bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 13.11.2018 | Name days: Jevgēņija, Jevgēņijs, Eižens
LatviaLatvia

BNN summary of the week: open presidential election in Latvia and no more plastic bags for shoppers

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; Change; Fight; Decline; Business; Progress.

FUTURE: Will Latvians know who elects their president? Draft on open vote «on the move»

On Tuesday, 17 July, Saeima’s Legal Affairs Commission decided to submit for the first reading amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia that provide for holding election of the country’s president in the Saeima through an open vote, as reported by the parliament’s press-service.

Currently the Constitution states that the president is elected through a closed vote with no less than 51 members of the Saeima voting in the chosen candidate’s favour. To secure more trust in the Saeima, it is necessary to ensure transparency of this process. The vote for the president is the only closed vote in the Saeima, authors of the legislative draft mention in the annotation.

Previously a work group was formed by the Legal Affairs Committee. This group continued in-depth discussions regarding the pros and cons of an open presidential vote, as well as other proposals. In the end, the group proposed expanding the president’s authority and election evaluation.

Full article here

CHANGE: Ministry declares no more free plastic bags for shoppers

From 1 January 2019 onward supermarkets will no longer provide plastic bags to customers free of charge. This will not apply to very light plastic bags, as confirmed by Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry.

Amendments to the law were developed to limit the use of single-time use plastic bags in supermarkets and to reach the goals detailed in European Parliament’s and Council’s directive, the ministry explains.

The legislative initiative applies to all plastic shopping bags regardless of the thickness of the material. One exception is for very light plastic bags used for hygienic packaging.

‘Some traders already do not provide plastic bags free of charge. Instead they offer paper, carton or woven bags. This motivates consumers to pick environment-friendly solutions. Traders who have yet to adopt this approach will have to do it soon,’ comments minister Kaspars Gerhards.

Full article here

FIGHT: 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 (Lithuania’s Farmers and Greens Union) 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.

A village where there are no drunkards, scumbags and crooks –just a picture of a perfect Lithuania, an example of how things have to be run in the country. In some of the episodes of the series, which, by the way, were funded by Agrokoncernas, Lithuania’s largest agro-holding, note, owned by Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the LFGU, the party-chairman-turned-actor exhorts all to visit Naisiai. Some of the episodes feature the LFGU’s party newspaper and a calendar with the party logo.

The debates in the commission whether the series was part of the party’s political advertising were as much heated as the scorching weather in Vilnius this week. However, Lithuania’s election watchdog, the Central Election Commission (CEC), ruled that certain episodes of the popular TV series, as those afore-mentioned above, breached law and have to be deemed as political advertising.

Notably, three CEC members issued their separate opinion, demanding that the entire series be deemed hidden political advertising of the LFGU and view the film a gross violation of the legislation on funding political campaigns.

In the voting, three members of the commission voted for the latter, other three voted against the formulation, claiming that the series did not violate law and two abstained from the voting.

According to Laura Matijošaityte, chairman of the Central Election Commission, the CEC will vote for the entirety of the conclusions in the next sitting, due next week.

«Since a few of the commission members proposed an alternative formulation (i.e. rule that the entire series, not the separate episodes breached law), we have now to draw up concrete proposals considering their opinions…There have to be clear arguments to decide about the TV series,» the CEC chairwoman argued.

Full article here

DECLINE: 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.

The association says three measures are of immediate importance. This includes cancelling existing restrictions on commencement of treatment (500 CD4) to make medicine accessible to all HIV patients. It is also necessary to improve accessibility of infectologists at Latvia’s Infectology Centre and create a system for individual patient interviews to raise treatment accessibility and queuing.

The association believes it is necessary to increase the role of HIV preventive measures office in HIV diagnosis and increased treatment accessibility, sending people with positive HIV tests to a healthcare institution and ensuring free confirmation of diagnosis and queuing at an infectologist.

Full article here

BUSINESS: 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.

