Latviski English По-русски
Tuesday 21.08.2018 | Name days: Linda, Janīna

BNN summary of the week: final report on Oligarchs case and ordered attacks on e-health

(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; Attack; Growth; Decline; Opinion; and Study.

CHANGE: Latvian universities to offer students an innovative grant system

To help develop students’ innovative and business abilities, Latvian Education and Science Ministry has developed a new student grant system, which will focus mainly on supporting innovative projects and research and further improve cooperation between universities and leading businesses to attract human resources, the ministry reports.

Formation of this system was supported by the Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday, 16 January.

In the next six years, the government intends to allocate investments worth EUR 38.5 million. European Regional Development Fund will provide EUR 28.9 million of this amount, whereas private funding will account for EUR 9.6 million.

«Introduction of a grant system for students is part of the planned changes for the higher education system to help create added value and realize changes for export structure in favour of high added value products and services. This requires a conceptually new approach for higher education content and taught skills, especially ones needed to produce new products and ensure innovations,» the ministry notes.

Full article here

FIGHT: NP: Reizniece-Ozola and Kučinskis are proud of tax reform, businessmen are not

Latvia’s tax system underwent serious reforms before the country entered 2018. Until now officials only mentioned the benefits – businessmen will no longer have to pay tax for profits if they reinvest money in business development, the majority of small wage recipients will become several dozen euros richer. However, businessmen are generally dissatisfied with the reform, Nekā personīga reports.

Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola and Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis are proud of the reform. Businessmen, on the other hand, are less than dissatisfied. The main promise – reducing labour force costs – has yet to be completed, whereas the price for it – increased taxes – remains in force, the programme mentioned.

Journalists also mention that there are certain difficulties expected for a large number of employed people. The number of people that will have to declare their income to State Revenue Service will soon increase significantly.

The programme included footage from Kučinskis’ New Year’s speech, in which he mentioned: «A new tax system will be adopted in Latvia tomorrow. There were doubts at the beginning of the year on whether or not this is even possible to do. Now it is done. The tax reform has to vital goals in store for Latvia – reducing inequality and improving growth of the national economy.»

Nekā personīga adds: «The tax reform is one of the pillars that will be used as foundation for the election campaign of the Union of Greens and Farmers in elections expected in autumn. Other parties are proud of it as well. Politicians consider it an act of heroism.»

Full article here

ATTACK: attacks on e-health system and LETA were likely ordered

Attacks on e-health system and LETA agency were likely ordered, said deputy manager Varis Teivāns in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV.

He says that has requested information about cyber-attacks to compare data. Initial tests showed a number of similarities. «There are certain similarities. For example, a number of servers have been identified as being used for both attacks. Still, it is too soon to make any specific conclusions,» he said.

Teivāns notes that such cyber-attacks are brutal and primitive. It was likely ordered. «A complex attack freely offered on the black market. And it’s not expensive,» added deputy manager.

Teivāns notes that tracing such attacks is very hard, because attackers use other vulnerable systems accessible on the internet. When asked if it is possible to determine the country from which the attack was organized, representative said that real attackers mask their attacks using proxies, which makes it hard to trace. Usually identification of attackers takes several months. Most of the time, however, no answer is acquired.

At the same time, representative also emphasizes that e-health system was overloaded to make it inaccessible. No data was leaked, however. «Nearly every such project is tested in such a way,» said Teivāns, adding that attacks of this kind are performed nearly every day. Most of them go unnoticed, because they are successfully repelled.

Full article here

GROWTH: 2018 expected to be good for investors

«This year promises to be good for investors, because global economy is on a rise and profits of businesses have a tendency to grow,» says Luminor economic expert Gints Belēvičs.

He notes that 2017 passed with a fat plus sign for stock markets – investments in this asset category secured much larger returns than the average in the past three decades.

Belēvičs also notes that it is important to keep in mind that the economy develops in a cyclic manner – growth is usually followed up by decline. «Fundamental factors do not point to a potential decline around the corner. Nevertheless, the geopolitical situation in the world can still change and have an effect. Growing fuel prices could potentially slow down economic development, especially in Europe.»

Full article here

DECLINE: Saeima’s Oligarchs case investigative committee hastily approves final report

In spite of objections, grammatical errors, criticisms about lacking effort, as well as Inguna Sudraba’s unfit status to lead the committee, members decided to move the meeting from 11:00 to 08:00 and approve the final report in a rushed vote.

