bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 22.10.2019 | Name days: Irīda, Īrisa
LatviaLatvia

BNN summary of the week: Rimšēvičs comes back; Lithuania elects mayors; Rīgas satiksme keeps going

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: Justice; Fight; Status; Question; Accomplishment.

JUSTICE: EU Court overturns Bank of Latvia governor’s suspension

Court of Justice of the European Union has overturned the ruling in accordance with which Bank of Latvia governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs was suspended from his post.

In its verdict the EU Court explained that even a temporary prohibition to perform duties can be considered a suspension.

As it is known, Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau send materials of the criminal case involving Rimšēvičs and businessman Māris Martinsons to the prosecutor’s office for commencement of criminal prosecution in June 2018. Shortly after that the prosecutor’s office raised charges against Rimšēvičs for bribery. Martinsons was accused of supporting bribery.

Rimšēvičs had previously claimed at a press-conference that he is innocent and that he has no intention of stepping down from his post in the Bank of Latvia. He called the crimes incriminated to him as politically motivated defamation campaign. His duties are currently performed by vice-governor Zoja Razmusa.

KNAB detained Rimšēvičs a year ago.

Full article here

FIGHT: Lithuania holds mayoral and municipal council elections this Sunday

Ahead of mayoral and municipal Council elections this Sunday, political parties and election committees are making their last strides in luring yet undetermined voters on their side.

Always upbeat Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, LFGU, has said this week that his party will sweep not only the municipal Council elections, but also the forthcoming presidential and European Parliament elections, both to be held in May.

Over 13,000 local politicians are vying for 1,502 council seats in Lithuania’s 60 municipalities, and over 400 politicians want to be elected mayors. Due to shrinking population, Lithuanian voters will have to elect 22 fewer councillors this year, compared to the last election four years ago.

«I think we’ll have around 300 council seats. I think we’ll win in terms of votes as well. It’s more difficult to calculate when peaking about the number of mayors as it will depend on who will get into the runoff,» Karbauskis told journalists after casting his early vote in Kaunas on Wednesday, February 27.

Some 34,900 people, or 1.42 percent of all eligible voters, cast their ballots on Wednesday, February 27, the first day of early voting in Lithuania’s municipal elections, the Central Electoral Commission said on Thursday, February 27. The voter turnout was slightly up from 1.22 percent (30,900 voters) in 2015.

Thursday was the second and last day of early voting in the municipal and direct mayoral elections.

Full article here

STATUS: Rīgas satiksme’s temporary chief receives Riga mayor’s support and remains in office

Temporary chief of Rīgas satiksme Anrijs Matīss will remain at the help of this company even though earlier this week he allowed for the possibility of leaving the company if no clarity in regards to his proposed changes is achieved. He said as much after more than an hour-long meeting with Mayor of Riga and RS shareholder Nils Ušakovs.

Riga’s mayor claimed Matīss has his full support to continue his work in the company. The main subject of worries today is the company’s budget, which is exactly what shareholders plan to discuss tomorrow. According to him, there is no reason to believe Rīgas satiksme has stability problems.

Matīss was appointed the temporary chief of Rīgas satiksme on 13 December 2018, replacing the dismissed Leons Bemhens, who is a suspect in a criminal case investigated by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

After his approval, Matīss commenced an audit in the company.

The audit revealed that, for example, EUR 6 million was overpaid in a fuel procurement project with a firm whose owners hide behind offshore companies; the loan issued for procurement of trams was spent on wages; maintenance of the expensive e-talon system cost the company 40% of the money charged for tickets, Ir magazine reports.

Full article here

QUESTION: Ombudsman asks what ex-finance minister Reizniece-Ozola failed to understand

After the publication of a study about the influence of tax reform on Latvian residents, ombudsman Juris Jansons received many questions from certain members of society about the flaws with the tax reform uncovered by the study. The ombudsman was especially confused by the statement from ex-finance minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola, who said criticisms of the tax reforms sounded unjustified even though she has yet to go through the study, the ombudsman’s office reports.