The bank’s representatives say the final decision in regards to reorganization of Lithuanian subsidiary and merging it with Latvia’s Citadele Bank to form a branch office in Lithuania was made on 5 July.

In accordance with the Law on Commerce, Citadele Bank’s customers have the right to receive creditor claim if it is proved reorganization puts at risk satisfaction of their claim. Customers can submit applications until 20 August 2018.

It is planned that the organization will be finished in the first half of 2019. Once it is done, Citadele Bank will have its main headquarters in Latvia with branch offices in Lithuania and Estonia, as well as a subsidiary in Switzerland.

A new Citadele office will be opened in Lithuania as part of the reorganization process. With that, this office will take over Citadele Bank’s assets and provide all functions and customer services.

Reorganization is not expected to affect customer services in Lithuania.

Full article here

PROGRESS: Countries sign third Rail Baltica co-financing agreement

Connecting Europe Facility co-financing agreement for the construction of Rail Baltica railway infrastructure was signed by participating member states on 13 July. The value of the agreement is EUR 130 million. CEF’s contribution will reach EUR 110 million, which is equal to 85% of all applicable costs, as confirmed by RB Rail communication consultant Ligita Brodiņa.

The main goal behind CEF co-financing is ensuring progress in the construction process in Lithuania (Kaunas-Lithuanian/Latvian border), which includes finishing construction of a bridge over Neris River, establishment of access roads along the length of the railway and commencement of construction work in Estonia, Brodiņa adds.

She continues: «Among the main goals is also the construction project from Upeslejas to Vangaži rolling stock maintenance depot in Latvia, as well as consolidation of initial technical solutions for the entire railway line in order to continue the construction design process for all elements of the global project. One other goal includes evaluation of suppliers to determine the optimal procurement and supply strategy and effective project management».

Funding is intended for activities like evaluation and studies, technical design, initial technical solutions, territorial planning, constriction work, provision of monitoring of infrastructure, different support and publicity activities, says Brodiņa.

Full article here


Leave a reply

Healthcare Minister: there will be funding for State Emergency Medical Service

Latvian Healthcare Minister Anda Čakša has decided to support State Emergency Medical Service’s plan for organization of work. She has confirmed that funding to cover pay for extended work hours will be allocated next year, as reported by Healthcare Ministry’s Communication Office director Oskars Šneiders.

Unemployment level in Latvia remained at 6.1% in October

In October 2018 unemployment in Latvia was at 6.1% of the country’s economically active residents, according to information from the State Employment Agency.

NAF Commander: tensions on a rise in the world, but Latvia can sleep peacefully

The political situation in the world develops in accordance with a sinusoidal principle – sometimes tensions increase, sometimes things calm down, said Commander of Latvian Armed Forces Leonīds Kalniņš in an interview to LNT.

Construction production output in Latvia up 10.3% in Q3

Compared to Q3 2017, construction output increased by 10.3 % in Q3 2018. Construction output rise was observed in construction of buildings (of 9.2 %), civil engineering (5.7 %) and specialised construction activities (19.7 %).

Brexit talks until 2.25am result in UK seeing progress toward deal

The British government, its representatives and negotiators of the European Union have spent a considerable part of the night to Monday, November 12, to make at least a few steps into the direction of the burning deal on the UK leaving the bloc.

Corruption watchdog takes notice of Jurmala mayor’s expensive and undeclared furniture

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has taken notice of several units of expensive furniture Jurmala Mayor Gatis Truksnis had purchased for his personal needs by spending an amount of money larger than his salary in the municipal office. On top of that, these purchases do not show up in his declaration, as reported by Latvijas Avīze.

Border guards find nearly 30,000 counterfeit impotence treatment pills in person’s luggage

During a regular baggage inspection at Riga International Airport, officers of the State Border Guard found a large number of prescribed medicines for treatment of impotence in some passenger’s baggage.

Swedbank joins Europe’s flash transaction system

Continuing development of its digital services, Swedbank has joined Europe’s flash transaction system. This means that additionally to immediate transaction processing for transactions within Swedbank network in Baltic States, clients can also receive flash transaction processing with other European banks that support this system...

