bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 20.10.2018 | Name days: Leonīda, Leonīds
LatviaLatvia

BNN summary of the week: MPC system’s end; Rimšēvičs’ replacement; Latvia’s free finance market

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: Future; Fight; Announcement; Change; Growth; Discussion.

FUTURE: Minister says Latvia may drop using MPC system in the next three years’ time

Latvia may completely cease using the mandatory procurement component system, as confirmed by Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

This proposal was supported this Wednesday by the ministry’s work group that has worked on ways to cancel MPC system these past several months.

To abolish the system, the ministry proposes restoring subsidized electricity tax at 15% in 2019 and establishing new requirements for biogas plants on minimal food waste and other organic waste ratio.

It is also planned to reform power output payments, forming changes to its administration, establishing a requirement for power stations to include ancillary services to the transmission system to reduce consumers’ payments.

Full article here

FIGHT: Bank of Latvia governor will appoint his replacement at ECB; will contest prosecutor’s decision first

Bribery accused governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs intends to name his replacement in the European Central Bank Council. However, doing this is impossible at this time, because he first has to contest the decision of the Prosecutor General’s decision in regards to the investigation, said Rimšēvičs’ lawyer Saulvedis Vārpiņš.

Defence believes Latvia’s has failed to complete European Union Court’s order on interim injunction, because approval of a new representative is legally impossible in a situation when the governor or the Bank of Latvia remains applied with a security measure – restriction to perform his duties, said lawyer Saulvedis Vārpiņš.

He added that the EU Court «made it clear with its order that Latvia has to halt the security measure so that Rimšēvičs is able to appoint his replacement in ECB in accordance with regulations.»

Approval of a replacement member of the European Central Bank differs from simple provision of authority, because the governor of a central bank first has to be able to access information system and information about developments on the world’s financial markets, said Vārpiņš.

Before approving a replacement representative in ECB, the governor of the Bank of Latvia needs to have access to matters discussed during meetings of ECB Council, as well as meet with central bank’s specialists to discuss positions in certain matters, added Vārpiņš.

«Unfortunately, instead of approving a replacement in ECB to ensure continued function of the organization, Rimšēvičs if forced to appeal the decision made by the Prosecutor General in court,» said the lawyer.

Full article here

ANNOUNCEMENT: Air quality in Ventspils on par with the rest of Latvia

«Concentration of PM10 particles in air in Ventspils does not exceed the average index across Latvia, which means the air in the port city is not worse than average in Latvia,» says SIA Estonian, Latvian & Lithuanian Environment board member Aiga Kāla.

BNN had previously reported that the topic of air quality has been a very hot topic in Ventspils these past couple of weeks. Many complaints have been received from Ventspils residents about the presence of coal particles in the air, which can be explained with unusual weather conditions in the city. Other complaints detail the horrible smell coming from SIA Bio-Venta.

On 31 July, representatives of Ventspils Commercial Port (VCP) and State Environment Service decided to meet with residents of Ventspils.

«There is a lot of misleading information reported by the media in relation to dust and the effect it has on human health. Those are coal (not dust) particles. They are 10 μm larger than dust particles and cannot enter the human body. Therefore they cannot impact human health,» said SIA Estonian, Latvian & Lithuanian Environment board member Aiga Kāla at the beginning of the meeting.

She added that «large particles visible with the naked eye can cause some discomfort, but they do not end up in our lungs». To fix this situation, Ventspils Commercial Port considers using snow cannons to create a fog-like barrier from the side of the docks. VCP Technical Director Māris Lieģis said during the meeting that the port also has plans to set up more platforms with snow cannons to create the ‘water wall’. He mentioned visiting Klaipeda, where his Lithuanian colleagues also tried using snow cannons in summer.

Representatives of the State Environment Service stressed time and time again that no environment pollution is found in Ventspils. «As confirmed by Ventspils regional environment office, there have been ten cases of PM10 particle concentration exceeding permitted levels at the coal loading complex in the first six months. Not a single case was registered in July. Permitted concentration level of PM10 particles in residential areas is 50 μm/m3. The highest concentration level recorded in Ventspils in July was 21.7 μm, and it was recorded only once. In other days, concentration levels varied from 3.1 μm to 18.7 μm. This means no pollution was recorded in Ventspils,» as BNN was previously told by State Environment Service deputy director general Aina Stašāne.

Measurements are provided by Latvia’s Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre’s laboratory and State Monitoring Network, which provides data monitoring. Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre is responsible for air quality measurements across all of Latvia, as well as maintenance of observation stations, performance and quality of measurements.

Full article here

CHANGE: Acting SRS manager says the next head of service should be someone «worth following»

Can the State Revenue Service be trusted? Who benefits from SRS remaining with no head? Do people see any point in paying taxes, and why is it necessary to take care of SRS employees? BNN asked acting SRS director Dace Pelēka.