It is stressed that during the tax reform development process Saeima’s Legal Affairs Office had noted that «the submitted legislative draft, due to its complexity, could cause major problems for legislators to understand the content of regulations.»

Implementing the new tax reform, application of PIT and calculation of non-taxable minimum and its application order has become more complicated and less friendly for taxpayers. This situation potentially provides for the possibility of situations when taxpayers could end up debtors in spite of paying taxes, the ombudsman’s office explains.

Full article here

ACCOMPLISHMENT: Latvia has accomplished a lot in ensuring gender equality

Latvia is among six countries in the world with the highest index for gender equality on the labour market. This is shown as much in World Bank’s published study that analysed legislation on gender equality in 187 countries.

The study Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform includes an index on the most important developments for women’s careers, from the moment they start working to the point when they retire, as well as protection of rights in each of those phases. Data covers a decade-long period during which 187 countries were studied based on eight indexes, Latvian Finance Ministry explains.

A global look shows that reforms implemented in the past ten years have improved women’s economic inclusion. Nevertheless, a gap remains between men and women. Results of the study show that women, when compared to men, are generally provided with only three-quarters of all rights guaranteed by international law.

Latvia, together with Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Sweden, received the highest possible number of points. This means state regulations in areas surveyed provide men and women with equal opportunities. Ten years ago there wasn’t a single country capable of reaching this index, the ministry notes.

Full article here


Leave a reply

Estonian interest in third pillar pensions lowest in EU, study finds

In Estonia, the interest of consumers in free-of-choice pension funds, is the lowest as compared to other member states of the European Union, a study of Better Finance investor rights group found.

Lithuanian manufacturers worried about new U.S. tariffs

Lithuanian manufacturers have voiced concern over the indirect effects of U.S. import tariffs introduced last week on products such as pork, milk products and others.

One of Latvia’s most wanted suspects found

Police in Latvia have found – thanks to reports of fellow citizens – suspect Angeļina Sacjuka, who was wanted for a deadly attack on a woman, the State Police said. The crime she was wanted for could bring her a prison term of three to 15 years

LTV: Moscow suspected of seeking more power in Latvian Orthodox Church

The Moscow Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church may be attempting to force Metropolitan Alexander of the Latvian Orthodox Church to retire to replace him with more acceptable person to the Russian side, reported LTV’s programme De facto.

Latvia could crash out of Expo 2020 in Dubai, De facto says

Due to works being late, Latvia’s participation in the Expo 2020 world exhibition in Dubai has been put on hold. This would not be the first time of Latvians stopping preparations half-way to the global event, reports LTV programme De facto.

Latvia’s attitude to sexual minorities – one of most opposing in EU

An Eurobarobeter study says that the attitude of people in Latvia to sexual minorities is one of the most opposing in the European Union.

UK’s battle to get Brexit done could go either way this week

In the British parliament, a tough battle is expected over the latest Brexit agreement with the European Union: the government will push for its ratification, while opposition will seek allies for the government to agree to amend or to reject it altogether.

Tragic Siberia dam collapse investigated in Russia

Russia has launched a criminal investigation into the death of 15 people at a dam collapse on River Seiba in Siberia. The tragedy has taken place at a remote site of a goldmining company.

Week in Lithuania: Grybauskaitė invited to think tank, push for 2nd vote on Speaker

Last week in Lithuania ex-President invited to join think tank, LFGU sought 2nd vote on Speaker’s removal, court reduced pro-Russian Councillor’s fine, and Order and Justice leader was urged to step down.

BNN summary of the week: Unexpected millions. Non-citizen children

This week, large money sparked an international debate. A Latvian court determined that 29 million euros, currently in the accounts of a non-resident at the Reģionālā investīciju banka, have been acquired criminally and ruled that they have to be transferred to the state budget.

