bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 21.07.2018 | Name days: Meldra, Meldris, Melisa
LatviaLatvia

BNN summary of the week: expensive sick leave, more suspicion about Lembergs’ illegalities

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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; Fight; Truth; Business; Future; Growth and Opinion.

CHANGE: average earnings in Latvia exceed 900 euros

In Q2 2017 the average gross wages and salaries for full-time work constituted 927 euros. Compared to Q2 2016, the average wages and salaries increased by 74 euros or 8.7 %.

Compared to the previous quarter, in Q2 2016 the increase in the gross wages and salaries comprised 4.8 % (42.7 euros).

Compared to Q2 2016, in Q2 2017 gross wages and salaries fund rose by 9.1 % or 173.2 million euros, whereas the number of salaried workers grew only by 0.3 % or 2.5 thousand (recalculated into full-time units), according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

In Q2 2017, the average net wages and salaries constituted 676 euros, which was 7.8 % more than in Q2 2016. In general, the average net wages and salaries rose slower than the earnings before taxes.

Full article here

BUSINESS: if LMT and Lattelecom are merged, Latvia will lose the most

Contradictory opinions about the merge between Latvijas Mobilais Telefons and Lattelecom have become especially loud in recent weeks. If the merge is carried out, Latvia will lose the most, says partner of Vilgerts law firm Julija Jerneva.

She believes the merge of LMT and Lattelecom is less than beneficial for the state as a shareholder. «By allowing the merge, the country would lose control, whereas Telia Sonera Group would gain controlling package of shares. This would also mean a considerable reduction of the value of shares owned by the state,» says Jerneva.

Full article here

FIGHT: Kaimins requests checking Lembergs’ activities in Business Development Association

Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimins has asked the Prosecutor General’s Office, State Audit, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau and State Revenue Service to check Aivars Lembergs activities in Business Development Association.

Kaimins says he suspects Lembergs of performing illegal activities in this association.

«Available information allows us to conclude that the true goal of this association is providing Lembergs with stable and considerable income while his assets remain arrested by court. Because of that, I have decided to turn to law enforcement institutions with legal authority and access to relevant information and request proof from all sides to perform in-depth checks,» as mentioned in Kaimins’ application.

Full article here

DECLINE: LBAS opposes initiative to not pay for first three days of sick leave

Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia does support Welfare Ministry’s proposal to not pay employees money for the first three days of sick leave instead of the first day only, as it is currently.

This proposal was not discussed with trade unions or social partners. Because of that, progression of this proposal should not be allowed, notes LBAS.

LBAS chairman Egils Baldzens explains: «Compared with Estonia and Lithuania, employees in Latvia pay larger labour taxes. Also compared with Estonia, it is the state social insurance fee rate for Latvian employees is more than three times larger.»

He continues: «The situation with incapacity for work is better for our employed people, but we cannot assess this situation by pulling it out of context. Realization of this proposal would only increase the existing inequality between work and capital.»

Full article here

TRUTH: materials from Oligarch case show that there are signs of state capture

The Criminal Law does not have the term state capture. However, materials of the oligarch case include multiple examples that such a phenomenon does exist in reality, said member of Saeima’s parliamentary investigation committee Andrejs Judins said on Tuesday, 29 August.

During the meeting, Judins informed members of the committee and the chief of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau Jekabs Straume of the signs of state capture.

Judins explained that it is not possible to introduce criminal liability for state capture in Latvia. He added that the Criminal Law does not cover the term «state capture». State capture is a phenomenon when a group of people acquire power in a country to serve their personal interests. The term means illegally influencing state processes to satisfy one’s personal interests, Judins said.

Full article here

GROWTH: Latvia’s GDP has increased 4.8%

Compared to Q1 2017, Latvia’s gross domestic product at constant prices increased by 1.2 % in Q2. Compared to the corresponding period of 2016, in Q2 of this year the GDP grew by 4.0 % according to seasonally and calendar non-adjusted data and by 4.8 % according to adjusted data.

