bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 02.07.2016 | Name days: Lauma, Ilvars, Halina
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

Latvia is a leader in Europe in terms of contraband of cigarettes

Contraband cigarettes held 23.8% of Latvia’s market in Q2 2016. Surprising changes took place in Latvia’s towns. For example, a rapid increase of the volume of contraband cigarettes has been noted in Cesis.

Lithuanian project wins mini-model contest for Ventspils Innovations and Science Centre

In the near future, the drive through Ventspils Bridge in the direction of the city centre will provide a view on the most modern, creative and interesting building the city has to offer. The location, which is currently nothing more than an empty field, will feature a multifunctional science and innovations centre.

Companies and private persons turn to Constitutional Court against solidarity tax

Following the initiative of Latvia’s Chamber for Commerce and Industry, 20 private persons and 9 companies have decided to turn to the Constitutional Court of Latvia to achieve the cancellation of the solidarity tax and recover overpaid funds.

One-hour tickets to become available in Riga’s public transport

Starting from Friday, 1 July, new one-hour tickets for workdays and weekends will be available in Riga’s public transports. It is also planned to introduce a special 5x24 hour ticket that can be used within 15 days.

Estonia earmarks 13 million euros to hosting NATO soldiers

The Estonian government on June 30 earmarked over 13 million euros for the costs expected to arise from hosting NATO troops, largely for building new barracks.

VNT: amendments to tax law creates unfavourable environment for freeports

Planned amendments to the Law on Tax Application in Free Ports and Special Economic Zones do not contribute to business development in municipal areas. They will, however, create a less transparent, controversial an environment generally unfavourable for investments, as reported by representatives of Ventspils nafta terminals.

Slovakian presidency wishes to bring EU closer to states and citizens

As Slovakia starts its 6-month European Union’s presidency, Bratislava has voiced determination to help regain link between the bloc and its citizens and increase solidarity among the 28 member states in decision making.

Researchers: Ozone hole over Antarctic shrinking

Scientists have stated that first plain evidence of the thinner area of ozone layer over Antarctica starting to shrink has been found.

Men from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan reported as Istanbul terrorists

Turkish media report that the three terrorists, who committed the tragic attack at Istanbul airport on June 28, were from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

How chebureki in Palanga resort became reflection of Lithuania‘s euro economy

Lithuania‘s adoption of the euro has jerked prices steeply upward and chit-chats of what-costs-what is one of the most daily topics across in Lithuania and in the Palanga resort, rightly dubbed Lithuania’s summer capital, too.

EU’s budget priorities for 2017 – growth and reaction to migrant crisis

On Thursday, 30 June, the European Commission initiated the EU 2017 budget project of EUR 134.9 billion. The main focus will be on two main priorities: support of recovery of Europe’s economy and resolution of problems associated with security and humanitarian problems in neighbouring countries.

Traveller from Latvia lightly injured in Istanbul terrorist attack

BALTA Insurance Association has received an insurance claim from a Latvian citizen who received light injuries in the recent terrorist attack at Istanbul airport. BALTA has contacted the man and has provided the necessary assistance.

Forest regeneration costs in Latvia grew in 2015

In 2012, the average forest regeneration costs, depending on the forest land quality group, varied between EUR 620 and EUR 687 per hectare. In 2014, these costs accounted for EUR 558–EUR 662 per hectare.

Tallinn hosts annual Estonia’s Friends International Meeting

This week Tallinn is hosting the annual Estonia’s Friends International Meeting gather over a hundred entrepreneurs, politicians, scientists and other experts from 24 countries.

Retail trade turnover in Latvia up 3.4%

Compared to May 2015, total retail trade turnover rose by 3.4% in May 2016. Turnover of retail trade in food products increased by 2.1%, whereas the turnover of retail trade in non-food products grew by 3.9%.

Russia extends its embargo on imports of agricultural products

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the embargo on imports of agricultural products imposed against the European Union and other countries that have established sanctions against Russia for its aggression in Ukraine to be extended until the end of 2017.

Asian stock indices show market recovery from Brexit vote turbulence

Indices of Asian stock markets largely moved up showing financial market recovery from the instability that on June 24 and earlier this week followed the unexpected outcome of British EU referendum.

65% of pre-school age children will have professions we’ve never heard of before

More than half of residents who are currently of pre-school age in Latvia will work in jobs that are largely unknown at the moment. This was concluded at a meeting of OECD representatives ‘Digital economy: innovations, growth and social welfare’ in Mexico.

Estonian millionaire does not deny giving Magonis a bribe

Estonian millionaire Oleg Osinovskis does not admit his guilt in the incriminated crime. He does not deny giving money to former head of Latvijas Dzelzceļš Ugis Magonis.

Scotland in Brussels looking for ways remain in EU

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on June 29 in Brussels met with European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker expressing her stance for Scots to stay in the EU, despite British majority having voted to leave the bloc.

Kucinskis: the government will do everything to defend its citizens in Britain

During the European Council meeting in Brussels on 28-29 June, Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis and leaders of other EU member states discussed the situation in Europe after the Brexit referendum, when the majority of British citizens voted in favour of leaving the EU.

Prosecutors: Lembergs has requested bribes from multiple people

On Wednesday, 29 June, prosecutors finished presenting amendments to charges against criminally accused Aivars Lembergs’ criminal case. The next court hearing is scheduled for 8 August.

Court convicts two LuxLeaks whistleblowers

Court in Luxembourg has on June 29 convicted two French whistleblowers over links to leaking documents that pointed to Luxembourg offering tax sweetheart deals to large multinational companies.

Turkey terror attack death toll rises

A nation-wide day of mourning has been observed in Turkey on Wednesday after suicide terrorists committed an attack on Istanbul airport killing 42 people.

Latvijas Krajbanka’s criminal case delayed until September

On Wednesday, 29 June, Riga City Vidzeme District Court decided to put off the viewing of Latvijas Krajbanka criminal case until 14 September.

Newest comments