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Monday 23.07.2018 | Name days: Magda, Magone, Mērija
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BNN summary of the week: CPCB visit to Saeima; ministers survive no-confidence votes; DTV case ends with mild penalties

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUBNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Ruling; Future; Trust; Measures; Calendar.

RULING: Milder penalties for the accused in digital TV case; idea’s authors get no prison sentence

Riga Regional Court has released a shortened ruling in the so-called digital television criminal case. With it, the court acquitted previously convicted former director of Latvia’s National Theatre Ojārs Rubenis. Nevertheless, some of the accused have been sentenced to fines and actual prison time.

Judges of Riga Regional Court acquitted Rubenis, former state trustee of Latvia’s State Radio and Television Centre Didzis Jonovs, business consultant Valdis Purvinskis and LVRTC state trustee Adrians Boldans. First instance court has sentenced them to a fine of EUR 18,000 each.

Jurģis Liepnieks has been applied with a fine of EUR 67,080, whereas the former director of LNT Andrejs Ēķis has been applied with a fine of EUR 40,850.

Former director general of Digital Latvia’s Radio and Television Centre Guntars Spunde has been sentenced to nine months in prison and a fine of EUR 26,230. Lawyer Jānis Loze has been sentenced to one year and nine month in prison and a fine of EUR 33,540.

Former head of Kempmayer Media Latvia board member Andrejs Zabeckis has been sentenced to two years and nine months in prison. Jānis Zips – also a former board member of Kempmayer Media Latvia – has been sentenced to one year and nine months in prison, as well as a fine of EUR 22,790. Jānim Svārpstonam will have to spend the next year and two months in prison and pay a fine of EUR 22,790.

Regional court’s ruling will be subject to appeal in the Supreme Court once the full text of the ruling is made available.

Full article here

FUTURE: Swedbank economist becomes new member of Bank of Latvia Council

On Thursday, 21 June, Latvia’s Saeima approved Mārtiņš Kazāks in his new post as member of Bank of Latvia Council, as confirmed by Saeima’s press-service.

It was necessary to approve a new member of the council because the term ended for the previous member of the central bank’s council Edvards Kušners. As reported, the majority of Saeima’s members decided not to re-approve Kušners for a repeated term.

Full article here

TRUST: Latvian Economy Minister endures no-confidence vote

Saeima declined opposition deputies’ request for dismissal of Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

34 deputies voted in favour of Ašeradens’ dismissal, whereas 48 deputies voted against. Two parliamentarians abstained in the vote. Members of Harmony and Latvian Association of Regions voted in favour of the minister’s dismissal. The majority of coalition politicians supported Ašeradens’ remainder in his post.

Saeima had previously received a request from opposition deputies to dismiss Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens. It was signed by deputies Artuss Kaimiņš (KPV LV), Jānis Urbanovičs and deputāti Andris Morozovs, Sergejs Mirskis, Jānis Ādamsons, Jānis Tutins, Artūrs Rubiks, Sergejs Potapkins, Ivans Klementjevs and Ivars Zariņš.

Full article here

MEASURES: CPCB officers detain Kaimiņš after Saeima meeting

Officers of Latvia’s Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau detained Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš after the end of the parliament’s meeting.

Officers read his rights after detainment. Kaimiņš provided an interview to mass media outlets. CPCB officers waited for him several steps away. Kaimiņš was unable to comment on the charges against him, however.

He did tell journalists that CPCB has also called in the party’s accountant for interrogation. He said he has no idea why the bureau did that, considering KPV LV has no ‘black box’.

When asked about his association with Viesturs Tamužs, the deputy said he has friendly relations with him and nothing more.

As Kaimiņš told journalists that a CPCB officer walked over to him and showed him his badge. The officer then escorted Kaimiņš from the building and put him in the bureau’s minibus.

Full article here

CALENDAR: Pope Francis’ visit to Latvia will be a national holiday

Latvia’s parliament has approved in the final reading a law that makes 24 September – the day Pope Francis plans to visit Latvia – a national holiday.

Before Saeima’s approval, this proposal was discussed by committees. It was later approved in the first, second and third readings.

68 members of the Saeima voted in favour of this proposal, 5 voted against and 2 abstained in the vote. 8 deputies did not participate in the vote.

Full article here


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  1. Simon says:

    Wow, you had a hot week.. Go Latvia, entertain us!

Police commence investigation of an offshore network owned by Lembergs’ daughter

Latvian State Police has commenced an investigation following journalists’ publication of materials about an offshore network owned by suspended Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs’ daughter.

Polish Sejm rushes to change defiant chief Judge of Supreme Court

Poland's legislators have passed rules to hasten the changing of a new Supreme Court chief as part of far-reaching judicial reform that has been criticised by the European Commission among others.

Heat wave to continue in Latvia along with thunderstorms and heavy rain at times

The heat wave active in Latvia will not back off this week – days will remain hot and night-time air temperature will not drop below +20° C. Heavy rain and thunder will be observed nearly every day this week, according to Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Bulgarian parliament opposes readmission of migrants from EU countries

Bulgarian parliament prohibited the its government from signing bilateral agreements with other European Union member states on readmitting migrants first entered the bloc in Bulgaria.