In Q2, the GDP amounted to 6.8 billion euros at current prices and at 5.7 billion euros at constant prices, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Compared to Q2 of 2016, in Q2 of 2017 the manufacturing section grew by 7 %. Growth was recorded in almost all manufacturing divisions. Manufacture of food products went up by 7 % and manufacture of fabricated metal products by 4 %. Significant rise was also experienced in manufacture of electrical equipment – of 34 %, manufacture of chemicals and chemical products – of 23 %, and manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products – of 21 %.

There was an 18 % increase in the production volumes of mining and quarrying. Under the influence of the building of streets and roads, significant rise was recorded in quarrying – of 33 % (sand, gravel, rubble).

Full article here

FUTURE: European Commission proposes banning eel fishing in Baltic Sea

The European eel is a critically endangered fish species. Their population has declined 95% in the past three decades. Efforts to protect the eel have so far been unsuccessful. This is why stricter measures are needed to safeguard the endangered species. To prevent the species from going extinct, the European Commission proposes banning eel fishing in the Baltic Sea.

Experts say the European eel is a unique fish that has lived from prehistoric times. It has even survived multiple ice ages. Unfortunately, humans have had a devastating impact on them. A ban on eel fishing may be the chance to save this species.

Experts of World Wide Fund for Nature say that such a decision from the European Commission is welcome. Nevertheless, further steps should be considered as well. This means establishing a full ban on eel fishing in Europe and Northern Africa. Also, every EU member state would have to perform internal measures to preserve eels, such as establishing migration corridors for eels around hydro-electric dams.

Full article here

OPINION: a people’s elected president will not resolve anything

79% of residents support the idea of having a people’s elected president, according to data from SKDS. Are Latvian residents sufficiently competent to make such a decision? What would such a choice be based on? How would realizing such an idea change the existing interior structure of the country, says Turība University lecturer and Riga TV24 and Latvijas Radio journalist Ansis Bogustovs.

«For most people in countries like France and Lithuania, presidents who were elected in recent years using media tricks and populism brought more disappointment than praise. Hoping to avoid disappointment, people make the opposite choice and end up in a different ditch, as it happened with the last two presidents in France,» Bogustovs says.

He continues: «Ratings of people’s elected presidents decline as rapidly as they rise. Such a situation creates a degree of instability for society. It is reckless, foolish and even dangerous. Donald Trump’s election in USA was basically a democratic solution.»

At the same time, Bogustovs notes that Latvia has never had a tradition of allowing the people elect their president. «If we look at Lithuania, which has such a tradition, we should mention that the tradition there was historically formed. They walked the path of electing leaders throughout their history – they had also had kings and queens, after all.»

Full article here

Ref: 224.109.109.5209


Leave a reply

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.

1,140 fewer births registered in Latvia in 2017

Since 2016 the number of births in Latvia is declining again. Compared to 2016, a total of 1,140 births fewer were registered in 2017. Also, the provisional number of births registered over the first six months of 2018 (9,664 children) is by 664 children smaller than that registered over the respective period of 2017.

Citadele Bank decides to reform Lithuanian subsidiary as a branch office

Citadele Bank has decided to reform its Lithuanian subsidiary as a branch office, as confirmed in the statement the bank submitted to Nasdaq Riga.

Russian pension age hike discussed amid protest outside Duma

As the Russian paliament votes on the proposal to gradually increase he pension age to 65 for men and 63 for women, some 200 people were seen protesting against the reform in Moscow.

Corruption watchdog chief says bureau has done no illegal actions

After going through Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau’s past investigative activities, the bureau’s chief – Jēkabs Straume – found it confusing that officers often took no appropriate actions after acquiring evidence or receiving indications regarding necessary steps.

Illegal border crossings to Estonia on rise after Russia World Cup

Football fans with temporary residency permits of the Russia World Cup, or fan Ids, are trying to illegally cross the Russian border with Estonia, a member of the European Union.

Estonian 13-year-old lethally overdoses fentanyl

Estonian prosecutors have accused a 15-year old of negligent homicide after a girl, 13, passed away from fentanyl overdose.