting with Ventpils residents and their votes and ending with judges. Thanks to his manipulative machinations and bribes, Aivars Lembergs has managed to compromise and undermine our trust in the kind of Latvia that is governed by laws,’ – says Veinberga.

She is certain that Lembergs ‘pocket’ party Union of Greens and Farmers is far from being a party of farmers and even further away from being all that green.

‘These people hate Zatlers’ Order #2 with a passion. Therefore, their first step at revenge was to make sure Reform Party is kicked out of the government (the first attempt at this had failed, because Straujuma had suddenly changed her opinion regarding the removal of RP’s Foreign Minister). Nevertheless, it still seems that the 2014 political crisis in Latvia was planned to allow Lembergs’ followers to take their revenge on Zatlers and his followers. It also seems that the oligarch has managed to intervene with Economy Minister’s amendments to the law to limit the fast loan sector. It is easy enough to achieve if you have parties you sponsor,’ – says the journalist.

‘It is rather clear that the President does not care about Latvia. He cares about parties settling their scores. Oligarchs are merciless and vengeful – nothing will remain of his enemies. The needs of the people are secondary to him,’ – Veinberga concludes.

Ref: 103.109.109.5775


Leave a reply

  1. Ilmars says:

    A corrupt President has appointed a patsy Prime Minister , so she would appoint compliant Ministers who would run the country for a crooked oligarch.
    Berzins , Straujuma and the Union of Farmers and Greens are nothing more than Lembergs stooges.
    The next election should be fought on the issue of organised crime running Latvia.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Three Latvian citizens have possibly joined Ukrainian separatists

It is possible that two Latvian citizens and one non-citizen are currently fighting in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of separatists.

Ukraine: Russia has commenced «great war», separatists demand amnesty in talks

Ukrainian Minister of Defence Valery Heletey evaluates that Russia has commenced «a great war», the human cost of which could in time amount to tens of thousands of lives. Meanwhile, in Minsk, talks with pro-Kremlin separatists have taken place on September 1, but have had no result.

Meteorological summer ended one week sooner than usual in Latvia

Average daytime temperature is gradually dropping 1-2 degrees below the norm. The average air temperature of the last ten-day period of summer in Latvia was +13.5° C, which is 1.4 degrees below the annual indexes.

NATO to train quick-response spearhead force in Eastern Europe

NATO plans to increase the alliance’s presence in eastern countries, developing «spearhead force» within member states that will provide them with the ability to respond to threats ‘within very short periods of time’, as reported by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Weather in Latvia expected to be dry and warm this week

As the influence of anti-cyclone becomes stronger in Latvia, weather is not expected to surprise residents with precipitation this week. This week’s weather is expected to be equally sunny and cloudy.

Latvia to hold Steadfast Javelin II military exercises

From Monday, September 1st to September 10th, Latvia will be hosting NATO’s Steadfast Javelin II military exercises. Approximately 600 soldiers from several countries are expected to be participating.

Latvia sees an increase in volume of freights and number of passengers

In the first half of 2014, the total volume of freights carried in main transport sectors has grown by 2.7% as compared to the first half of 2013.

Selling Citadele for a lower price may result in millions worth of losses in EU court

In 2008, European Commission’s competition supervisors ordered Austria to pay EUR 54.7 million or the difference between the price for which Burgenland province’s bank was sold and the price prepared by the second potential buyer that was excluded from fair competition.

EC to develop more sanctions against Russia

At the end of last week, leaders of EU countries agreed to request the European Commission to develop proposals for more sanctions against Russia in response to the escalation of the situation in Ukraine.

Ventspils Grain Terminal transships the largest cargo of wheat in the port’s history

This Monday, September 1st, Ventspils Grain Terminal exported the largest shipment of wheat in the port’s history. Santa Cruz, which sails under the flag of Panama, took on board 74,606 tons of Latvian wheat. This cargo has been sent on its way to the Near East.

Israel to seize land from Palestinians in West Bank

Shortly after the tragic conflict in Gaza Strip, Israel announced on August 31 its plans to expropriate four square kilometres of land in the occupied West Bank.

NATO plans to set up five new bases in Eastern Europe, Latvia included

NATO plans to set up five new bases in Eastern Europe, deploying 300-600 soldiers in each of them.

New school year begins for nearly 200,000 Latvian schoolchildren

This Monday, September 1st, marks the beginning of a new school year for 771 state and municipal education institutions in Latvia.

App developers in rush to seize iOS 8's new opportunities

After Apple presented its upcoming mobile operating system iOS 8 in June, developers of software applications have sought to shape apps in order to make use of iOS 8's new opportunities, which include today screen widgets, interactive notifications and adding photo editing functions to Apple's camera app.

Police investigate possible VAT fraud in relation to construction of Šlesers’ house

Finance Police of Latvian State Revenue Service is currently investigating a criminal case that was launched in relation to a possible value added tax fraud during the construction of the home of businessman and politician Ainārs Šlesers.

Economic Diary of Latvia. Tax relief for businessmen impacted by Russian embargo

This Tuesday, August 26th, Latvian Cabinet of Ministers reviewed and approved amendments to the Taxes and Duties Law, which provide businesses that have been impacted by the Russian embargo with an opportunity to extend the terms for paying tax debts up to five years.

Putin urges Kyiv to hold talks with separatists; West urge to arm Ukraine

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has urged to hold talks between pro-Kremlin separatist rebels and Kyiv to protect civilians in the proximity of the conflict area.

Lithuania’s political diary. Lithuania leads UN efforts for Ukraine defense against Russia aggression; Urges West to provide Ukraine military aid

Lithuania called for a UN Security Council meeting to address the escalating situation in Ukraine. The UN Security Council meeting took place on last Thursday. Ahead of it Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė condemned Russian invasion, saying it jeopardizes Ukraine’s future and international peace.

Castle of Light sets up a commemorative wall of names of people who donated to the library

This Friday, August 29th, Latvian National Library «Castle of Light» opened a commemorative wall that features the names of people who donated money to the library.

Liepājas metalurgs will be sold to either Russians or Ukrainians

As reported by LM insolvency administrator Haralds Velmers, talks in regard to the sale of the insolvent metallurgical company will continue with two potential investors – United Group registered in Luxembourg, one of the beneficiaries of which is Russian millionaire Igor Shamis, and Ukrainian KVV Group.

Retail trade turnover up by 3.9% in Latvia

Compared to June, the total retail trade turnover in July 2014 rose by 2.2%. Both retail trade in food products and non-food products increased by 2.2%.

Growth rate of wages in Latvia currently in decline

Average wages and salaries in Q2 2014 have risen slower than in the first quarter of this year as compared to the corresponding periods of the previous year.

Earth’s global ecological budget for 2014 is already spent

In less than eight months of 2014, mankind has managed to use up its annual ecological budget for this year.

Pabriks: Europe and USA should provide military assistance to Ukraine

Leaders of Europe and USA should immediately provide economic assistance to the Ukrainian government, because the economic situation of the country currently torn by conflict is critical. The Ukrainian army should be provided with adequate military equipment so that it can stand up to Russian troops, believes Latvian MEP Artis Pabriks.

Series of 27 protests against use of wild animals in circus shows to conclude with flashmob

This Saturday, August 30th, there will be an unusual and visually striking flashmob near Riga Circus. During this flashmob, participants will symbolically express their support for compassionate and benevolent treatment of animals and will bid fare well to elephants Sonya and Vana Mana.

Newest comments