bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 19.08.2017 | Name days: Melānija, Imanta
LatviaLatvia

Riga mayoral candidate. Guntis Belēvičs: bull in a china shop?

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(0 rating, 2 votes)

Guntis Belevics

Guntis Belevics

Guntis Belēvičs, the Latvian Greens Party candidate for the mayoral position of Riga, describes himself as a successful businessman who doesn’t need anything, for he has all. In other words, he has reached a state, in which he can fully devote himself to serving the society and development of Riga.

Let us not belittle Belēvičs’ achievements in business, he has really established two leading pharmacy chains in Latvia – Saules aptieka and Mēness aptieka -, as well as the biological deer breeding farm Zemitāni. In politics, however, he still reminds of a bull in a china shop.

His first attempt to serve the society was by joining the political party of Par Labu Latviju! (For a Good Latvia!), which was soon labelled as an informal millionaire club. He was asked to leave the party, however, after a public announcement that education should be paid for, starting from 7th grade. Belēvičs came forward with this offer during the 2012 national elections. One must be either very brave or not the sharpest knife in the drawer to scare people with an idea of paid secondary education amidst a severe economic crisis.

Belēvičs stopped here. After this attempt, he sought to gain the support of sexual minorities. «To my mind, there is no doubt – gay and lesbian marriage should be permitted» he noted in an interview to the daily Latvijas Avīze. Apparently, this was a calculated move – according to statistics, 5-10% of Latvians have an unconventional sexual orientation. Therefore, with the help of these groups one can overcome the 5% barrier of the necessary popular support for entering Saeima. That year, political fortune turned its back on Guntis Belēvičs and he has now decided to try his luck in municipal elections.

This year the businessman is more moderate and has not come forward with shocking offers. Quite the contrary, Belēvičs, in line with the green ideas of his current party, has promised to provide three meals a day for all schoolchildren. Latvian farmers will supply eco-products for this goal. Considering that Mr. Belēvičs is himself an owner of a biological farm, one cannot avoid the thought that the participation in elections is a part of a marketing strategy aimed at finding a new market for his products, namely, schools and nursery schools. Lunch will be free of charge for children, but not to the City Council.

Educational institutions will most probably have to purchase foodstuffs from farmers and here Belēvičs as a businessman will have vast business opportunities. Therefore he is slightly hypocritical, when claiming the materialist world is foreign to him and that he only cares about the interests of the society.

In an interview to the weekly Sestdiena, he unveils that he wishes to enter politics for the benefit his granddaughter, who lives in China with her parents. «Of course, we can be proud with our children, who succeed in the world, by using their education, but that’s a pride with a tear in my eyes – if you see your grandchild only on Skype, it’s a bad way to spend your old age. I want to get them back.»

In this case, it is not clear, why this care about the children of Riga and their comfort is limited only to free meals. And why is Mr. Belēvičs certain that his, evidently, highly-paid children will return to Latvia only to get free meals at school.

Mr. Belēvičs has other creative ideas. For example, he plans to acquire the funding necessary for the development of Riga from the production of lifts and house heat insulation materials. Why does he think that these are the activities that might be interesting to private companies working in the capital? Discussing faster attraction of investment for the needs of the capital, he plans to «shake» money out from municipal companies and to save money, by organising reasonably the municipal procurement.

In his web site (www.belevics.lv), the mayoral candidate writes: «I have accomplished as a scientist, a businessman and a family man. I want to go further. I wish to apply my knowledge and experience for the overall prosperity, to contribute not only to my family and pagasts, but to the whole of Latvia.»

This is where his skills of reasonable spending should be discussed. According to the data from Baltic Screen, Mr. Belēvičs was among the largest real estate owners: he owned 47 land lots with a total area of 2,414 ha. In 2010, his name could also found in a list of most heavily indebted businessmen: his mortgage debt alone exceeded 6.15 million lats. Currently, his children are the owners of almost all of his property.

Ref: 111.111.103.7358


Leave a reply

Kirsis asks police to assess possible forging of votes at Riga City Council

Riga City Council’s Unity faction chairman Vilnis Kirsis has asked State Police to check if the city council’s electronic voting system was used without another deputy’s knowledge or consent, said the politician.

Expert: attack in Spain shows how terrorists switched to more easily reachable targets

Terrorist attacks that transpired in Spain this week shows how terrorists have switched to more easily reachable targets, where security requirements are not as strict, says Latvian National Defence Academy’s Security and Strategic Research Centre researcher Martins Hirss.

New mandatory tests in schools to be introduced four years from now

In four years’ time – 2021/2022 school year – it is planned to introduce completely new mandatory tests in schools, as reported by State Education Content Centre Director Guntars Catlaks.

Nearly 9,000 children and their parents got homes thanks to state support programme

In the first half-year of 2017, state support helped 1,527 families in Latvia to buy homes. Compared with last year, families’ demand for state support has grown 6%, as reported by Altum finance institute.