Ventspils rushes to extend Lembergs’ mandate in freeport

The Ventspils City Council has summoned an emergency sitting to decide on the extension of the mandate in the board of the Ventspils Freeport Administration to suspended Mayor Aivars Lembergs, as well as Jānis Vītolņš, Didzis Ošenieks and Guntis Blumbergs, according to information seen by the BNN.

Estonian pension reform expected later in 2019

The pension reform of Estonia should be adopted later this year to start it in 2021, believes Estonian Social Affairs Minister, who has pointed out that the country’s ruling coalition has reached an agreement on the core issues of the reform.

Latvian minister: Less than half of Latvian nationals in UK have applied for residence

Latvian nationals in the UK should take into consideration different scenarios possible after Brexit and to protect themselves they should register their place of permanent residence with the British Home Office, said the Latvian Foreign Minister to Latvijas Radio.

Verdict in Latvenergo bribery case enters into force with prison sentences

A Latvian court ruling in one of the bribe-taking cases of state energy producer Latvenergo has entered into force. According to the verdict, prison sentences have been given to Latvenergo’s former vice-president, its former director of production and the head of the firm Energy Consulting.

Latvian football loses its head as Gorkšs ousted from federation chair

The turbulent Latvian Football Federation (LFF) has voted in an emergency meeting to remove its president Kaspars Gorkšs from office.

Latvian top companies by value – Latvenergo and Latvijas valsts meži

Energy producer Latvenergo, forestry company Latvijas valsts meži and computer network equipment maker Mikrotīkls had topped the list of the Top 101 Latvian companies, compiled annually by Nasdaq Riga and Prudentia.

Turkey agrees to pause its intervention in Syria for five days

Turkey, Kurdish SDF forces and the U.S. have reached an agreement to introduce a five-day ceasefire to allow Kurdish forces to retreat from the Turkish-Syrian border.

High-ranking Latvian policeman detained over bribery

The Latvian Internal Security Bureau (IDB) has detained on suspicion of bribery three persons: the deputy chief of the Public Order Police Bureau of the Latgale Regional Administration of the State police and two private individuals, including one former policeman.

Saeima greenlights opening of regional gas market

The Latvian Saeima has on Thursday, October 17, adopted amendments aimed at removing obstacles to the creation of a regional gas market and ensuring the functioning of the joint Latvian, Finnish and Estonian tariff system from January 1, 2020.

Lithuanian President Nausėda‘s 100 days in office: nothing messed up, communication improved

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda is marking this week the first hundred days of presidency. Both his supporters and ready-to-bite analysts agree than he has not messed up things, although some frown at his conformity with the Farmers and Greens Union-orchestrated Seimas and the Government.

Fragile, new Brexit deal reached between EU and UK

In the European Union’s negotiations on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, a new agreement has been reached on the day a decisive EU summit commenced in Brussels.

Court proceedings of Lembergs could restart only in 2020

The Riga Regional Court ruled on Thursday, October 17, that the lawyer of criminally-accused Latvian politician Aivars Lembergs has been given until January 2020 to read the materials of the case.

Latvia decides: Non-citizen children to receive citizenship from 2020

The Latvian parliament passed in the final reading on Thursday, October 17, the draft law that sets forth granting citizenship to new-born children of the non-citizens of Latvia.

Drugstores should focus on health care over money-making, Estonian Minister says

As Estonia is working on a pharmacy regulation reform aimed at reducing the influence of drug wholesalers on pharmacies, Estonian Social Affairs Minister Tanel Kiik has said pharmacy services ought to be focused on healthcare instead of business.

Confiscated EUR 29 mln: Latvia waiting for evidence from Ukraine

As Ukraine seeks to recover from Latvia 29 million euros that have been confiscated by a Latvian court, Ukraine has to provide evidence as it has promised to do, according to Latvian President Egils Levits.