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Tuesday 18.02.2020 | Name days: Kintija, Kora

Vegetables in Estonia drove food price hike in 2019

Estonia’s consumer price index increased by 2.3% in 2019, compared to average prices in 2018. Changes in the price of non-alcoholic beverages and food had the largest impact on food prices, official statistics showed.

BNN investigation | those interested in sinking Dinaz criminal case – ex-VID investigator and Saeima employee

One of the biggest tax fraud criminal cases in Latvia’s history – Dinaz – still has not been tried in court. Actual penalties have been applied only for part of the case. It is possible there are people who are interested in making sure Dinaz case is «resolved» without anyone found guilty.

Estonia to bring its troops home from Iraq in case of escalation

Estonian Defence Minister Jüri Luik has said after Estonian military instructors did not fell victim to an Iranian rocket attack on a U.S. base in Iraq that Estonian troops would be returned home if hostilities break out.

Spain’s political instability ended by confidence in PM Sánchez

In Spain, where two snap elections were held to create a viable government, the parliament has given its minority support to socialist Pedro Sánchez as a Prime Minister.

Banks will no longer service Lembergs and three organizations associated with him

Starting from 8 January 2020, banks will no longer service the suspended Mayor of Ventspils and the accused in a criminal case involving serious crimes Aivars Lembergs and three organizations associated with him and applied with US sanctions – Ventspils Development Agency, Business Development Association and Latvian Transit Business Association, as required by the sanctions imposed by the US Department of the Treasury Office for Foreign Asset Control on 9 December 2019.

Latvian, Lithuanian soldiers safe after Iran attacks in Iraq

Iran has launched missile attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq. Latvian and Lithuanian troops in American bases are reported to be safe.

Kazāks: there are no reasons to expect a crisis as serious as the one in 2008

The growth of both the global and Latvian economy is slow, but this does not mean an economic decline is expected. On top of that, there are no reasons to expect an economic crisis as serious as the last one, said Bank of Latvia governor Mārtiņš Kazāks.

Ukrainian passenger plane crashes in Iran

A Ukrainian passenger plane has crashed in Iran on Wednesday with not less than 170 people on board.

Radzevičs: municipal companies should be supervised by independent people

It is not right that the majority of supervisors of municipal companies are also employed by municipal administration, said Riga City Council executive director and public transport company Rīgas satiksme shareholder Juris Radzevičs in an interview to LTV programme Rīta Panorāma on Tuesday, 7 January.

Skaidrīte Ābrama to leave Latvian Competition Council in April

Skaidrīte Ābrama intends to leave her position as head of Latvian Competition Council, as affirmed by Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro.

A watch, a ring? Lithuanian police offered unexpected sums, gifts as bribes

Lithuanian traffic police have compiled the most vivid bribery offers to officers on roads in 2019 in a Facebook post published earlier in January.

Judins: 52.38 million euros would be enough to raise doctors’ wages 20%

EUR 52.38 million would be enough to raise healthcare workers’ wages by 20%, said Saeima deputy Andrejs Judins after studying data from the State Revenue Service.

Rail Baltica project could potentially exceed approved budget and implementation schedule

The problems with Rail Baltica project’s management create the risk of exceeding the approved budget and implementation schedule, as concluded by Latvian State Audit.

Media: Belarus and NATO discussing common military exercises

Belarus has engaged in talks with the NATO military alliance over possible joint peacekeeping drills and operations, Lithuanian and U.S. media report.

Latvian troops discontinue training Iraqi Defence Forces

Considering the increased tension in Iraq, Latvian troops together with other coalition member states has decided to discontinue training Iraqi Defence Forces, as confirmed by Latvian Defence Ministry press-representative Kaspars Galkins.

Germany to move part of its troops out of Iraq amid tension

The German government has decided to reduce its military presence in Iraq, following a call from the Iraqi parliament for the international coalition of forces to leave the country over the killing of a top Iranian commander in Baghdad, carried out by the U.S.

Another split? Riga City Council’s leading powers have trouble with coalition agreement

Failure to agree on coalition agreement’s implementation could result in a possible split of Riga City Council’s ruling coalition, according to LETA agency’s unofficial information.

IKEA first full-size store in Estonia coming in three to four years

Swedish furniture retail giant IKEA will include Estonia in its network of furniture supermarkets in 2023 at the earliest. After buying a 20-hectare property near Tallinn, the firm now seeks a building permit.

Merkel agrees to visit Putin to discuss de-escalation of conflicts

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to visit Russia responding to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation discuss the possible de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East and the Donbas war.

Linkaits: US sanctions’ influence over major industry players can still be felt

The influence of sanctions imposed against the suspended Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs by the US Department of the Treasury Office for Foreign Asset Control on other players of Latvia’s industrial sectors can still be felt, said Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits in an interview to TV3 programme 900 seconds.

Bird flu found among domestic birds in Poland

At the end of 2019 multiple pathogenic outbreaks of bird flu were found among domestic birds in Poland, as reported by the Food and Veterinary Service.

France on transport strike starts talks on pension reform with trade unions

The French government, seeking to carry out a general pension reform amid the longest transport strike in the country’s history, is opening talks with trade unions on Tuesday, January 7.

Gazprom’s shares in Conexus may have been auctioned off to some foreign fund

The shares of Russian state natural gas concern Gazprom in Latvian gas transmission and storage operator Conexus Baltic Grid may have been auctioned off to some international fund, according to unofficial information from LETA.

Latvian ruling coalition may be asked to discuss slower excise tax climb for alcohol

Deputies of the ruling political parties KPV LV and New Conservative Party propose a discussion regarding a slower excise tax climb for alcohol starting with 1 March 2020.

Minister: Ventspils City Council needs to reduce Lembergs’ influence over municipality

It is the duty of Ventspils City Council as state officials to reduce the influence and control of Aivars Lembergs over the municipal administration’s work, mentions Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce in a letter sent to Ventspils City Council deputies and executive director.

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