bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 23.01.2018 | Name days: Strauta, Grieta
LatviaLatvia

Transport Ministry practices old oligarchs' methods

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Aivis Landmanis

“When establishing a working group to examine the situation in Latvian ports, the Transport Ministry already knew that there will be no results. It becomes clear judging from the composition of the group, which includes officials from the Ministry and associations employed by the Freeport of Riga,” says Aivis Landmanis, advisor to The Baltic Association of Transport and Logistics (BATL).

“Basically, the working group did not examine anything. Neither did it raise any problems. All of our proposals were neglected,” he told BNN.

He stresses that neither the Competition Council, nor the Latvian Employers’ Confederation, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Latvian Foreign Investors Council and other independent experts were offered to join the working group. So the Transport Ministry’s interim report made in cooperation with associations managed by the Freeport did not bring any surprises.

BATL believes that the interim report aims to prove that changes in the management of ports overburden public officials and are not necessary in the first place. Besides, BATL has already pointed at responsible officials and Transport Minister Aivis Ronis’ failure to arrange a transit sector under its direct supervision. The leading Latvian ports are an essential component of the sector.

“Members of the Saeima Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee must show some backbone and take over the initiative from the Transport Ministry. It is the parliamentarians duty to take action, so that the state of Latvia meets the promise that the Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis made to the European Commission and voters. He promised to sort out issues concerning management of ports,” Landmanis stresses.

Asked whether he feels any MPs’ support to port reforms, he reveals that it depends on the affiliation to certain parties. BATL calls on the Committee to decide on the opening of the Law on Ports, because the issue simply must not be put off any longer.

On Tuesday, April 17, the Saeima Committee got acquainted with the Transport Ministry’s interim report on the efficiency of the current management model. It called on the responsible ministry to attract independent World Bank experts, whose task would be to assess management of Latvian ports.

“There are many issues that can be solved without experts from the World Bank. Anyway, it is better than nothing. Independent experts’ advice is important and we hope that in this case, when reforms are clearly necessary, it will help resolve the situation,” he says.

Besides, also the Chairman of the Committee – Vjaceslavs Dombrovskis believes that the working group’s performance is dissatisfactory and shows superficial approach to port issues.

“The Ministry has failed to ensure quality performance of the working group, sufficient public participation and international experience. There is an impression that the group was established with an aim to reject proposals for port reforms. Therefore, the Committee is set to call on the Transport Ministry to attract technical assistance from the World Bank, while two largest ports will be asked to co-finance the research,” says Dombrovskis.

“The current methods of managing the leading Latvian ports, the State Audit Office’s reports as well as port authorities and boards members’ arbitrariness often voiced in the media clearly show that management of ports is subject to private, selfish and possibly corrupt interests. So there are no reasonable grounds for the Transport Ministry’s passive standpoint, which follows methods practiced by “old oligarchs” in the years of prosperity.

As reported, recently there have been emerging more and more calls on the responsible bodies to introduce better port management principles in Latvia. «Reforms on ports come so slow, because the issue is politicized. The three things we stand up for – clear goals of ports, fair competition and transparent management are not such a complex issue,» Liga Smildziņa – Bertulsone, Executive Director at the American Chamber of Commerce, told BNN.

Ref: 102.105.105.1314


Leave a reply

ManaBalss.lv initiative «On saving Agenskalns market» submitted to Riga City Council

An initiative started by Anda Baidekalna «On saving Agenskalns market» has been submitted to Riga City Council for review. More than 2,000 people signed in favour of this initiative on ManaBalss.lv portal. Now Riga City Council will have to decide on approval of this initiative and develop a plan for development of Agenskalns market to preserve its functionality.

Estonian construction price rise influenced most by higher labour costs

Estonian construction price index grew by 1.5% in 2017 aligned with the average of 2016, Estonian statisticians calculated.

Latvian Economy Ministry proposes self-regulatory measures for postal sector

The problem with postal items lacking addresses can be resolved using self-regulatory measures in the postal industry, as mentioned in Economy Ministry’s prepared report on new measures and proposal for mechanisms to help make the work performed by the postal sector more efficient.

Venice tourists stunned over 1 100-euro restaurant bill

The leadership of the picturesque Italian town of Venice has pledged to ensure justice after four Japanese tourists complained of having been handed a 1,100-euro bill for steaks, water, service and a plate of fried fish.

Ratification of Istanbul Convention falls through in Latvia

Unity is the only one of the coalition parties in Latvia that has expressed support for the ratification of Istanbul Convention so far, politicians say.

Spain sees Puigdemont's trip to Denmark as provoking his own arrest

A judge of the Spanish Supreme Court has blamed Catalonia's former President Carles Puigdemont of seeking to provoke his own arrest by visiting Denmark from his country of exile, Belgium, as the politician faces charges carrying a possible prison sentence of up to 30 years.

