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

EU pauses its Brexit delay decision until UK decides on early election

Last week, many professions expressed their readiness to go on strike. Latvian doctors, dissatisfied with what the state has earmarked in the national budget to health care, announced a strike, when all medical staff, except ambulance workers, are called not to go to work.

BNN summary of the week: Doctors, teachers up for strike. Deposit system confirmed. Rīgas karte's board gone

Last week, many professions expressed their readiness to go on strike. Latvian doctors, dissatisfied with what the state has earmarked in the national budget to health care, announced a strike, when all medical staff, except ambulance workers, are called not to go to work.

BNN interview | Latvian Auditor General: Official’s violation will now hit his private wallet

«When the law is violated, damage is done to municipal or state budget. From now on, the responsible officials will have a liability, which will no longer be abstract, but will affect their private wallet. It will be a kind of a preventive signal that officials have to take responsibility,» said Auditor General Elita Krūmiņa in an interview on the new damage recovery authority of the State Audit Office.

Teachers in Latvia warn of protest as they seek guarantees to pay rise

The Council of the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees decided that a protest of education workers would take place in March, 2020, if by then guarantees for a planned wage increase would not be received, said LIZDA chair Inga Vanaga.

Latvian real estate cadastre values frozen for two more years

The Latvian Saeima has passed amendments to the Law on Real Estate Cadastre, which set forth extending the introduction of the new base of cadastre values from 2020 to 2022.

Latvian doctors to hold protest of A Day Without Doctor

Latvian doctors, angry about the planned health care funding level for the coming years, are to hold in the time until the adoption of the 2020 state budget a strike A Day Without Doctor, head of the Latvian Doctors’ Association stated.

Decided: Latvia to have packaging deposit system from 2022

The Latvian Saeima has passed in the final reading draft amendments to The Packaging Law, which set forth introducing a deposit system for the collection of the packaging of beverages.

Turkey deported Syrian refugees with threats, deceit, Amnesty International finds

The human rights organisation Amnesty International has found in months of interviews with Syrian refugees that Turkey has returned dozens of them with force or deceit to the so-called safe zone. Turkey argues that refugees have been returned voluntarily.

Exclusive | Latvia could offer driving theory lectures online

Latvians seeking a driver’s licence currently learn the theory of driving in mandatory lectures in driving schools. The national Road Traffic Safety Directorate is working on the idea to bring part of the lectures online, which has not yet been stipulated in any law, said CSDD representative Lauris Kumpiņš in an interview with the BNN.

Lithuania: analysts predict worse things for ruling LFGU ahead

The smooth adoption of a new Lithuanian budget is in question owing to a single man in Seimas, the Lithuanian Parliament – Viktoras Pranckietis. Unable to unseat him even with the second attempt over the course of one week, the ruling Farmers and Greens Union were scrambling after the failed vote on Tuesday to look thoroughly through the ranks some of which derailed the Speaker’s ousting by tampering the ballots and thus raising the question if the LFGU still has a majority in legislature.

Global Doing Business rating: Latvia stays 19th, Lithuania nears top 10

In the Doing Business rating compiled by the World Bank, all three Baltic states are in the top 20 out of a total of 190 countries and territories, with Lithuania placed the highest and Latvia staying 19th.

Audit: Latvia’s Richest municipality spending money without reason

Latvia’s richest municipality, the Garkalne novads Council, spends taxpayer money without substantiating it and even wasteful, the State Audit Office has found in a highly critical audit.

Latvia appoints Purgaile as new financial watchdog head

The Latvian Saeima has confirmed on Wednesday, October 24, as the head of the Financial and Capital Market Commission, Santa Purgaile, who is the former board member of the Latvian bank Citadele.

Kristovskis: Ventspils development agency sinks city’s Olympic centre; losses near million euros per year

In the Latvian port city of Ventspils, the Olympic works with considerable financial losses every year. Moreover, the losses are consistently on the rise and near one million euros a year, said opposition councilman of the Ventspils City Council, Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis.

Riga transport ticket company sees its board removed

In the Latvian capital, the ticket company SIA Rīgas karte has seen whole of its board removed from office in a meeting of shareholders on Wednesday, October 23, LNT television channel reports.

UK police questioning death lorry driver from Northern Ireland

Police in the United Kingdom, after dead bodies of 39 persons have been found in a refrigerated container truck, is questioning its driver suspected of murder.

Exclusive | Gorkšs: Latvian football body has written off large sums needed for development

For the financial crimes of the Latvian Football Federation and the money it has spent unreasonably, we will most likely pay today, taking away tomorrow’s money for the development of football, said LFF’s ousted president Kaspars Gorkšs in an interview with the BNN. «One has to go firmly against the secretaries-general for mistakes permitted in the past. Sanctions should not be limited to some calculated return of a tax, which could be taken from football money. These people have to be called to [real] responsibility».

Estonian minimum wage talks collapse, unions seek mediation

Estonian employers and workers were unable to arrive at a compromise minimum wage for next year and have turned to the country’s nation conciliator to solve the issue.

Latvian doctors to try to sway legislators on health budget

The Latvian Doctors’ Association and the Latvian New Doctors’ Association, voicing a protest against what they call «the hypocrisy of politicians», have sent letters to Seima MPs over the draft state budget seen as unfavourable to health care.

Turkish offensive: Erdogan, Putin agree on withdrawal of Syria Kurdish forces

Turkish and Russian Presidents have reached a deal on giving Kurdish YPG forces more time to move further inside Syria, away from the Syrian-Turkish border so that Ankara would achieve its goal of a ‘safe zone’ where Syrian refugees could return.

Russian politologist: Baltic States should be wary of any changes in Russia

Baltic States should be wary of any changes in Russia, says London-based international relations think tank Chatham House Russian expert Lilia Shevtsova when asked about the possible influence of the change of Russia’s policy on Baltic States.

Audit: higher education reform in Estonia fails to yield results

Estonia’s National Audit Office’s report shows that the transition to free higher education and other associated reforms implemented in 2013 have failed to yield tangible results, as reported by Estonian public media ERR.

Lithuanian biofuel manufacturers concerned about competition with Belarus

Lithuanian biofuel manufacturers are worried that cheap firewood imported from Belarus could push them from the market and make Lithuania dependent on imports from their neighbour. Meanwhile Lithuanian Energy Minister does not consider the situation as dramatic as manufacturers make it out to be, adding that households will only benefit from lower heating costs, as reported by Lithuanian public media LRT.

Sweets and electrical appliances – theft on trial 25 years after the fact

Romans Siņicins is on trial in Latvia for theft of sweets, electrical appliances and other items from stores, all of which had occurred 25 years ago. Several teenagers were arrested in relation to these thefts in the 90s, including Siņicins, who was 14 at the time, as reported by LTV programme Panorāma.

Brexit stuck in British parliament; PM considers snap elections

British Prime Minister Boriss Johnson may push for general elections if the European Union decides to postpone Brexit until January 2020, BBC reports.


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