Latviski English По-русски
Tuesday 20.03.2018 | Name days: Made, Irbe

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

EU agrees to UK's transition period before Brexit

In a breakthrough in the Brexit talks, the UK gave its consent on Monday to an agreement with the European Union that a tangible border would not be established between British-ruled Northern Ireland and Ireland to have the bloc agree to retain most EU advantages for close to two years leaving the union.

Latvia experiences one of the most rapid export rises among EU member states in January

In January 2017, Latvia experienced one of the most rapid export increases among EU member states when compared to the same month of the previous year, according to data published by Eurostat on Monday, 19 March.

Russian citizens living in Latvia provided more support to Putin than citizens in Russia

During the presidential elections in Russia last week, support provided to President Vladimir Putin by Russian citizens living in Latvia turned out considerably larger than it was in Russia.

Every third illegally downloaded software programme – infected with a virus

Data compiled by International Data Corporation shows: every third illegally downloaded software programme is infected with malicious software. Nevertheless, 69% of consumers and 33% of businesses in Europe procure computers with software from unsafe sources.

Russian economy has grown stable along with oil prices

Higher prices of oil have allowed the Russian economy to recover despite European Union's and U.S. sanctions and in time to benefit the Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has secured his next term in office.

Number of vacant jobs in Latvia grew 17.9% in 2017

In 2017, there were 17.0 thousand job vacancies in Latvia, which was 2.6 thousand vacancies or 17.9 % more than in 2016. In public sector there were 6.1 thousand job vacancies van in private sector 10.9 thousand vacancies.

Latvian cosmetics producers exports goods worth approximately 20 million euros

Cosmetics producers in Latvia export products worth EUR 20 million every year. Volumes increase 5% every year. The main export partner states are located in Europe. Still, there has been a significant increase of export volumes to third countries – to some countries this increase was as large as 60% -70%, according to data from Latvian Cosmetic Manufacturers Association.

US Chamber of Commerce worried that Latvia’s political culture has not changed since Ridzene talks

American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (ACCL): «We are concerned that Latvian society’s and its government’s political culture has not changed much since the publication of information detailing events associated with Ridzene talks in 2009-2011. The state capture detailed there may still be possible...

Latvia’s prime minister open for talks regarding MPC system’s liquidation

Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis is prepared to discuss the possible liquidation of the mandatory procurement system, but not for all businesses at the same time.

Air temperature in Latvia to remain mostly positive throughout the week

On Monday, 19 March, weather in Latvia will change, as a low atmospheric pressure area together with an atmospheric front will approach the country from the north. The day will be sunny for the most part, but the amount of clouds will increase as hours go by, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Ukraine: British diplomats expelled from Moscow could work in Kyiv

In a reaction to Russia's announcement that it would expel 23 British diplomats from Moscow as part of the UK-Russia argument over poisoning of double-agent in an English city, Ukrainian Foreign Minister has suggested to his British counterpart that the 23 diplomats could now work in Ukraine.

UGF leader confirms: Lembergs will not be proposed for prime minister post

Aivars Lembergs, who is accused of serious crimes and is currently suspended from his post as chairman of Ventspils City Council, had proposed his candidacy for the post of prime minister of Latvia multiple times in the past. The moment has come at long last when Lembergs will not be an official candidate for the aforementioned post, as BNN was told by the leader of Union of Greens and Farmers’ Saeima faction Augusts Brigmanis.

NATO's defence spending benchmark met by three EU member states

Despite the current demanding security situation, in the NATO military alliance, no more than three member states of the European Union have reached the recommended defence spending sum in 2017 and Estonia is one of them.

In fight for northern Syria, Turkish-backed forces take city from Kurds

In the fight for northern Syria between forces led by Turkey and Kurdish fighters, Turkish-backed units had gained control of the heart of the Syrian-Kurdish city of Afrin.

Russian presidential election pronounced won by Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin been announced as the winner of the Sunday, March 18, presidential election, as the politician has pledged to devote his new term in office to strengthen Russia’s defences against the West and to improve the quality of life.

Week in Lithuania. Some 5,000 gather in protest rally outside Lithuania's Parliament

Some 5,000 people gathered outside the Lithuanian parliament in Vilnius on Thursday, March 15, to express discontent with the failed parliamentary vote to impeach MP Mindaugas Bastys and the performance of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union.

BNN summary of the week: oligarch talks’ ownership; scandals in Lithuania; Estonia wants direct democracy

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Progress; Scandals; Invitation; Fight; Opinion; Decline.

Remembrance day of Latvian Legionnaires passes with shouts and two arrests

The Legionnaires’ remembrance procession in Riga on Friday, 16 March, passed peacefully. Nevertheless, several conflicts did take place among differently-minded people near the Freedom Monument. Two individuals were arrested by police.

Influenza intensity in Latvia – moderate when compared to other European nations

A comparison of influenza activity in Europe shows that it is high or very high in several countries. Latvia’s influenza intensity is considered moderate, as noted by epidemiologist Raina Nikiforova.

Hourly labour costs in Latvia grew 7.3% in 2017

Compared to Q4 2016, in Q4 2017 hourly labour costs rose by 54 cents or 7.3 %, reaching EUR 8.02. Seasonally adjusted data show identical changes – rise of 7.3 %.

Rietumu Banka claims it has not worked with high-risk clients for years

Rietumu Banka has been steadily rejecting high-risk clients for years and has significantly reduced the volume of transactions, as mentioned by the bank’s representatives.

Lithuanian and Estonian businessmen are ahead of Latvia in terms of investments

In Latvia, 36% of small and medium-sized companies have plans to invest in the development of their business this year. In Estonia and Lithuania, on the other hand, the proportion of businesses with development plans is 42% and 46%, respectively, according to results of a recent study performed by SEB Bank.

Russia pledges maximum pressure on UK amid ex-spy poisoning row

Russian top diplomat in the UK has envisaged on Friday, March 16, that the Kremlin would use maximum pressure on London as Moscow insists it has not been involved in the poisoning of a former Russian-British double agent with a Russian-made chemical weapon, as has been found by British investigators.

Latvia’s ministry: Crimea’s annexation is illegal

18 March 2018 will mark four years since the Russian Federation violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by annexing the Crimean Peninsula and causing military aggression in the country’s eastern region. With its actions the Russian Federation has violated international law and basic principles of international relation, says Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Building gas pipe to Finland, Estonia to organise works for EUR 135 million

Continuing the works on the Balticconnector gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland, the Estonian natural gas network company Elering has stated that around 135 million euros, including a 98-million-euro funding from the European Union, will be invested in the project.