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Friday 22.02.2019 | Name days: Rigonda, Adrians, Ārija

Ministry: it is critically important for Latvia to strengthen competitiveness of its economy

Latvia’s economic growth has become considerably more rapid in 2017 and 2018 when compared to previous years. Stable growth is noted for exports, investments, private and state consumption. Latvia’s GDP has grown around 4.7% in the first three quarters of 2018, BNN was told by Economy Ministry.

Latvian residents shop using local e-commerce portals; Chinese shopping sites popular, too

78% of Latvian internet used different shopping portals in the past year. 13% plan to do this in the future. While Latvian internet stores were most often used to purchase insurance, foreign portals were used to purchase footwear, clothes and different accessories, according to results of a study performed by Gemius.

Kaljulaid pushes for science funding to be pegged at 1% of GDP

With the aim of reaching a considerable increase in the funding of research and development in Estonia, President Kersti Kaljulaid is hosting the signing of an agreement to fix the investment at not less than 1% of the gross domestic product of the country.

Latvia to submit its initial Energy and Climate Plan to European Commission

Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers has gone through Economy Ministry’s initial National Energy and Climate Plan for 2021-2030 and has supported its submission to the European Commission.

Danske money laundering scandal in Estonia continues with eight arrests

As the Estonian Office of the Prosecutor General is investigating money laundering in the billions of euros at the Estonian branch of Danske Bank between 2007 and 2015, eight people have been arrested, ERR and Postimees daily report.

Opposition requests Ameriks’ removal from Riga Freeport board

Opposition deputies asked to include to the agenda of 19 December meeting of Riga City Council the matter on the dismissal of ex-Vice Mayor Andris Ameriks from his post of chairman of Riga Freeport board

Belgian Prime Minister Michel steps down after discord on migration

The Belgian government led by Prime Minister Charles Michel has stepped down following a rejection from its parliament of an appeal to support for a minority government.

Latvia will most likely have to wait for government’s approval until next year

Although a large number of potential minister candidates for Krišjāņis Kariņš’s proposed government, it is unlikely for the new government to be approved this year, according to politicians participating in government formation talks.

UK steps up preparations for no-deal Brexit

The British government has decided to step up emergency no-deal Brexit contingency plans, including reserving ferry space for supplies and putting 3,500 armed forces personnel on standby to deal with any disruption.

UGF and Harmony once again vote to keep Truksnis the Mayor of Jurmala

With votes from the Union of Greens and Farmers and Harmony, Jurmala Mayor Gatis Truksnis has once again managed to keep his post.

Corruption watchdog detains ex-mayor of Daugavpils under suspicion of bribery

Latvia’s Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has detained former mayor of Daugavpils Rihards Eigims, according to information from LETA.

Orkla Confectionery & Snacks Latvija invests EUR 53,000 in biscuit production plant

Chocolate and confectioneries production company Orkla Confectionery & Snacks Latvija has invested more than EUR 53,000 in modernization of a biscuit and waffle production plant located on Artilērijas Street. Additional funding has allowed the company to install a powder sugar dosing pot.

60% of Estonians ready to defend their country, survey estimates

A survey commissioned by the Estonian Defence Ministry has found that 60% of Estonian respondents would take part in defence related activity in the event of a military attack.

Will Nils Ušakovs stay as Mayor of Riga?

Members of Riga City Council will meet at 15:00 on 18 December to decide on the dismissal of Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs. According to the head of Riga City Council faction of the National Alliance Nauris Puntulis: «Ušakovs should follow Andris Ameriks’ example and step down voluntarily.»

Ex-minister: «good deed champions» buy trains first and think how to use them later

AS Pasažieru vilciens wants to purchase 32 new electric trains for a price of EUR 225,303,262. This amount three times exceeds the amount Estonia paid for its electric trains. «The problem in Latvia’s case is not just with the state overpaying but also with good deed champions wanting to buy trains first and think about their use later. There is no clarity in regards to use of those trains and railway infrastructure’s readiness,» BNN was told by ex-Transport Minister of Latvia Anrijs Matīss.

Over 290 000 Estonians on brink of statistical poverty in 2017

In Estonia, 295,000 people or 22.6% of the population were at risk of poverty in 2017, the Baltic country's official statistics found adding that the proportion of such people grew by 1.6% since 2016.

Chinese President Xi: No one can dictate to China

Xi Jinping, the President of China has warned other countries not to tell what Beijing should do and voiced his conviction that the Communist Party of China leads everything in the country.

Companies fined 33,268 euros for distorting competition in public procurements

Latvia’s Competition Council has discovered illegal coordination of activities between SIA Tomega and SIA BTK.LV on multiple occasions. The council has decided to fine SIA Tomega EUR 33,268 for intentionally distorting competition in public procurement procedures.

Global Refugee Compact approved by UN General Assembly

The U.N. General Assembly has with the exception of the U.S. and Hungary endorsed a non-binding compact, which sets forth granting support for countries where the majority of the world's more than 25 million refugees live.

City Property Committee Olegs Burovs to be nominated for Riga Vice-Mayor’s post

During a board meeting of the Honour to Serve Riga party, members decided to propose the head of Riga City Council’s City Property Committee Olegs Burovs, as confirmed by a member of the political party Mareks Gailītis.

Poland respects EU Court's ruling and reverses controversial judge law

Respecting a ruling of the European Court of Justice, Poland has suspended the controversial law of the lowering of the pension age of its Supreme Court judges.

Latvian parties generally satisfied with New Unity’s offer

Potential partners are generally supportive of New Unity’s offer for division of responsibilities in the government. Nevertheless, parties want to discuss other matters, including National Alliance’s continued management over Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry.

Riga City Council opposition suggests voting for Ušakovs’ dismissal again

On Monday, 17 December, the opposition of Riga City Council submitted a proposal for a meeting to decide on Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs’ dismissal. The request to dismiss Ušakovs was signed by deputies from all opposition parties in Riga City Council.

Inflation in Latvia was higher than average in EU and Eurozone in November

Inflation in Latvia in November was higher than average inflation in European Union and Eurozone, according to data published by Eurostat.

LRB: there are a number of idle plans with a possible goal to acquire EU money and divert attention

«It is not normal for EUR 100 million to be suddenly pumped into the road industry shortly before elections. By doing this, Transport Minister Uldis Augulis has hurt the road construction industry,» said Latvian Road Builders association’s chairman Andris Bērziņš in a conversation with BNN.