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Ceturtdiena 15.11.2018 | Name days: Undīne, Leopolds, Unda
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BNN summary of the week: raiderism at Olainfarm, KGB files before elections and UGF tests voters’ patience

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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: Change; Invitation; Growth; Progress; Deal; Fight.

CHANGE: Will residents see «KGB records» before elections? Saeima supports publication of KGB papers in 2018

On Wednesday, 12 September, Saeima Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee supported in the second reading publication of KGB archive documents on the internet in 2018.

Publication will also include KGB agents’ telephone books, which contain information about in-house and freelance agents. All materials will be published on the website of Latvia’s National Archive.

Publication of other KGB documents will follow after 1 May 2019.

Constitution Protection Bureau’s Centre for the Documentation of the Consequences of Totalitarianism and the National Archive will have three weeks to prepare approximately 10,000 cards for digitization and upload in PDF format. It is planned to publish archive cards on the internet this year.

Full article here

INVITATION: Ex-corruption watchdog invites prosecutor to publish phone conversation between Emsis and Kļaviņš

Riga City Council opposition deputy and former deputy chief of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau Juta Strīķe invites the prosecutor general to publish the full transcript of the telephone conversation that happened between former prime minister Indulis Emsis and Askolds Kļaviņš, who is accused of abuse of power.

In response to the prosecutor general’s Wednesday’s interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT, Strīķe wrote on Facebook that during the interview Kalnmeiers had cited parts of the telephone conversation that took place between Emsis and Kļaviņš, saying that the two discussed the planned criminal process.

«Kalnmeiers claimed that this conversation did not result in the leak of information regarding the criminal process,» said Strīķe. She believes Kalnmeiers had taken statements out of context, because in reality the citation provided by him was actually about the plans to request Saeima’s permission to perform a search in Kļaviņš’s office and home.

In her statement, Strīķe stressed that the part of the conversation in which ex-prime minister told Kļaviņš about the criminal case and that this information was provided to him by Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis was intentionally left out by Kalnmeiers from the interview.

Because of that, Strīķe invites Kalnmeiers to publish the entire transcript of the conversation between Emsis and Kļaviņš.

Prosecutor general’s press-secretary Aiga Eiduka says that the Criminal Law includes a prohibition on disclosing information acquired during pre-trial investigation. As for publication of transcripts of telephone conversations – Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has the right to make decisions there.

Disclosure of parts of the telephone conversation was coordinated in advance with CPCB.

Full article here

GROWTH: Getliņi EKO wants to borrow EUR 800,000 to re-cultivate old waste hill

Getliņi landfill management company Getliņi EKO has made an open call to borrow EUR 800,000 in order to finance the re-cultivation of an old waste hill and plans to build a bio-mass processing plant, says Getliņi EKO public relations specialist Linda Vītola-Barānova.

She says the company plans to finance the waste hill’s re-cultivation by attracting lenders. The loan is planned to be repaid within eight years.

Information from the Procurement Monitoring Bureau shows that contenders should submit proposals by 16 October.

SIA Getliņi EKO has plans to clean up the territory to make sure next year it is possible to start construction of a bio-mass processing plant.

Full article here

PROGRESS: Vote on open election of state president progresses – draft supported for 2nd reading

On Thursday, 13 September, Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee supported for the second reading amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia that provide for election of the state president through an open vote by the Saeima, as confirmed by the parliament’s press-service.

Currently the Constitution states that Latvia’s president is elected with votes from no fewer than 51 members of the Saeima. The vote itself takes place behind closed doors. To improve society’s trust in the Saeima, it is necessary to provide transparency of its work. The vote to elect the state president is the only closed vote the Saeima has, authors of the legislative draft stated in the annotation.

As previously mentioned by the committee’s head Gaidis Bērziņš, Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee intends to push amendments to the Constitution before elections if enough support is received from deputies.

Full article here

DEAL: Blackstone foundation becomes Luminor Bank’s strategic investor

Blackstone Group L.P investment fund has become the strategic investor for Luminor Bank. This fund’s investment is EUR 1 billion, as reported by the bank.

As part of the deal, Blackstone will purchase 60% of Luminor Bank’s shares and become a majority shareholder alongside Nordea Bank and DNB Bank ASA, which own 20% each. At the same time, Blackstone and Nordea Bank have signed an additional deal on the sale of Nordea’s 20% of shares in Luminor Bank in the next twelve months.

It is planned to follow up on this deal in the first half of 2019, after receiving approval from European Central Bank and local supervisory institutions.

Luminor Group council chairman Nils Melngailis said that Blackstone is the world’s leading partner in the management of transformation of large companies.

According to him, Blackstone’s participation will ensure gradual growth for the bank, as well as introduce world standards and knowledge in customer service to accomplish Luminor’s goal – become an independent financial services group in the Baltic region.

Full article here

FIGHT: Latvian authorities asked to commence criminal process on raiderism at Olainfarm

Signe Baldere-Sildedze, guardian of former Olainfarm owner Valerijs Maligins’ youngest daughter Anna Emīlija Maligina, and Maligins’ other daughter Nika Saveļjeva have turned to law enforcement institutions with a request to commence a criminal process in relation to acts of raiderism, abuse of official power and fraud.

The application mentions a request to protect Olainfarm’s, its shareholders’ and heirs’ interests because events of the last several days demonstrated that there are clear intentions of certain people to forcefully take over this company.

«Through illegal means people with questionable reputation and criminal past have ended up in the management of Olainfarm. They do not hide their intentions to use corrupt means to influence courts and investigative institutions. There are reasons to believe the goal of this take-over is robbing the company of its assets in favour of some third party for a price lower than assets’ market value,» as mentioned in the application submitted by Baldere-Sildedze and Saveļjeva.

They also mention that as a result of his hostile take-over, Olainfarm may be robbed of its finances, causing considerable damage to all shareholders and putting at risk the company’s future, something all members of the company’s council and board are personally responsible for.

In their application, Baldere-Sildedze and Saveļjeva ask authorities to commence a criminal process against an organized group.

Full article here


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British government loses two more members; EU sets date for Brexit summit

In the UK government, Brexit minister Dominic Raab and Northern Ireland's junior minister have resigned in disagreement with the country's draft withdrawal agreement with the EU, already passed by the government.

Saeima deputy: data protection regulation will not protect «KGB associates»

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EP: Moldova and Georgia should continue initiated reforms

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Latvian president gives parties holiday break to continue talks

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Bordāns: NCP will not support Pabriks’ government because KPV LV will not support it either

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British government supports draft Brexit deal

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Progressive: government formation talks – old schemes and disrespect towards voters

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Jurmala City Council deputy asks State Audit to check six sport event procurements

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KPV LV leader: after recent developments, all parties should get therapy

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Number of guests hosted in Latvian tourist accommodation establishments up 6.5%

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EP’s approved EUR 17.7 million to be invested in melioration infrastructure restoration

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Three parties exit talks with NCP; Bordāns’ chances of becoming prime minister plummet

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Latvian prime minister candidate still believes it is possible to agree on government work plan

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EP's conservatives-reformists select Zahradil as their leader for election

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Government starts discussing Latvia’s readiness for Brexit, worst scenario included

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UK and EU reach draft deal, but ruling Conservatives split about its success

The UK and the European Union have reached a draft agreement on Brexit, but a national battle begins for British Prime Minister Theresa May to win the support of her government and the British parliament to get it approved.

NCP’s proposed pension and benefit changes will cost state budget several hundred million euros

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Pro-Kremlin activist accused of incitement of hate and child pornography

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