Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 23.08.2017 | Name days: Valgudis, Ralfs, Vitālijs

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

Sudraba claims KNAB investigated oligarch case to the maximum extent

Investigators of the so-called oligarch case, which continue working at the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, performed their work responsibly. Information leak during the investigation, on the other hand, had impacted the investigation considerably, said head of the parliamentary investigation committee Inguna Sudraba as a visit to KNAB.

Survey: 43% of internet store users purchase something once a month

Overall, Latvian consumers are satisfied with the purchases they made on internet stores. 65.3% of respondents believe internet stores are safe and reliable. 44.7% of respondents say they have never had any problems when shopping on the internet, according to results of a survey performed by

Government establishes prohibition to wear face-concealing clothes in public

On Tuesday, 22 August, Latvian government supported Justice Ministry’s proposed legislative draft on restrictions for face-concealing clothes, which prohibits residents from wearing such clothes in public places.

Experts explain why a teenager’s «I don’t know» is so dangerous

Most often we say things like «I don’t know» because we are afraid of making choices. Reaching their teens, youngsters become more independent, and the inability to make responsible decisions and say «no» can have serious consequences, says psychologist Sabine Vilcina and youth motivation programme «MOT. Izvēlies drosmi!» manager Ilze Paidere-Stake.

Traders: following VAT decline, prices of goods will decline as well

Latvian Association of Food Traders supports Agriculture Ministry’s proposal to reduce VAT rate for food and separate food product groups. Traders confirm that this step will also reduce food product prices in stores.

The most major risks and solutions for real estate purchase and rent with option to buy

To acquire housing in one’s property, often residents use rent with an option to buy. Sworn attorney Zanda Zaluma of Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns shares advice resident should keep in mind when signing real estate contracts.

Finance Minister: businessmen will be forced to pay larger wages

The current market situation shows that Latvia should speed up its education reform and think about attracting additional human resources from other countries, said Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Latvia to procure Stinger anti-air missile launchers

A mutual contract has been signed between Latvian Defence Ministry and Danish Defence Ministry for the procurement of anti-air missile launchers used by the Danish armed forces, as confirmed by Latvian Defence Ministry.

Oil prices and stock exchange indexes decline in Europe

On Monday, 21 August, oil prices declined. Exchange indexes in USA increased slightly, whereas exchange indexes in Europe declined because of concerns over the policy implemented by the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Terrorists in Barcelona were planning three explosions

Terrorists, who performed two attacks in Catalonia last week, were initially planning to blow up three shuttle buses in crowded areas in Barcelona, as reported by El Espano.

Lawyer: Maxima wants to earn by reducing compensations for the tragedy

Maxima Latvija and Zolitude 21.11 have reached an agreement on payment of EUR 900,000 to support victims of Zolitude tragedy – EUR 5,000 to EUR 75,000 to each person, as reported by Maxima Latvija.

Producer prices in industry in Latvia grew 0.4% in July

Compared to June, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry rose by 0.4 % in July 2017. The prices of products sold on the domestic market increased by 0.5 %, whereas the prices of exported products grew by 0.3 %.

Enefit: Latvia reduces electricity price difference with neighbouring countries

In recent years, Latvia has managed to reduce the electricity price difference with other Baltic neighbouring countries, as reported by Enefit Chairman Janis Bethers.

Farmers Saeima: butter price will not remain high for long

The high price on butter in Latvia will not remain so high for long, said Farmers Saeima Vice-Chairperson Maira Dzelzkaleja-Burmistre in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Aseradens elected as chairman of Unity; Krisjanis Karins to lead party’s city council faction

Unity elected Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens as the new chairman of the party. MEP Krisjanis Karins has been elected as the party’s leader in Riga City Council with Santa Zarane as his deputy.

LPS manager: forming the budget, it is important for municipal funding to stay the same

In the formation process of the next year’s state budget, it is necessary to guarantee finances do not reduce for municipalities, said the chairman of Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments Gints Kaminskis in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Police to organize inspections in stores; parents asked to watch their children as well

For the new school year, Riga Municipal Police will be performing regular inspections at stores, bars and cafes from 21 August to 31 August, as well as the first days of September, to make sure minors are not sold alcohol and tobacco products, BNN was told by police.

Colder masses of air to enter Latvia this week; more rain expected

This week’s weather in Latvia will be dictated by a cyclone hovering above Northern Europe. Colder masses of air will flow into the country. A lot of rain is expected in Latvia this week, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

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.