bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 18.12.2017 | Name days: Klinta, Kristaps, Kristofers, Krists
LatviaLatvia

Pūce: RS is fortunate that «good uncle» Ušakovs gives as much money as needed

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«Rīgas satiksme is a jar with an empty bottom in which Riga’s taxpayer money is put in from one end and the money put in it falls out of the other end and is used in different fraud schemes like nano-water, and the useless hydrogen-powered transport project – enormous and financially unreasonable projects. This company does not have properly managed financial activities. It is unacceptable to have a situation in which company revenue declines but expenditures continue to increase – this is a sure way for the company to go bankrupt. Rīgas satiksme is fortunate that ‘good uncle’ Nils Ušakovs is always generous and gives them as much money paid by Riga’s taxpayers as they want,» said Riga City Council opposition deputy and chairman of Latvian Regional Alliance/For Latvia’s Development Juris Pūce in an interview to BNN.

«Riga City Council is too deep in uncertainties»

The deputy notes that distribution of finances regularly takes place at Riga City Council. What I mean is Riga City Council sometimes changes the budget three times a year, which, according to him, is a very odd management method. «Often changes in decision do not contribute to planned development. Riga City Council is too deep in uncertainties.»

The deputy also notes that Rīgas satiksme’s yet another request for additional finances only increases suspicions.

BNN had previously reported that, considering Riga City Council’s Finance and Administration Affairs Committee’s reviewed matter regarding the proposition to amend Riga municipality’s 2017 budget in order to increase Rīgas satiksme’s capital by EUR 9.6 million, Pūce turned to Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs, asking him to provide all information about this matter and explain the reasoning behind this decision.

Pūce emphasizes that no explanation was provided in the end.

Rīgas satiksme is in a very bad financial state

The deputy points that Riga City Council decided to provide EUR 4.3 million to Rīgas satiksme in September for Skanstes tramway project. Opposition deputies requested additional information about Rīgas satiksmes’s financial state to be provided first.

«What we found out is frightening. Basically the management of Rīgas satiksme confirmed that the company is in a very bad financial state. Minutes of the board’s meeting added to a report show – RS has a very low capital index. Company representatives admit that they have difficulties with company solvency. They desperately need municipality’s money to cover costs for the trolleybuses they bought. Rīgas satiksme does not have its own revenue to cover costs on its own.»

Pūce admits that he has suspicions about Rīgas satiksme’s management and its capital holder – the Mayor of Riga. «They don’t care what happens in the company. If we look at balance data for the past year and compare that to this year’s results, we will see that nearly all profit indexes have declined, whereas all costs have increased.»

He adds that Rīgas satiksme never provides any information voluntarily – only when the company is ordered to do that. «Clearly Ušakovs has created a mechanism that hides information very well. This creates suspicions that the mayor has personal interests in making sure the company remains buried and unreachable for others.»

Riga City Council deputy says the company concluded last year with losses that had to be covered using taxpayer money. «And if we look at how this situation could develop in the future, just how big their debt is, I would say next year Riga City Council would have to invest EUR 35 million on top of the already invested EUR 96 million.»

Rīgas satiksme’s losses constantly plugged using taxpayer money

This situation has created concerns – either Riga City Council makes its budget to meet Rīgas satiksme’s needs, or the company goes bankrupt. ‘Both scenarios are undesirable,’ says the deputy.

Pūce says that the State Audit has plans for an audit at Rīgas satiksmē and Riga City Council in the future.

«It is our job as the opposition to follow such potential risks. We ask questions, request information and acquire it through other means in situations when we are denied access to it. We try to sort out this field with help from supervisory institutions,» says Pūce.

«And gradually we are getting somewhere. Still, progress is slow, because the experience we’ve had working with Riga City Council is very negative. They do not have an economic, fair and working mechanism in place. The mechanism they do have obeys political orders no matter what they are. Unfortunately, the people giving orders act very irresponsibly towards Riga.»


Leave a reply

Ventspils opposition member: list of Lembergs’ committed crimes continues expanding

«During his rule in Ventspils, Aivars Lembergs performed so many illegal and criminal acts that investigation and judicial institutions still haven’t sorted things out,» said Ventspils City Council opposition member Valdis Kristovskis in an interview to BNN.

Traders association: cigarette contraband will increase dramatically

Latvian Traders Association is worried – by reducing availability of tobacco products in stores and other trade locations, the proportion of products sold ‘under the radar’ will only increase. And this is basically what amendments to the Law on Tobacco Products Circulation.

Problems in higher education funding cause concerns for education quality

There can be no certainty about the progression of Latvia’s higher education towards excellence, because no ambitious goals have been set up for its development so far, as concluded by State Audit after performing an assessment of the country’s education funding system.

Terrorism, not Russia considered larger threat in Estonia

Estonians believe terrorism is a larger threat to security than Russia's actions, stated Estonian Defence Minister Jüri Luik at the Tallinn’s International Centre for Defence and Security.

