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Monday 16.07.2018 | Name days: Hermīne, Estere
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BNN summary of the week: distorted state administration, Liepājas metalurgs recovery, and Latvia's unemployment level

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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: Change; Growth; Business; Fight; Future; Opinion

CHANGE: Nurses’ wages up 50-70%, but still far from competitive

Wages of nurses of Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital have grown 50-60%. However, there is still a long way to go before they become competitive, said Stradins Hospital’s head nurse Eva Cela in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

While in the past nurses in Stradins Hospital were paid EUR 500 to EUR 600 for a full shift, now they are paid EUR 1,000 to EUR 1,500. At the same time, wages remain too low to be considered competitive, admits Cela, adding that the average wage of nurses in Europe ranges between EUR 3,000 and EUR 5,000.

Cela says it seems to her that Healthcare Minister Anda Čakša’s priority is finding additional funding for this goal.

According to her, the minister has commenced a powerful reform in healthcare, which is necessary. Cela believes Čakša is the only one of the last several healthcare ministers that has provided considerable support to raise the prestige of the nurse’s profession. The ministry has several work groups working on solutions to raise standards of the nurse profession.

She also says that last year she signed documents for nurses wishing to work abroad nearly every day. This year, however, there was only one.

Full article here

GROWTH: Barometer data shows residents with higher education are more optimistic job-seekers

53% of interviewed residents believe the possibility of finding a decent job and making a good earning in Latvia is poor, and this worsens their financial situation. Because of that, residents leave the country in search of greener pastures, according to results of Baltic International Bank’s latest Latvian Barometer.

It is worth mentioning, however, that residents with higher education are more optimistic in this matter than residents who lack higher education, as concluded in the survey.

When asked to score their family’s financial state, residents with higher education were more optimistic in their replies – 26% said their family’s state is good. Residents with secondary education, on the other hand, are more negative – 27% said their family’s financials state is poor. Only 14% of respondents with higher education said their family’s financial state is poor, according to results of the study.

When asked to assess the current state of Latvia’s labour market, the majority of respondents said the possibility of finding work is poor. 63% of respondents with primary education and almost as many respondents with secondary or vocational education stated as much. Residents who have higher education are more optimistic, but even in this category 36% of respondents voiced a critical opinion.

Full article here

BUSINESS: British Steel says it is interested in Liepājas metalurgs’ recovery, not asset purchase

The consortium consisting of British Steel, Greybull Capital and Estonian Baltic Metal Holding is interested in KVV Liepājas metalurgs’ recovery, not the purchase of its assets, says Greybull Capital partner Daniel Goldstein.

He refused to go into detail as to why the consortium exited from last year’s KVV Liepājas metalurgs sale process. He did say that ‘now there may be an option to perform the company’s purchase in a constructive way’. This is why the consortium voiced the desire to purchase all of KVV Liepājas metalurgs’ property together earlier this year. «The previous approach was auctioning off assets. We were not interested in such a process. We are interested in creating a business. Business and assets are different things. For a business to form successfully, all interested sides should actively participate. This is what we are hoping for. Assets are important, but they are not decisive. If you have assets, it does not mean you’ll be successful,» said Goldstein.

He admits that there isn’t a clear action plan in relation to Liepājas metalurgs’ already auctioned off assets.

Full article here

FIGHT: Latvian Saeima’s committee does not support Kušners’ re-approval in Bank of Latvia council

On Thursday, 17 May, Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee decided not to recommend Edvards Kušners for a repeated term in the council of the Bank of Latvia.

Three deputies voiced support for Kušners – Imants Parādnieks, Inguna Sudraba and Juris Viļums. Three deputies – Jānis Vucāns, Aleksandrs Kiršteins and Edgars Putra – voted against. Deputy Renārs Putniņš abstained in the vote, and Igors Pimenovs was absent.

After interviewing Kušners last week, deputies decided to take a pause in this matter. Most of the questions Kušners was asked were associated with events of 2005. At the time, he was deputy chief of the Legal Affairs Office of the Bank of Land. He was later appointed as an authorized person to Delaware-registered company Carew Estates LLC.

Full article here

FUTURE: Certus prepares recommendations for political parties’ economic programmes

«The number of economically active residents in Latvia continues to decline. Economic growth remains directly dependent on inflow of EU funds. The country chronically lacks money for education, healthcare and roads. It is clear that traditional economic thinking no longer works. The time has come for a new approach based around priority directions and cooperation between the public and private sectors. If political parties truly want to end the outflow of residents and emptying of the country’s regions, as well as achieve rapid economic growth and ensure a high welfare level for Latvia, they should consider alternative economic development models and include them in their programmes,» says Certus manager Vjacheslavs Dombrovskis.

In preparation for upcoming Saeima elections, Certus is busy preparing recommendations for political parties’ economic programmes. Recommendations will be based on the think tank’s vision for Latvia’s development – ‘Latvija 2022: 3+3 model’.

Full article here

OPINION: KPV LV believes Latvia has too many industry councils, which distorts state administration

Latvia has too many industry councils, which distorts state administration. The coalition council should be liquidated entirely, says KPV LV co-chairman Atis Zakatistovs.

«KPV LV’s analytical group has found that there are roughly 160 councils in Latvia. The mother of all of them is the Coalition Council. This has resulted in a situation when people in councils anonymously secure themselves beneficial solutions in state administration matters. The council is used as a lobby that distorts Latvia’s government. The Coalition Council should be liquidated because it is neither covered by the Constitution nor the Saeima’s Internal Order. In addition, this council only degrades public discussions,» says Zakatistovs.

KPV LV also wants to see fewer ministries in Latvia. ‘There are currently thirteen ministries. We intend to leave only seven together with the prime minister’s office,’ as stated in the political party’s pre-election programme. KPV LV promises to replace ministries with non-political secretariats.

Full article here


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