Prediction: Aseradens will likely take control over Unity

Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens will become the head of Unity, Betsafe bookmakers predict. The possibility of Aseradens becoming the head of the party is given 45% probability by Betsafe.

Provisional estimate for next year’s fiscal space in Latvia is EUR 60 million

Next year’s fiscal space has been estimated at EUR 60 million, as noted by Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola, adding that a more precise estimate will be available at the end of August.

Reconstruction of Vilnius airport runway concludes; aircraft return to Vilnius

On Thursday, 17 August, Vilnius airport’s runway was festively opened. This was the most massive reconstruction for the airport in the past 20 years. It was a unique project for Lithuania and all of Europe, airport representatives say.

Islamic State terrorist group takes responsibility for Barcelona attack

The recent terrorist attack in Barcelona, in which a shuttle bus rammed a crowd of people on La Rambla, killing 13 and injuring at least 100, has become this week’s topic.

Weather in Latvia to be warm but rainy on weekends

The sun will appear every now and then between clouds on Friday, 18 August. Still, some rain is expected, especially in the afternoon in Latvia’s eastern regions, where thunderstorms may appear. Rain is expected to reach the capital in the afternoon. Wind will draw in from the south. Air temperature will reach +21° C… +26° C, according to State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Latvia’s export growth was moderately rapid in the first six months of 2017

Compared with the same period of 2016, Latvia experienced a moderately rapid export growth in the first six months of 2017, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 August.

Latvia’s annual inflation in July was one of the highest in Europe

Inflation indexes in Latvia and the UK both reached 2.6% in July, which is one of the highest indexes in the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 August.

Kirsis withdraws his candidacy in favour of Aseradens

Riga City Council member Vilnis Kirsis has decided to withdraw his candidacy from the race to become chairman of Unity in favour of a different candidate – Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens.

Rinkevics expresses Latvia’s interest in maintaining political consultations with Palestine

On Thursday, 17 August, Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics met with the leader of Palestine’s diplomatic mission in Latvia, ambassador Taissir Al Adjouri, to discuss mutual relations between Latvia and Palestine and the peace process in the Middle East.

Putin grins to the world’s seven billionth baby, Lithuania wary of border incidents

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit this Wednesday to Kaliningrad, the westernmost point of Russia, but the reports about his trip in the Russian enclave and over the border in Lithuania were strikingly different.

Survey: red considered the safest colour for a car

Most Latvian drivers consider red to be the safest colour for a car. The most popular, however, is black, according to results of a survey by Virši-A fuel trader.

airBaltic’s number of carried passengers reaches a record in second consecutive month

Latvian airBaltic airline carried 393,312 passengers in July 2017, which is 21% more than the same period last year. The number of passengers carried by airBaltic remains the highest it has ever been in the airline’s history, BNN was informed by the company.

Brivais vilnis: nearly all fish processing companies are experiencing losses

Currently nearly all fish processing companies in Latvia are experiencing major or minor losses, says Brivais vilnis chairman Arnols Babris.

American helicopters to perform low-altitude flights within Latvia’s airspace

U.S. Air Force Brigade’s Task Force Phoenix helicopters, which are stationed in Latvia as part of Atlantic Resolve operation, will be performing low-altitude flights from 16:00 to 18:00 from Lielvarde to Dobele on Friday, 18 August.

Healthcare Ministry’s state secretary Karlis Ketners may be replaced

Latvian Healthcare Ministry may replace its state secretary Karlis Ketners. It is possible he will be transferred to work at Finance Ministry, as reported by LTV.

Suspects in Europe's insecticide egg scandal before Dutch court

In the Netherlands, two men have been in court in relation to the scandal of eggs containing banned insecticide that has caused an EU-wide health scare and cost millions of euros of damages.

Indian national with fake documents apprehended on Latvian border

An Indian citizen travelling from Moscow on a bus was caught at Terehovo border control point in Latvia for presenting officers a fake EU family member’s resident card. No criminal process was launched. The person returned to the country he was travelling from.

Latvijas dzelzceļš will not have to pay dividends from last year’s profits

The government decided on Wednesday, 16 August, that Latvijas dzelzceļš will not have to pay dividends from last year’s profits, which were EUR 880,998.

Latvian citizenship provided to 103 people

The Cabinet of Ministers has issued an order to provide Latvian citizenship to 103 people through naturalization.

Estonian Inbank's profits reach EUR 5.7 million in six months

Estonian financial services' provided Inbank made a profit of 5.7 million euros in the first half of 2017, which is a 429.4% increase compared to the respective period in 2016.

Agriculture Ministry invites residents to sign up for measures to support fisheries

From 21 August onward, Rural Support Service plans to start accepting applications for projects to receive support from European Maritime and Fisheries Fund’s action plan for development of fisheries in 2014-2020 as part of projects Innovation, Productive Investments in Aquaculture and Fishing and Aquaculture project processing.

Newest comments