Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 22.11.2017 | Name days: Aldis, Alfons, Aldris

Ventspils opposition: someone is possibly trying to overthrow the government in Latvia

(+7 rating, 7 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU‘After working in Ventspils City Council (and Ventspils political life since 2005), myself and my colleagues have understood that some individuals are prepared to undermine the very foundations of our country by twisting power against the Constitution and against the laws. My colleagues and I have turned many times to authorities to request that they put a stop to lawlessness that currently plagues Ventspils City Council and has already spread out to other parts of the country,’ – notes Ventspils City Council deputy Aivis Landmanis in his open letter to Latvia’s highest ranking officials.

‘You all know that Ventspils City Council is managed by a person who is charged with serious crimes (the most serious criminal charges in Latvia’s history, as a result of which Lembergs is prohibited to fulfil the duties of Chairman of Ventspils City Council and Chairman of Ventspils Freeport since 2007). This person uses his power to continue to manage hundreds of millions worth of public assets while, at the same time, illegally limiting the rights of other deputies to access information, participate in meetings regarding important decision in the city council and other processes. Unfortunately, the government makes it seem as though everything is fine. It seems acceptable for the government to have individuals who are charged with serious crimes, who continue to openly lie to the people to remain in their posts, who have free access and authority to dictate their will in processes of Ventspils City Council, its subsidiaries, Ventspils Freeport and who continue to spend enormous amounts of money to further cement their positive image in the eyes of the people. The government has not managed to properly react to this specific person’s illegal acts (influencing deputies of the city council, different restriction measures that clearly contradict our country’s Constitution and which result in the creation of an atmosphere of lawlessness for deputies of Ventspils City Council). Deputies in Ventspils City Council have next to no rights. This situation can e described the following way: if you are against me [Aivars Lembergs], you may miss meetings of the city council, because neither you nor your representatives will be approved to take post in any of the collective decision making bodies. You will be denied information, your legislative initiatives will not make it to council talks, etc. The fact that Ventspils City Council is managed by deputies of the Chairman (who are in turn controlled by Lembergs) seems completely legal to the government representatives, even though this clearly contradicts regulations stated in the Municipalities Law which state that deputies are allowed to perform duties of the Chairman only of he is away, dismissed or resigned from his post,‘ – as mentioned in the letter. This open letter is addressed to State President, ministers, Saeima deputies and Prime Minister candidate Laimdota Straujuma.

Landmanis continues: ‘Let us assume Valds Dombrovskis resigned from his post because he felt guilty. Unfortunately, instead of following in his noble example and discuss the true nature of the tragedy in Zolitude, politicians have decided to limit themselves to a rushed clean-up in the industry and forming a new government. The only difference is that this time there are signs of the manipulative shadow of one famous political figure in Ventspils behind all this. Not a single political party has talked about actual principles, conditions and work to be done. The only thing important to them is to take posts. This, on the other hand, shows politicians have done no consideration whatsoever and have made no conclusions as well.’

He writes that ‘neither death nor a thief is choosy in terms of victims. Both take. The victim’s citizenship or nationality is unimportant. The same applies to age, gender and social status. Death took many in Zolitude that day. Thieves, corrupt officials, their supporters, those indifferent to criminal offence have been present in all levels of our governments, making it possible to steal from all residents. Wouldn’t you agree? Then what was the reason to have persons who are charged with serious crimes be removed from all posts related to state, municipal, enterprise and other management related posts? Why do such individuals support political parties like For Latvia and Ventspils and Union of Greens and Farmers? Why is the so-called coalition of law and Harmony Centre incapable of agreeing on laws that would have easily resolved this situation that has been slowly decaying the very foundations of our country for years? You all know the answer quite well. You political parties have people who enjoy their “work” so much they often forget the basic principles of morality.’

‘It is often said that there are no longer any boundaries, no taboo. But what about ”Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal” and others? Do we allow our children do what their hearts desire? Do we not teach them what is right and what is wrong? If this persists, we will soon see an age when criminals will continue to freely manage public assets, become managers of kindergartens and schools,’ he writes in his letter.