Digital TV case: trail from Malta leads all the way to Šķēle’s «clouds»

Malta files or the leaked materials from Malta’s Registry of Companies show that changes have been added to the ownership structure in Digital International Limited (DIL), which is involved in the so-called digital television lawsuit. The current owner of the company is an Estonian company, which had once owned properties of ex-Prime Minister of Latvia Andris Šķēle’s family, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV.

Austrian anti-immigration party to care for interior, defence and foreign affairs

National-conservative Austrian Freedom Party, which unlike other parties in power in Western Europe is clearly against immigration, is to take significant ministerial duties in the country’s new government.

Liepājas metalurgs may restart production in February 2018

Liepājas metalurgs may restart production in February 2018, said potentially insolvent KVV Liepājas metalurgs’ investor, said Israeli-based businessman Igor Shamis in an interview to LNT Top 10 News.

Ryanair pilots in talks not to strike before Christmas

Pilots of popular airline Ryanair have suspended plans to hold a day-long strike before Christmas after the Irish company agreed to recognise pilot trade unions for the first time.

Weather in Latvia to be cold and snowy this week

Atmospheric pressure will rise at the beginning of the week. Because of that, no precipitation is expected. Wind speed will be low and mist will remain in certain regions. On Tuesday, 19 December, a low atmospheric pressure area will pass through the country, bringing some rain, snow and wet snow, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian doctors to offer voluntary test on alcohol habits

Lithuania's Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga has drafted a new scheme for residents attending health care institutions to fill out tests that would reveal whether the person's drinking habits signal a possible addiction.

Citadele Index: businessmen are more optimistic about economic growth

After a four-year gap, optimism has been noticed in all of Latvia’s business sectors. For the third consecutive quarter Citadele Index value exceeds 50 points. Businessmen are also positive about the country’s economy and their own finances, according to the final Citadele Index study for 2017.

Bank of Latvia increases GDP growth outlook to 4.7% for 2017

Bank of Latvia has decided in increase gross domestic product growth outlook from 4.2% to 4.7% for 2017, as reported by the bank’s governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs.

Latvian residents’ opinion of government’s work remains negative

Latvian residents voiced the biggest degree of dissatisfaction about the development of the situation in Latvia and the work performed by the government. Although the previous evaluation of government’s work had increased by four points, it has since declined by two points, according to data from Baltic International Bank’s Latvian Barometer.

Eel fishing to be restricted in Baltic Sea for three months

European Union Fisheries Council has decided to restrict eel fishing for three months in 2018 in all waters, including the Baltic Sea. Although the World Wide Fund for Nature and environmental organization in Europe view it as a notable first step, these efforts are unlikely to have a major impact on the most important problem – eel population continues declining rapidly, as noted by WWF.

LCCI: increase of electricity bills for thousands of companies in unacceptable

Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) categorically opposes increasing electricity bills for the majority of small and medium-sized companies due to mandatory procurement component’s differentiation. The organization believes that this would basically introduce a new additional tax, making them even less competitive.

Head of Latvian Association of Regions to spend Christmas thinking on remaining in the party

Dissatisfied with multiple decisions made by Latvian Association of Regions (LAR), Riga City Council member Mārtiņš Bondars will spend the holiday thinking about his place in this political party, as he mentioned in his interview to Rīta panorama or LTV.

Estonian fund permitted to purchase several Latvia energy production companies

Latvian Competition Council has permitted Estonian fund to purchase several energy production and agricultural companies.

Meat processing giant sees room for growth in ready-to-eat foods

Consumption in the meat market segment of ready-to-eat foods is growing quickly, evaluated Finnish meat processing group HKScan that is planning to invest eight million euros in its factory in Estonia.

To fight for national minority schools, Russian representatives promise to hold a referendum

Defenders of Russian schools in Latvia promise to organize a referendum for autonomy of national minority schools, said co-chairman of Latvian Russians Association Miroslavs Mitrofanovs in regards to the transition to education only in Latvian language.

Tax payment process from capital growth to change in Latvia

As part of the tax reform, changes will be added to the Personal Income Tax Law starting from 1 January 2018. One of the changes is associated with payment and declaration of income from capital growth. The tax rate and the term for submission of declarations on income from capital growth will change next year.

Tusk deems EU migrant quotas ineffective as some states oppose taking in migrants

Donald Tusk, the head of the Council of the European Union and chairman of this week's EU summit, has evaluated that mandatory EU-wide quotas are ineffective and that there is a split between east and west as regards asylum policy.

Riga City Council’s 2018 budget – poorly planned or well-developed?

As the vote for the 2018 budget of Riga City Council draws near, representatives of all opposition parties say they will not support it as long as politicians of the ruling coalition continue viewing the city’s most important financial document as good and aimed at development.

Euro area economy has grown quicker than expected, European Central Bank estimated

Growth has been at a faster pace in the eurozone prompting the European Central Bank to raise its economic growth forecasts.

Weekends in Latvia expected to be snowy

A layer of snow will form in Latvia’s central and western regions that will remain until the middle of next week, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Opinion: Latvia at risk of restricting healthcare to 300,000 people

Kustība Par! political party has sent a letter to Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis, asking him to return to the Saeima the recently approved law on healthcare funding legislative draft. According to the party, the law restricts healthcare for 300,000 people in Latvia.