bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 26.04.2017 | Name days: Rūsiņš, Sandris, Alīna
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

Economist: Latvian residents’ overall satisfaction with life is below most EU countries

There are many different measurements in the world that seem impossible to measure – our quality of life and development progress, says Bank of Latvia economist Daina Paula in a publication of makroekonomika.lv, commenting on different measurements that help characterize development of national economy and people’s quality of life.

Estonian ex-PM: Bronze Night riots in Tallinn coordinated by Russian officers on site

On the 10th anniversary of the Bronze Night riots in Tallinn, the then Prime Minister Andrus Ansip has noted that Russian special forces’ officers were in the Estonian capital coordinating, where vodka and flammable liquids were supplied.

Reporters Without Borders: media experience unprecedented threats

«The freedom of press in the world has never been more at risk than it is now,» announced Reporters Without Borders in its annual World Press Freedom Index on Wednesday, 26 April.

Several media-related people become candidates in municipal elections in Latvia

Among candidates that intend to participate in the upcoming municipal elections in Latvia are several people who are closely associated with the media environment. Not all of them, however, have direct ties to journalist work.

Coca-Cola facing lower demand to cut 1 200 workers

U.S. company Coca-Cola has stated that it plans to lay off around 1,200 workers in the world as the fizzy drinks producer is facing lower demand.

Cyber-security experts: Macron’s campaign in France targeted by hackers

The campaign staff of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been targeted by a group of Russian hackers, employing an extensive arsenal of high-tech tricks to acquire the login names, passwords and other credentials, security experts have found.

Ministry: EU should oppose hybrid threats more strongly

«To strengthen EU’s defensive capabilities, member states should increase defence expenditure and work to further enhance cooperation and coordination in the entire union. At the same time, the EU should further enhance its capabilities to better oppose hybrid threats so that they cannot be caught off-guard,» notes Latvian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s parliamentary secretary Zanda Kalnina-Lukasevica.

Ombudsman turns to Constitutional Court over low wages of medics

Ombudsman Juris Jansons has decided to turn to the Constitutional Court over non-compliance with requirements of Medical Treatment Law in relation to the principle of equality and guaranteed rights for fair pay.

Vejonis: new tax system will start working if everyone starts paying taxes honestly

«To improve the development of Latvia’s national economy and residents’ welfare, it is important to realize an efficient tax reform, which is one of the main objectives for the government,» said Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis during his meeting with chairman of Latvian Free Trade Unions Association Egils Baldzens on Tuesday, 25 April.

Verzemnieks: non-taxable minimum for pensions should be increased to EUR 500

The government has to realize a tax reform in which non-taxable minimum is increased to at least EUR 500, says author of the Tax-free Pension initiative Arnis Verzemnieks.

Swedish meteorologists warn of up to 20 cm snow

While people in Baltics are asking, when will arrive the warm part of spring, weather forecasters in Sweden warn of heavy post-season snowfall, which could bring up to 20 centimetres of snow.

Producer price level in industry up 0.1% in Latvia this March

Compared to February, the average level of producer prices in Latvian industry grew by 0.1 % in March 2017.

Lembergs continues prolonging court process; prosecutors concerned

Aivars Lembergs’ criminal case remains in court for the ninth year. The past seven months have been spent solely on listening to Aivars Lembergs’ testimony. Prosecutors are concerned that the accused may be using his testimony to prolong the court process, as reported by Latvijas Radio about the state of the criminal case and prosecutors’ opinion of it.

Swedbank: Latvian residents often lack the money to cover all expenses

Latvian residents plan their family budget in a short-term perspective. Because of that, they often lack the money to cover all expenses, according to data of a study performed by Swedbank Institute of Finances.

In pictures: Protesters in Venezuela block roads in nation-wide sit-in

Opposition protesters in Venezuela rallied on Monday, April 24, promising to block Venezuela s main roads to raise pressure on the government of Nicolas Maduro after three weeks of deadly unrest that have left 21 people dead.

CM: the need for media content creation exceeds financial capabilities

The tendering procedure for support of creation of public media content requested five times more money than what is available, said Culture Ministry’s policy department manager Roberts Putnis in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Cargo turnover of Baltic ports up 5% in Q1 2017

In the first three months of 2017, ports of Baltic States received and transshipped a total of 39.97 million tonnes of cargoes, which is 5% more when compared with the same period of 2016.

Estonia plans to allocate additional EUR 5 million for HIV spread prevention

Estonia plans to invest into HIV and AIDS medications and related services a total of 5,5 million euros, sets forth the state budget strategy for 2018-2021 passed by the Estonian government.

Expert: lower prices in tendering procedures contribute to grey economy

The lowest price principle has dominated public tendering procedures for a long time. Often it comes with heavy dumping and unjustifiably low prices for goods and services, says Latvian Partnership of Building Contractors manager Baiba Fromane.

Co-founder of Wikipedia wants to establish news service to fight fake news

The co-founder of the volunteer-edited internet encyclopaedia wishes to establish a news site, where both journalists and volunteers would work.

Latvia wishes to sign a double taxation prevention agreement with Andorra

Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics expresses the country’s readiness to sign a double taxation prevention agreement with Andorra, as reported by the ministry.

Before run-off in French presidential vote, Le Pen steps down from party

Having received the second largest support from voters in round one of the French presidential election, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen has stated she stepped down from the leadership of her National Front party.

Five European companies agree to finance Nord Stream 2

Nord Stream 2 and five European energy companies have signed the project’s financing agreement and have shown their readiness to provide funding equal to 50% of the project’s total costs, as confirmed by the company.

Vejonis and Reirs agree – orphanages should remain in the past

«The interest and needs of children should finally be at the centre of focus. The state and municipalities cannot be allowed to maintain a system of institutions that does not secure full and harmonic development for children,» said Latvia’s President Raimonds Vejonis during his meeting with Welfare Minister Janis Reirs on Monday, 24 April.

airBaltic commences the first charter flights with CS300 aircraft

Latvia’s national airBaltic airline and Tez Tours have commenced the first charter flights with the new Bombardier CS300 aircraft. Charter flights will connect Riga with Antalya, Heraklion, Bourgas and Rimini in the summer season.