Even before the meeting, Andrejs Judins requested the chairperson to provide reasons as to why the meeting was rescheduled. He also voiced concerns that it is not possible to discuss all matters in only thirty minutes. He also mentioned that the report contains a number of grammatical errors and inaccuracies. He was not allowed to finish, however, and his words fell on deaf ears. Inguna Sudraba said that members of the committee spent six hours on Monday, discussing proposals. In the end, the committee agreed on the final redaction of the report. In spite of errors, the vote was performed and the meeting hastily closed.

Members of the committee also exchanged harsh words during the meeting. Ainārs Mežulis urged his colleagues to stop arguing, whereas Igors Pimenovs instead asked his fellow member of the committee to not impede the progress of the meeting. Video footage from the meeting shows no desire to listen to concerns regarding possible problems with the work performed by the committee.

Sudraba asked members of the committee to stop focusing on the many mistakes in the report and instead move on to the vote. Four members voted in favour of the report – Sudraba, Mežulis, Pimenovs, and Mārtiņš Šics.

Full article here

OPINION: Judicial Affairs Council’s work should be more apparent

Work performed by the Judicial Affairs Council should be made more apparent, said Saeima speaker Ināra Mūrniece during her meeting with Supreme Court chairman Ivars Bičkovičs.

The two discussed amendments to the Law on Judicial Power, as well as publicly reported information regarding the quality of rulings made by certain judges in insolvency cases.

Saeima speaker welcomed Supreme Court’s performed analysis of rulings to find a way to equalize court practice and help keep society better informed. She added that there are plans to research court rulings in commercial and insolvency cases this year to compile commoner mistakes and offer solutions to prevent them in the future.

Full article here

STUDY: more than half of Latvians do not trust other people

52% of Latvian residents believe most people cannot be trusted. Only 5% of residents are ready to trust their fellow man. Less than one-fifth of Latvian residents trust decision-makers, according to results of a study performed by SKDS.

«Trust is one of the main conditions for forming a strong and democratic country,» says LAMPA director Ieva Morica. «This is why the central value of this year’s festival in trust.»

Morica continues: «Study shows that the problem us trust is common for every one of us. But I would like to invite people to think critically and consider trusting others. We are all part of the same country. Only together can we create a strong, democratic and well-developed Latvia that we can call home. We would live much better if we could create an environment in which we could trust each other and the state. This festival will allow residents to learn more about this and look for ways to prepare a fertile soil for the future,» says LAMPA director.

Full article here


Leave a reply

Greece ends receiving loans as part of its huge bailout programme

Greece arrived at the end of its financial borrowing programme from international lenders on Monday, emerging from the country's and eurozone's most difficult times in recent history.

Unemployment in Estonia at lowest level since 2008

The unemployment rate in Estonia was 5,1% in the second quarter of 2018, which is the lowest level in the last ten years, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Tens of thousands sing to mark Estonia's restoration of independence

52,772 people have joined a singing event to mark the anniversary of the restoration of Estonian independence, with the majority of the singers singing along on the internet.

India hit by devastating floods

Southern India has been hit by the most devastating torrential rain floods in a century, as 186 people have lost their lives and several thousand soldiers have been deployed to save many affected residents.

Week in Lithuania. Probe finds no «drastic» EU differences in prices of non-food goods

A price comparison probe by Lithuania's Justice Ministry and the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority (SCRPA) has found no «drastic» differences in the prices of non-food goods in Lithuania and other EU countries. Justice Vice Minister Irma Gudžiūnaitė said that Eurostat's figures for 2017 show that the level of footwear and clothing prices in Lithuania makes 105 per cent of the EU average. The probe was carried out by the price comparison cite for the Justice Ministry and SCRPA. It compared 60 different non-good items in 12 EU countries on August 7.

BNN summary of the week: SRS searches for spotless reputation; MPC talks continue

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Progress; Change; Contest; Announcement; Future; Politicians.

Eurostat: Latvia had inflation rate higher than average in EU and Eurozone

In July, Latvia’s inflation rate was higher than the average in Europe and Eurozone, according to data published by Eurostat.

Presence of Latvian milk reduces, whereas presence of imported milk increases in Latvia

The proportion of milk produced in Latvia is starting to lose to imported milk, as concluded by Central Union of Latvian Dairy Farmers chairman Jānis Šolks.

Seven previously convicted candidates crossed from Saeima election lists

On Friday, 17 August, the Central Election Commission decided to cross out seven previously convicted deputy candidates. The decision regarding one more candidate has been postponed until the next meeting, as confirmed by the commission.

Aspiring prosecutors «drop out» in tests – half of contenders fail second stage of tests

Approximately half of aspiring prosecutor candidates has failed the second portion of tests for general and judicial knowledge.

Riga International Airport concludes first half-year with turnover increase of 13%

Riga International Airport concluded the first half-year of 2018 with turnover increase of 13% when compared to the same period of 2017, according to the airport’s unaudited and shortened account for the six-month period before 30 June 2018.

New tender announced for post of SRS director; first requirement – spotless reputation

Latvia’s State Chancellery has announced an open personnel selection process for the post of director of State Revenue Service. Application submission process will last until 14 September.

CEC to decide on four candidates’ possible relation to KGB

Latvia’s Central Election Commission has received results of investigations of all 13th Saeima election candidates from Interior Affairs Ministry’s Information Centre and Latvian Centre for the Documentation of the Consequences of Totalitarianism.

Concord will have to include bread distribution costs in kebab café in its pre-election expenditures

Political party Concord will have to include in its 13th Saeima pre-election campaign expenditures the money spent by one of its candidates on distributing bread to pensioners free of charge in a kebab café in Bolderāja, as reported by TV3 news.

Weekends expected to be warm and at times hot in Latvia

On Friday, 17 August, the sky will partially cloudy again in Latvia, but no major precipitation is expected. Fog may form is certain regions at night thanks to slow wind speed. Maximum air temperature is expected to be around +22° C… +26° C. Night-time air temperature will stay at +11° C… +16° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Latvia’s State Audit requests additional funding to invest in workers

State Audit has requested additional funds in next year’s budget to invest in employees, as head of the institution Elita Krūmiņa mentioned in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Nearly half of children born in Latvia in 2017 were delivered by mothers with higher education

20,828 children were born in Latvia in 2017. Almost half of them were born to mothers having higher education. Out of the total number of newborn children mothers, 7,229 or 34.7 % had acquired upper secondary general or vocational education and 2,775 or 13.3 % had basic education or lower.

«Steel Magnolia» named Lithuania's most influential politician for fourth consecutive year

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, dubbed as «Steel Magnolia» by foreign press, remains the most influential politician in the country for the fourth consecutive year. In two separate polls, one by the popular ratings magazine Reitingai and the other by pollster Spinter Tyrimai, she appeared on top, being followed by Saulius Skvernelis, Prime Minister, Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), Valdas Adamkus, ex-president, and Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuania's first post-independence leader.

Ex-director: Rundale Castle Museum should be managed with the same ideals as before

In the years to come Rundale Castle Museum should be managed with the same ideals as before, says the soon ex-director of the museum Imants Lancmanis, who intends to retire at the end of this year.

Star Rating determines the best schools in Latvia

According to the 2018 Star Rating, Riga State Gymnasium No.1 remains in the lead among Latvia’s schools. Daugavpils Russian Secondary School – Lyceum is second, and Riga State Gymnasium No.2 is third.

ABLV Bank assets worth EUR 21.052 million were recovered in July

Liquidators of ABLV Bank have recovered assets worth EUR 21.052 million in July. This includes EUR 11.602 million recovered from issued loans, EUR 7.644 million from recovered/sold securities, EUR 1,792 million from loans provided to credit institutions, and EUR 14,000 from sales of real estate and other types of property, according to the account published in Latvian Herald.

Concerns over Turkish crisis cause world stock market decline

Stock prices around the world took a massive dive on Wednesday, 15 August, as concerns over Turkish crisis’ possible influence and investors’ attempts to get rid of risky assets surfaced again.

Election commission receives word some candidates’ possible non-compliance with the law

Latvia’s Central Election Commission has received information regarding possible non-compliance of multiple deputy candidates with requirements of the Saeima Election Law, says CEC chairman Arnis Cimdars.

African swine fever found in domestic pigs in Saldus; inspectors investigate illness in Unguri

African swine fever has been found in domestic pigs in Saldus Country’s Zaņa Parish. The infection was found in four domestic pigs. It cannot be excluded that ASF may have entered SIA Druvas Unguri farm’s pig enclosure along with sawdust or cars, as reported by Food and Veterinary Service Public Relations Office manager Ilze Meistere.

Lithuania lays symbolic rail on restored Mažeiķi–Reņģe railway line

Lithuania’s Lietuvos geležinkeliai railway company’s director general Mantas Bartuška and Polish oil concern Orlen manager Daniel Obatjek laid a symbolic rail on the restored railway route connecting Orlen Lithuania owned Mažeiķi oil processing plant in Lithuania and Reņģi in Latvia this Tuesday, 14 August.

Newest comments