According to Landmanis, ‘it is not enough to have the PM resign, to have the government be formed with no effort and to boycott Maxima (as publicly announced by Dombrovskis, Pavļuts and Straujuma) so that the country may follow a path of morality and welfare. We need to prove to ourselves and other that we are prepared to change for the best. Announcements of coalition parties should be put aside for once. The government should be formed from people who are able to prove their readiness through hard work.’

In his letter, Landmanis urges the Saeima to immediately propose and vote in favour of amendments that would prohibit officials charged with serious crimes to take post in government and municipal institutions. This would truly prove Valdis Dombrovskis’ decision to resign has had a positive impact on the officials’ understanding of moral responsibility.

‘Recent behaviour of representatives of For Latvia and Ventspils allow us to conclude that what we see now in political developments may be an attempt to overthrow the government. And this attempt is being carried out by corrupt and irresponsible officials by the order of our fair city’s so-called Mayor. Whether or not this attempt is successful depends on us. If it is successful in the end, wait for consequences. Standards of democracy in Ventspils City Council will be adopted by all institutions everywhere in Latvia. Consequences will likely include different amendments that will allow misappropriation of state resources and the like. Latvia will change. It will not be the same country it is now. It will be managed by “legal thieves” whose standards differ greatly from those of western democracy. The so-called lawlessness that is so often mentioned to be present in Riga City Council is nothing compared to that of Ventspils,’ – he emphasizes.

‘Conscience does not allow me and my colleagues to remain silent. I hope there are at least a handful of worthwhile people in Latvia’s politics and who are not indifferent to the fate of our fair country,’ – he concludes in his letter.


Leave a reply

EC positive about Latvia’s 2018 budget project

Based on the conclusion from the European Commission, Latvia’s budget project for 2018 fully fits conditions listed in the Stability and Growth Pact. In accordance with EC’s estimates, the structural balance of Latvia’s general budget is viewed at -1.8% of GDP. Government budget expenditures, on the other hand, are expected to grow by 7.1 percentage points.

Producer price level in Latvia declined 0.2% in October

Compared to September, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry dropped by 0.2 % in October 2017. Prices of products sold on the domestic market decreased by 0.5 %, while prices of exported products went up by 0.1 %.

Vaškevičs feels «harsh but fair» attitude from court justice system in Austria

Former deputy director of Latvia’s State Revenue Service Vladimirs Vaškevičs, who is accused of bribery and whose extradition from Austria has been a priority for Latvian authorities for some time now, says he feels «harsh but, thank God, fair» attitude from the Austrian court justice system.

Antāne: lost Russian cargoes have cost Latvia nearly 50 million in nine months

Latvia’s economy has lost nearly EUR 50 million in nine months because of missed Russian transit cargoes. While Russian Railway had approved 90% of oil and coal cargoes for transit through Ventspils port at the beginning of the year, this amount had declined to a mere 5% by September, says Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics President Inga Antāne.

In pictures: Museum of painter, Holocaust survivor Bak opened in Vilnius

In Vilnius, a museum to Jewish-Polish painter Samuel Bak has been opened. During the occupation of Lithuania by the Nazi Germany, the artist survived the Holocaust in the country.

Ratio of old people and invalids on a rise among unemployed people

The total number of unemployed people has been decreasing in recent years. However, the ratio of old people and invalids continues increasing in the ranks of unemployed people. On top of that, the number of lasting unemployed people remains high and largely unchanged in the country.

Saaremaa looking into possible ferry traffic to Latvia

The local government of the largest Estonian island is looking into possible interest of five shipping companies in opening ferry traffic between Saaremaa and Latvia.

Balta: exhaustion and overload are the most common causes for accidents at work

More than EUR 20,000 has been paid in compensations for injuries acquired at work this year so far, according to information from insurance association Balta. Compared with the same period of last year, the number of accidents has grown 40%.

Estonian town tempts population to reregister with spa in Latvia and 100 euro payment

The town of Keila, located 25 kilometres away from Tallinn, has started a one-and-a-half month campaign to motivate its residents to register back in the town as many of them have registered in the Estonian capital, which grants free public transport to its population.