Why is it so hard to find a director general for SRS?

Latvia’s State Revenue Service was founded in 1993. For 25 years the institution has been monitoring taxes and taxpayers. According to Dace Pelēkā, Latvia’s SRS is a multi-functional institution. However, the seat of the head of SRS has remained vacant ever since the unexpected passing of the last SRS director general Ilze Cīrule in March.

Dace Pelēkā admits the last director of SRS Ilze Cīrule, who had entered the service with new ideas, had provided employees something of a shock therapy. Nevertheless, in certain matter she asked questions no one else had asked before her.

«After years of working in state administration, it became necessary for us to look at certain matters from a completely different viewpoint. Now that SRS has no director, we continue what was started during Ilze Cīrule’s term, because the tasks entrusted to us are challenging and require a lot of time.» She adds that SRS has not stopped for a moment in its work and development in the past half-year.

When asked if there are people who benefit from the service remaining without a head, Pelēkā said no. «Finance Ministry Dana Reizniece-Ozola has mentioned that it would be best not to organize the selection process before elections. I agree, because it is clear that during the pre-election period some candidates may unwillingly become part of some political party’s campaign.»

Dace Pelēkā does say: «There is no reason to doubt the necessity of a leader for an institution like SRS. The role of a leader in motivating workers is incredibly important. Workers want to see a person worth following as their leader.»

Full article here

GROWTH: Finance Commission says Latvia’s business sector has gotten rid of unwanted shell companies

As of 7 July 2018, the ratio of deposits from risky shell companies in Latvia’s banking sector was 0.03%. Most of this amount consists of the remaining balance of funds exiting the country, as reported by Finance and Capital Market Commission.

9 May marked the coming into force of amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, which required participants of Latvia’s finance sector to cease working with businesses that fit two signs of shell formations – perform no actual business activities and have no economic value, or be registered in a country that has no requirement for submission of regular financial accounts.

«Now we can safely say our banks have performed their task to the letter. Only 0.03% or EUR 4.5 million is left – the money blocked on frozen accounts that require additional checks to determine their origin. We can clearly see the work that commenced in 2016 still continues. The proportion of risky clients continues reducing every day, because banks continue terminating ties with shell formations that are not prohibited yet but still carry certain risks for banks. We can conclude that in relation to shell companies, and not just their prohibited types, around EUR 1.5 billion have left Latvia’s banking sector in the first half-year of 2018. Cooperation has been denied to more than 9,000 different kinds of shell companies,» says FCMC chairman Pēters Putniņš.

Full article here

DISCUSSION: Latvian government starts talks on applying reduced VAT on public catering

Finance Ministry has reached a conceptual agreement on applying on restaurants a reduced 12% value added tax rate instead of the current 21% under the condition that catering companies are to cease paying employees envelope wages, LNT reported on Wednesday, 1 August.

Catering companies have been trying to secure tax benefits for a long time now. Jānis Jenzis, president of Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Latvia, said the excessive tax burden has already caused the closure of some prominent restaurant in Riga.

Estimates from Finance Ministry show that more than 40% of people employed in the industry are not even paid minimal wages. For there to be a general agreement regarding the minimal wage level for people employed in the industry, the document needs to be signed by companies that together employ at least half of people working in the industry and whose total turnover exceeds half of the entire industry’s turnover. The president of the association said he hopes the signing of the agreement is a matter of time.

Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola said reduced VAT may be applied to the industry only if catering companies cease paying envelope wages. «If the industry signs a general agreement detailing a specific wage level for each profession, then we could conceptually support reducing VAT,» said the minister.

Full article here


Leave a reply

Central Election Commission approves results of 13th Saeima elections in Latvia

On Friday, 19 October, the Central Election Commission approved results of 13th Saeima elections. According to approved results, Harmony received 19.8% of votes, KPV LV – 14.25%, New Conservative Party – 13.59%, Attīstībai/Par – 12.04%, National Alliance – 11.01%, Union of Greens and Farmers – 9.91%, and New Unity – 6.69%.

Bill Gates met by Estonian Prime Minister

Estonian head of government Jüri Ratas has met with Bill Gates, the co-founder and former head of the American software giant Microsoft to look into possibilities to support Africa through research and development.

Latvia’s general budget deficit estimated around EUR 155.7 million

In 2017, general government budget deficit accounted for EUR 155.7 million or 0.6 % of the Gross Domestic Product and general government consolidated gross debt at the end of 2017 amounted to EUR 10 806.8 million or 40.0 % of the GDP.

Latvijas Radio predicts to have 35.7% of radio market in the near future

In the next five years Latvijas Radio expects to own 35.7% of the radio market. Additionally, it is also expected that the audience listening over the internet and social media will increase significantly. «Eight out of ten listeners completely trust the content reported by public media,» as reported by Latvijas Radio representative Ieva Aile.