Week in Lithuania. Liberals ex-leader fails to recover confiscated cash

Eligijus Masiulis, a former Liberal Movement leader on trial in a major political corruption case, has failed to recover cash that was found and seized during searches of his home.

BNN summary of the week: open presidential election in Latvia and no more plastic bags for shoppers

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Future; Change; Fight; Decline; Business; Progress.

SRS: cash register reform still stagnates, but has become much faster than it was last year

The cash registers reform continues stagnating. However, it has become much faster than it was a year ago, as reported by State Revenue Service.

Specialists to search for solutions to topical environmental problems in Ventspils

On Friday, 20 July, a meeting was held between Ventspils Commercial Port representatives and specialists from State Environment Service.

Children with functional disorders to receive services financed by EU funds

Child invalids will have access to social services intended to improve their social skills and mobility. More than EUR 4.2 million has been allocated for this goal from the European Social Fund, as confirmed by Latvia’s Central Financing and Contracting Agency.

Producer price level in industry up 4.3% in Latvia

Compared to June 2017, the average level of producer prices in Latvian industry increased by 4.3 % in June 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market rose by 4.8 % and those of exported products by 3.7 %.

Total tax debts in Latvia in July – 1.212 billion euros

At the beginning of July total tax debts in Latvia, including outstanding debts, halted debts and debts applied with repayment term extensions, accounted for EUR 1.212 billion, which is 0.8% less than a month prior, according to data from the State Revenue Service.

Survey: every third Latvian resident has received illegal loan offers

Nearly every third resident in Latvia or 31% of respondents admit having received offers to use illegal loan services, as concluded in a survey performed by Latvian Alternative Financial Services Association and SKDS.

Libya opposed to EU's idea to establish migrant centres in North Africa

Libya is against the solution of the European Union to set up migrant centres in the North African country as a means to keep migrants from arriving in the bloc and Libya would not be convinced with financial support, its Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has noted.

Arrest warrant on Catalan ex-President cancelled by Spain

The Supreme Court of Spain cancelled a European arrest warrant for former Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont, as Germany refused to extradite him to face accusations of rebellion for declaring the independence of Spain's region, Catalonia in 2017.

Latvian government plans to allow handing expired food to charity

Latvia’s Agriculture Ministry has prepared amendments to the Law on the Supervision of the Handling of Food that provide permission to hand over certain types of food products to charity after the end of their expiry date.

Estonian industrial producer prices up 2.9% since June 2017

Estonian industrial producer price index has risen by 2.9% between June 2017 and the first summer month this year, resulting in an increase of export prices as well, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Putin urges NATO to quit «irresponsibly» developing ties with Ukraine, Georgia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin cautioned NATO against developing deeper relations with Ukraine and Georgia, evaluating such a policy was irresponsible and would have consequences for the military alliance.

Latvian parliament not in a hurry to support president Vejonis for a second term

Political parties represented in the Saeima are not eager to support President Raimonds Vējonis for his remainder for a second term.

Weather in Latvia will remain warm and even hot at times

Weather in Latvia in the nearest couple of days will be dictated by a cyclone. Because of that the sky will be partially covered by clouds; thunderstorms are also expected, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Hungary sued in EU Court for criminalising help to illegal immigrants

The European Union's executive body has stated that a law in Hungary that criminalises support for illegal immigrants is in breach with EU law and Hungary has now been referred to the European Court of Justice for the alleged non-compliance.

Estonians buy alcohol in Latvia; country loses EUR 20 million in six months

Latvian stores located close to the Latvian-Estonian border have sold 1.6 million litres of strong alcoholic drinks in the first half year of 2019. This means Estonia has lost more than EUR 20 million in taxes, according to data from Association of Estonian Alcohol Producers and Importers.

Lithuania’s election watchdog slams ruling LFGU over popular TV series

Political messages can be channeled in various ways and the ruling now Lithuanian party, LFGU has chosen a very delicate way of the communications – through a TV series featuring the beauty and the ambiance of Naisiai, a picturesque settlement in Siauliai district.

Association: around 3,3000 people know of their HIV infection but receive no treatment

HIV remains a serious problem in Latvia – around 3,300 people are aware of their status but receive no treatment and continue spreading the infection. Because of that, it is necessary to act quickly for Latvia to lose its status as HIV kingdom and limit the spread of the infection, says Baltic HIV Association, informing decision-makers and responsible officials in institutions and hospitals about the HIV/AIDS situation.

Driver shortage may force reduction of international road haulage volumes

Latvia’s road haulage companies have started experiencing shortage of drivers. On top of that, if employment conditions for residents of non-EU member states do not change, it may be necessary to reduce the volume of road haulage volumes, says Latvijas auto president Valdis Trēziņš.

Lattelecom’s turnover up 9% in first half-year of 2018

Lattelecom Group’s turnover reached EUR 98.7 million in the first half-year of 2018, growing by 9% in comparison with the same period of 2017, according to unaudited financial results.