Not listening! Ukraine rebels hold «elections», deaf to criticism from Kyiv, West

In eastern Ukraine, Russia-aided separatists have held parliamentary and presidential «elections» with acting leaders expected to win the vote branded as illegitimate by Ukraine, France and Germany.

Rīgas satiksme’s debts come close to 300 million; Ušakovs says company is doing well

Riga City Council has voted in favour of allocating an additional grant of EUR 22 million to Rīgas satiksme. This means this year the company has cost the city EUR 123 million, reminds Nekā personīga.

In pictures: World powers mark 100 years since end of World War I

While many Eastern and Nordic European nations mark 100 years since the establishment of their statehood, for Western Europe the year 2018 is the centenary since the end of the First World War.

New Unity wants to be in charge of Environment Ministry in Latvia’s new government

New Unity wants to be in charge of Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry in the new government, says New Unity politician, Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Poland marks centenary since founding of its modern independence

Poland has marked a century since the establishment of modern national independence of Poland on Sunday as more than 200,000 people marched through the capital.

California hit by deadliest wildfires since 1933

31 people have lost their lives in wildfires currently raging in the U.S. state of California, as over 200 hundred people are unaccounted for, according to statements by local authorities.

Air temperature to remain above 0° C in Latvia this week; strong wind expected

This week’s weather conditions in Latvia will remain similar to previous weeks – air temperature above 0° C with clouds covering the sky. Some sunlight is expected every now and then, however. Precipitation and strong wind is expected in many of Latvia’s territories, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. Conservatives pick Simonyte as presidential candidate

Lithuania's opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats has picked MP and former Finance Minister Ingrida Simonyte as the party's presidential candidate in a primary election held last weekend.

BNN summary of the week: 13th Saeima’s meeting; expensive medicines; continued government formation in Latvia

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Progress; Announcement; Expectations; Plea; Decision; Saeima.

Study: 56% of Latvian residents provide support to their retired parents

More than half of Latvian residents provide support to their retired parents. 30% of residents provide financial assistance, according to results of a study by SKDS and INVL pension fund.

Bank of Latvia governor made suspect in another criminal process headed by CPCB

Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, governor of the Bank of Latvia, has been made suspect in another criminal process investigated by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

Export volumes in Latvia up 5.1% in September; timber remains at the top

In September 2018 foreign trade turnover of Latvia amounted to EUR 2.42 billion, which at current prices was 5.1 % more than in September 2017, of which the exports value of goods was 1.0 % lower, but imports value of goods was 10.3 % higher.

Party asks ministry to assess if Riga mayor acted legally by not viewing tax matter

Riga City Council’s National Alliance ‘All for Latvia’ – ‘For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK’ has turned to Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Kaspars Gerhards with a request to evaluate the decision of Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs to exclude from the agenda the matter on real estate tax discounts, as confirmed by the party’s representative Edvards Ratnieks.

Norvik Banka changes name to PNB Banka

As of 9 November Norvik Banka Group is known as PNB Banka. The bank will continue providing all of its services without complications. All contracts and agreements signed with AS Norvik Banka remain in force. Communication with customers will continue as usual in all of the bank’s branch offices in Latvia, as confirmed by PNB Banka communication manager Vineta Vilistere-Lāce.

Grindeks: medicines to become more expensive because of new European requirements

Due to the adoption of a verification system to check safety of medicines, medicines are expected to become more expensive, said Juris Bundulis, board chairman of Grindeks.

Vivid selection of Latvian culture on offer in Tartu for 9 days

The Estonian city of Tartu is hosting nine days of selected Latvian culture events up until the centennial of Latvia on November 18. The events begun on Friday with the opening of the photography exhibition by internationally acclaimed photographer Zaiga Šteina.

Separatists in Ukraine to hold disputed elections

Russia-aided separatists in eastern Ukraine will hold presidential and parliamentary elections in two self-proclaimed republics this weekend, despite of criticism from Kyiv and the European Union.

Newest comments