EU to impose fine to Poland if logging in Białowieża forest not stopped

The European Court of Justice has issued to Poland a 15-day deadline to provide proof that the country has fulfilled the court's ruling to quit logging in the ancient Białowieża forest threatening with a daily fine of 100 000 euros if it fails to prove this.

Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks: building restoration will be next year’s priority

Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks plans to focus on improving technical state of its managed buildings. The company plans to restore several dozen buildings next year and up to 100 buildings a year in the next five years, says RNP chairman Aivars Gontarevs.

LCB: even deputies should fulfil their promises

Latvijas ceļu būvētājs, which is an association in Latvia with ties to multiple road and bridge construction companies, invites deputies to support the proposal for the restoration of the State Road Fund, BNN was told by the association’s chairman Andris Bērziņš.

Russia rejects claims of nuclear accident despite radioactive cloud over France

Russia has stated that a nuclear accident has not taken place in its territory although its weather service has found high amounts of traces of a radioactive isotope.

Study: taxes for business in Latvia – the most attractive among Baltic States

Latvia’s tax system is the most attractive among Baltic States and 13th most attractive among 190 countries of the world, according to the latest study performed by the World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers on tax systems around the world.

Turkish journalist punished with prison term for tweet

A court in Turkey has sentenced on Tuesday, November 21, a journalist from opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet to three years behind bars over accusations of spreading terrorist propaganda in relation to a post on Twitter, which had been briefly on the microblogging site this spring.

Latvia – 35th country in the world ICT development-wise

This year Latvia reached 35th place in the world in terms of development of information and communication technologies, as mentioned in the latest report by UN International Telecommunication Union.

Instant payment infrastructure comes online in Europe

On Tuesday, 21 November, instant payment infrastructure will be introduced across Europe. On top of that, European banks’ founded EBA Clearing will also introduce its RT1 instant payment system. The European-level solution has also been coordinated with the instant payment processing infrastructure prepared by the Bank of Latvia in August 2017, as reported by the bank.

Police dismantle criminal group that caused damage worth seven million euros to the state

Latvian State Revenue Service’s Finance Police dismantled a criminal group in November 2017. A total of 34 searches were performed and two people were found suspect. The criminal group performed tax avoidance and money laundering operations, causing damages worth nearly seven million euros to the state, BNN was informed by SRS.

Zariņš: deputies who vote for the state budget without amendments will have breached their vows

It is unacceptable for the Saeima coalition to follow the Cabinet of Ministers and like the Cabinet of Ministers breach laws during the budget approval process, says Saeima member Ivars Zariņš, adding that deputies who vote for the budget without amendments will thereby have to breach the vow they had previously made to the Latvian nation.

Estonia’s ruling Centre Party shows door to 31 competing members

The leadership of Estonia's Center Party has accepted the proposals of the party's local branches on fellow members, who ran in the Estonian municipal elections this autumn from a separate list, and expelled 31 members from the political party.

Pabriks: state interests should be held higher than party interests

Latvia cannot be allowed to drown in provincialism. It is in the country’s interest to maintain a course towards European and NATO values. In a situation when the number of centric and European-oriented parties is large, it is becoming harder and harder, because it leads to political fragmentation, and the main goal of it is reaching the 5% barrier during elections, not ensuring growth and development for Latvia, says MEP Artis Pabriks.

Reacting to e-commerce growth, Omniva rushes to expand its parcel locker network

Estonian state-owned postal company Eesti Post, which operates the Omniva brand, stated that it will broaden its network of parcel lockers expand its current parcel machines up until Christmas.

Programme: introduction of ‘honest’ taxi counters is stuck

Taxi drivers that had to replace their counters as far back as 15 October, continue delaying the process, as reported by De Factor with reference to State Revenue Service.

Ministry considers reorganizing Latvian Environmental Protection Fund’s administration

After reviewing information from the State Audit, Latvian Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry may consider the possibility of reforming the administration of the Latvian Environmental Protection Fund.

Uber to buy 24 000 self-driving Volvo XC90s

U.S. ride-sharing technology firm Uber has agreed with Chinese-owned Swedish carmaker Volvo on the purchase of up to 24,000 self-driving cars.