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Monday 20.01.2020 | Name days: Aļģirds, Orests, Oļģerts, Alģis

Baltic presidents affirm commitment to finishing Rail Baltica on time

Presidents of Baltic States are fully committed to contributing to Rail Baltica project’s implementation and completion on time, said Latvia’s President Egils Levits during a press-conference on Tuesday, 17 December.

French mass protests against pension reform continue

In French cities, large demonstrations took place on Tuesday as protests against government plans to overhaul the country’s pension system have been continuing for close to two weeks.

Riga Freeport’s ex-security service head picked as CEO for Ventspils Freeport

On Tuesday, 17 December, Ventspils Freeport board decided to appoint Andris Purmalis as the new CEO of the freeport, as reported by Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits.

Estonian pharmacy reform rejected in parliament after U-turn in substance

The Estonian parliament has on Tuesday narrowly defeated the push of the government to amend the country’s Medicines Act as opposition reasoned that the Riigikogu had to show it is not «possible to buy legislation».

Latvian government submits to Saeima legislative draft on Riga City Council’s dismissal

Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers decided to submit to the Saeima the legislative draft developed by Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry on dismissal of Riga City Council.

Lithuania sees expansion of Indian IT giant HCL Technologies

In Vilnius, India-headquartered provider of information technology services HCL Technologies has expanded its operations by opening two new offices.

Politicians lean towards limiting Latvian child adoption to foreign countries

On Tuesday, 17 December, Saeima’s Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee’s majority voiced support towards limiting adoption of Latvian children to foreign countries.

Offer voiced to give Latvian residents the right to decide on municipal council’s dismissal

The Progressive party has asked Latvian Saeima to adopt a legislative draft that would allow voters decide on dismissing municipal councils on their own if they are dissatisfied with their work.

Estonian minister critical of Finnish new PM survives no-confidence vote

Estonian Interior Minister, who called Finland’s new Prime Minister a «cashier» from «the reds», who were trying to destroy their country, has on Tuesday survived a no-confidence vote in the Estonian parliament.

Swedbank: Latvian households’ financial situation assessment the highest since 2013

For the first time since 2013 the assessment of Latvian households’ financial situation has reached its highest score, when positive responses exceed negative, according to results of a survey by Swedbank.

UK’s Johnson seeks to ban extension of Brexit transition period

British Prime Minister and recent election winner Boris Johnson will seek to ban the government from extending the transition period of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.

Dzintars: Lembergs should follow Reizniece-Ozola’s advice and leave politics

Aivars Lembergs, the suspended mayor of Ventspils accused of serious crimes and applied with sanctions by the US government, should follow his colleague Dana Reizniece-Ozola’s advice and leave politics entirely, said chairman of the National Alliance «All for Latvia – For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK» Raivis Dzintars in an interview to LTV programme Rīta Panorāma on Tuesday, 17 December.

Coalition agrees to found AS Ventas osta to perform Ventspils Freeport’s functions

To resolve the emergency situation with Ventspils Freeport, Latvia’s coalition has agreed to found a new state company that would take over the rights, duties and functions of Ventspils Freeport.

Apple, Tesla and other sued over child labour in cobalt mining in Africa

Google, Tesla, Microsoft, Apple and other companies have been sued for allegedly buying cobalt from unethical mining companies operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo as families seek damages over deaths and injuries of child miners.

Prosecutor: companies free of Lembergs’ influence will not be subjected to sanctions

If Ventspils Freeport’s infrastructure is separated from persons under sanctions, the freeport will be able to continue its operations and bring profit to its employees and the state, BNN was told by prosecutor Juris Juriss, who is responsible for Aivars Lembergs criminal case.

Ilmārs Rimševičs to focus on restoring his reputation in court

After the end of his term as governor of the Bank of Latvia, Ilmārs Rimšēvičs plans to focus on restoring his reputation in court, as the man himself confirmed to journalists at a press conference.

Justice Council supports delegating prosecutor general’s approval to the council

On Monday, 16 December, the Justice Council decided to support Justice Ministry’s amendments to the law that would relieve the chairman of the Supreme Court of the duty to pick candidates for the post of prosecutor general and instead delegate this duty to the council in an open contest.

Estonian President asks Finland to never mind Estonian Interior Ministers criticism

Comments on Finland by Estonian Interior Minister Mart Helme have been so undiplomatic that Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has appologised to her Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö.

Snap elections in Riga may be postponed until March

If Latvia’s government and Saeima support dismissal of Riga City Council, snap elections in the capital city may be pushed to the first half of March, according to information from LETA.

Bank of Latvia downgrades GDP growth outlook to 2.3% for 2019

The Bank of Latvia has downgraded GDP growth outlook for 2019 from the previous 2.5% to 2.3%, whereas economic growth outlook for next year has been preserved at 2.6%, as journalists were told by Bank of Latvia governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs in an interview to Latvijas Radio on Monday, 16 December.

Festive atmosphere high in Vilnius as thousands attend Christmas Run

In Lithuania, the annual Vilnius Christmas Run has been attended by more than 3 600 people.

So-called «media controlled by Lembergs» may end up under sanctions

There is a possibility of so-called «media controlled by Aivars Lembergs», such as Ventas Balss and Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze, may experience negative consequences from the sanctions USA has applied against him and four legal persons in Latvia.

Greece: Migrant influx has reached limits and EU must help with firm policy

As Greece struggles to accommodate tens of thousands of people having arrived via routes of irregular immigration, Athens has stated the ongoing influx has reached the limits of the country.

Bordāns: many people and companies financed by Lembergs will be outlined soon

The situation created by the decision by USA to apply sanctions against Aivars Lembergs and companies associated with him may have a short negative effect on Latvia’s economy, said Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Turkey could close army bases to U.S., if Washington imposes sanctions

Turkey has warned it could close U.S. access to army bases in the country, if Washington delivers on plans to impose sanctions over the purchase of a Russian-made missile system.

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