Producer price level in Latvian industry down 5%

Compared to August, level of producer prices in the Latvian industry fell by 0.4 % in September 2018. Level of prices of products sold on the domestic market reduced by 0.7 %, but of exported products – by 0.2 %.

ABLV Bank successfully pays 69% of all guaranteed remuneration amount

The liquidated ABLV Bank has repaid clients EUR 328.66 million, which is 69% of the guaranteed remuneration amount, as confirmed by Citadele Bank’s corporate communications manager Ieva Prauliņa.

CEC to approve and announce the final 13th Saeima election results

On Friday, 19 October, the Central Election Commission will organize a meeting, during which it is planned to approve the final results of 13th Saeima elections and announce deputies elected to the parliament, as reported by CEC representative Kristīne Bērziņa.

Corruption watchdog asked to look into Ventspils City Council’s and Ventspils nafta termināls’ EUR 2.5 million deal

Latvia’s State Audit has asked Finance Ministry and Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau to investigate the deal worth EUR 2.5 million between SIA Ventspils nafta terminals and Ventspils City Council, as noted in the report from State Audit’s inspection of the 2017 report on state and municipal budgets’ completion.

EU in favour of using sanctions against cyber-attacks, chemical weapons' threats

The member states of the European Union have in this week's summit decided to implement sanctions over threats of chemical weapons and expressed readiness to implement sanctions against cyber-attacks.

Canadian cannabis shops face shortages on 2nd day of legalisation

Cannabis stores in Canada have experienced shortages on the second day since the legalisation of recreational cannabis, as the demand is much higher than the supply of the drug.

Latvian parties’ talks with the president fail to outline a prime minister candidate

Parties that met with Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis on Thursday, 18 October, failed to name prime minister candidates they would support. Nevertheless, parties did confirm the desire to form as wide a coalition as possible by continuing talks with all parties except Harmony.

Putin: People in ex-Soviet Republics had more opportunities during USSR

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has asserted that people in Russia's neighbouring countries, once under Soviet occupation, regretted the end of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Autumn-like weather to end October’s unusually warm period

Soon enough, the warm weather that was present throughout this week and most of October will be replaced be colder weather. Air temperature will drop considerably at the end of the week. Wind will pick up in strength at the beginning of next week, as reported by Latvia’s Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Merkel finds Brexit agreement still doable, but time running out

German Chancellor Angela Merkel evaluated after this week's summit of the European Union, that there is not much time left for an agreement on the UK leaving the bloc, but it a deal should still be realistically attainable.

Lithuania opposition MP: «The ruling majority muddles through a «foxy» budget»

For the fifth consecutive year, Lithuania’s new budget, now for 2019, is described as «record» due to the size of surplus and the hefty allocations to education, health care, innovations and reduction of social inequality.

Majority of Latvian residents believe the government does not respect their opinion

The majority of Latvian residents are convinced their government does not respect society’s opinion on different matters, according to results of a survey by SKDS.

Minister: results of European Council talks on Brexit are not surprising

The fact that talks organized by the European Council regarding Britain’s exit and conditions have concluded with no real progress, is nothing surprising, says Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

After Crimea college shooting, authorities look for accomplice

After a school in Russian-annexed Crimea suffered a shooting and explosive attack, with 20 people killed, the Russian occupation authorities have stated that a search is on for a possible accomplice to the attacker.

Number of newborns continues to decline in Latvia

The number of births registered over the first nine months of 2018 is 1,267 children or 8 % smaller than that registered in the respective period of 2017.

State Audit finds it difficult to follow use of funding for Latvia’s Centenary events

According to Latvian State Audit, it is hard to follow the use of funding intended for Latvia’s Centenary events.

EU and Britain agree to disagree, maybe for several months

After the European Union's summit decided that not enough progress has been achieved in Brexit talks to hold a separate Brexit summit in November, London has expressed readiness to consider the prolonging of the divorce transition period for some months.

Anti-Money Laundering Service to be supervised by Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers

On Thursday, 18 October, members of the Saeima supported amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in the first reading.

Latvian Saeima conceptually approves new Law on the Handling of Weapons

On Thursday, 18 October, members of the Latvian Saeima conceptually supported the project for a new Law on the Handling of Weapons. The legislative draft provides new classifications of arms and munitions, as well as coordination with EU regulations on weapons handling, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Latvia’s smallest 10th grade class has only three pupils

Latvia’s smallest 10th grade class has only three pupils, says Education and Science Ministry’s Education Department director Līga Buceniece.

Clocks to be turned one hour back on 28 October

28 October marks the end of daylight savings time in Latvia and elsewhere in the world. This is when all clocks are to be turned one hour back, Latvian Economy Ministry reminds.

Who would be the best choice for the next prime minister of Latvia?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: