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Ceturtdiena 20.09.2018 | Name days: Marianna, Ginters, Guntra
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BNN summary of the week: KPV LV confused; Bank of Latvia head takes centre stage

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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: Investigation; Future; Environment; Conflict; Refusal.

INVESTIGATION: Authorities commence criminal prosecution against Bank of Latvia governor

Latvian prosecutor’s office has commenced criminal prosecution of bribery accused Bank of Latvia governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs and businessman Māris Martinsons.

In the criminal process received from Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau on 18 June, a request is detailed to commence criminal prosecution of two people – Rimšēvičs and Martinsons. On 28 June, the prosecutor’s office made the decision to commence criminal prosecution of the two men, as BNN was told by Prosecutor General’s Office Public Relations specialist Una Reķe.

Bank of Latvia governor is accused of bribery, whereas the other person is accused of supporting bribery.

As previously reported, in February Rimšēvičs was made a suspect in a criminal case investigated by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau. The size of the bribe in question is at least EUR 100,000. Martinsons was initially detained by authorities as a second suspect but was later released. Instead the businessman was applied with a security measure not associated with deprivation of freedom.

Rimšēvičs, on the other hand, is not allowed to perform his duties as governor of the Bank of Latvia, as well as meet certain people and travel from the country.

Full article here

FUTURE: Economy Ministry says it is necessary to reduce the volume of low-skilled workforce

Employment opportunities are set to expand in the next decade. However, demographic tendencies and regional labour market differences will create an even stronger need for labour force, according to Latvian Economy Ministry’s medium and long-term labour market outlooks.

«To ensure sustainable economic development, it is necessary to raise productivity in business sector, education system and every person’s life. Business has to become productive to reduce costs and raise wages to workers. The education system should provide the labour market with appropriate labour force with an emphasis on education system and competence-based approach. Every one of us should learn modern skills to help raise our competence and competitiveness on the labour market,» says Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Shortage of medium-skilled labor will become more pronounced. This will be felt the most by processing and construction sectors. Education offer structure has become more balanced and more in line with labour market needs. However, the number of specialist that enter the labour market is still below the desired level, according to information from the ministry.

Full article here

ENVIRONMENT:  Fire at BAO landfill for dangerous waste; fire fighters still on the scene

A fire started on the territory of AS BAO landfill for dangerous waste in Olaine last night. Latest reports state it has since been localized, as confirmed by State Fire and Rescue Service representative Inta Palkavniece.

Because dangerous chemical waste is stored at the landfill, fire fighters threw a great deal of resources to put out the fire – at least 34 fire fighters, said Palkavniece. SFRS reports that evacuation is not necessary. Nor is it necessary to establish any restrictions for residents to go outside.

Representatives of the State Environment Service have arrived at the scene.

BAO chairman confirmed that a fire appeared within the company’s owned territory in Olaine last night. He said the fire has been localized. The company has commenced discussions with the State Environment Service about consequences of the fire.

Full article here

CONFLICT: Opinion: the reasons behind accusations against KPV LV are confusing

«On a basic level we have a feeling there is nothing there, because the reasons behind accusations are confusing,» said KPV LV board member Linda Liepiņa in a telephone conversation with BNN after her interrogation at Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

Liepiņa also said the questions she was asked were associated with the addresses KPV LV’s previous addresses and the person who asked her to join the party. For the record, the person who asked her to join was Kaspars Upacieris.

KPV LV board member also mentioned that investigators who interviewed her made no attempts to turn the conversation towards any possible violations regarding possible illegal funding. Also she was asked no questions about other people associated with accusations imposed against the party.

When asked if accusations were fabricated, Liepiņa replied: «I cannot say. As far as I can tell, they [CPCB] are acting in response to an application from Ilmārs Poikāns».

CPCB mentioned in its statement to the press that two people have been found suspects in a criminal case launched in June 2017. The two are accused of illegal financing of political organizations, as well as group fraud.

Full article here

REFUSAL: Jurmala’s bronze tortoise sculpture to be auctioned off; municipality says it is illegal

During the artRiga art festival this autumn, it is planned to auction off one of Jurmala’s symbol – the famous bronze tortoise sculpture, says sculptor Jāņis Bārda’s wife Aivija Bārda.

The sculptor’s family explains their decision with the fact that the municipality has failed to pay in full for the sculpture in the last decade. ‘Due to recent events, our family needs a new home. Because of that, we have decided to sell the bronze tortoise. There is a great deal of interest for it,’ says the family’s representative.

Bārda mentioned that the sculptor still has not received the full payment for the sculpture even though 20 years have passed. She also mentioned events that took place in 1995. According to her, Jurmala City Council had placed an order for a sculpture in 1995. «However, when the sculpture was complete the money for it was transferred to then the city’s chief artist Egīls Kuks’ personal bank account. He promised to give the money to Jānis. However, hoping to make money, he decided to put it all in a bank as a deposit. That bank later went bankrupt, and the money was lost,» explains Bārda, adding that the family still has not received the money even though they had invested their personal money in the sculpture’s creation.

The municipality had allocated LVL 8,000 for the sculpture. According to Bārda, the tortoise is her family’s property, because no one paid for it and there is no commission agreement with the municipality. Her family also has Kuks’ promissory note.

Jurmala City Council representatives, on the other hand, claim «Aivija Bārda is neither the author nor the owner of the sculpture». Therefore the planned auction is viewed by the city council as illegal.

Full article here


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