Latvenergo: Latvia is the largest energy exporter in Baltic States

Latvia continues exporting electrical energy produced in the country – as of Monday, 22 January, it was 832 MW. Especially intensive energy production is recorded for Daugava’s hydro-electric power plants and Riga’s CHP plants. The largest import volume is registered for Lithuania, to which the amount of exported energy equals the amount consumed in Latvia, Latvenergo explains.

LALRG secretary general: we have to reduce gap in quality of life for EU citizens

Ever since Latvia joined the European Union, its population has declined 14%. The most significant decline was caused by the departure of residents of working age to other EU member states. Because of that, the population in eastern regions of Latvia has declined 23%.

Czechs up for close race in this week's presidential run-off

As the Czech Republic nears the second round of its presidential election this weekend, sociologists estimate that the pro-Western academic Jiří Drahoš enjoys a somewhat larger support than the incumbent Miloš Zeman, who easily won the first round.

Producer price level in Latvia’s industry up 3.1%

Compared to December 2016, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry rose by 3.1 % in December 2017. Prices of products sold on the domestic market rose by 3.0 %, while prices of exported products went up by 3.3 %. Prices of products exported to euro area countries grew by 3.8 %, whereas prices of products exported to non-euro area countries rose by 2.9 %.

MEP: an even greater UGF dominance would slow down Latvia’s development

If the Union of Greens and Farmers (UGF) gains an even greater presence in the upcoming Saeima elections, Latvia’s continued development would suffer, said member of the European Parliament Artis Pabriks in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Tax reform challenge in January: labour tax recalculation

2018 commenced for Latvia with a historical tax reform and conceptual changes, significantly affecting everyday work performed by businessmen, employers and accountants. One of the changes financial specialists have to remember when calculating wages for January is the one for personal income tax, which also includes changes for state social insurance fees and solidarity tax, BNN was told by accounting experts.

Total tax debts in Latvia reach 1.217 billion euros at beginning of 2018

At the beginning of the year, total tax debts in Latvia, including existing debts, halted debts and debts with extended repayment debts, reached EUR 1.217 billion, which is 3% less when compared with the previous month, as reported by the State Revenue Service.

Estonia emphasises animal welfare as demand for animal food products grows

Although the demand for food products from animals is increasing, attention should be paid both animal welfare and sustainability in agriculture, Estonia's Minister for Rural Affairs Tarmo Tamm has stated.

Latvia hopes to recover its status as a country free of swine fever

There is hope that Latvia may yet recover its status of a country free of swine fever, says Food and Veterinary Service’s (FVS) Animal Infections Monitoring Department lead expert Mārtiņš Seržants.

Estonia prepares to inform population of actions in case of emergency or war

Estonia is preparing a brochure on how its population should act in case of major crisis or war.

De Facto: international lawsuit against Latvia is associated with infamous Winergy case

Norvik Bank’s lawsuit against Latvian state in the international court of arbitration in Washington is associated with Winergy wind park business, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV. The bank has yet to announce the amount of money it wishes to enforce from the state

German Social Democrats vote to U-turn on coalition talks with Merkel's conservatives

In Germany, where four months after its federal parliamentary elections there is still no government, the Social Democrats have voted to enter coalition talks with the conservatives led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Weather in Latvia to become warmer this week; thaw to settle in

Weather in Latvia will be dictated by an anticyclone at the beginning of the week. Precipitation is only expected in some areas, mostly in the north. The sky will be cloudy for the most part. Still some sun is expected every now and then, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Turkey crosses into Syria to attack Kurdish militia

Turkey's ground forces have entered the territory of neighbouring Syria strengthening Ankara's offensive to push Kurdish militia, considered to be terrorists by Turkey, away from the border.

Week in Lithuania. Fake news on Lithuanian Defence Minister planted on news portal

The Tv3. lt news website was hacked on Thursday, January 18 - a fake news story about Lithuanian Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis was posted claiming that Karoblis allegedly harassed Ridas Jasiulionis, a journalist at the Žinių Radijas radio station, and admitted being gay.

BNN summary of the week: final report on Oligarchs case and ordered attacks on e-health

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Fight; Attack; Growth; Decline; Opinion; and Study.

Economist: the most important reform has to happen in people’s heads

«Of all the clever things taught to us in school about psychology, one thing that has stuck with me over the years is the idea of internal/external control point. There are people who believe they make their own fate. There are also people who believe our fate depends on external powers. I suspect people in Latvia explain successes and failures with external factors much more than people in Switzerland or any other country that has enjoyed its freedom longer than Latvia,» comments Luminor Bank’s economist Pēteris Strautiņš.

Minister promises bigger wages for working people and support for country’s industry

«Latvian Economy Ministry’s priorities for 2018 include increasing wages for working people and providing support to the country’s industry. For Latvia’s centenary year, every resident should have the right to experience the increase of the personal and state welfare,» promises Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Latvenergo: electricity price has declined 30% in the past three years

Average electricity price in Latvia has declined in recent years. The average price of electricity has declined by 30% at Nord Pool exchange between 2014 and 2017, allowing end user costs to decline, says Latvenergo.

Would you be ready to boycott something in your life?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: