bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 16.01.2019 | Name days: Lida, Lidija
LatviaLatvia

BNN summary of the week: Rubesa’s announces resignation; Latvia gets new gas tariffs

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: Announcement; Investigation; Fight; Hope; Future.

ANNOUNCEMENT: CEO on Rail Baltica project: «Everything happening with the project is delayed»

Over the course of Rail Baltica project, its management shared no common goal, the project lacks transparency, and Transport Ministry has not provided sufficient staff to answer questions regarding the project’s progress – these are some of the reasons Baiba Rubesa, CEO of RB Rail, mentioned during the press-conference Thursday, 27 September, to justify her decision to resign.

As she continued listing the catalysts that caused her to submit her letter of resignation, Rubesa told journalists that the project lacks proper management model: «Everything that happens in the project is and will be delayed.»

She mentioned that even though progress has been made with coordination and approval of decisions over the course of the project, there are still questions that remain unanswered.

She also says that the next funding stage remains unclear – it is unknown how things will turn out after 2020 because the situation will likely suffer from Brexit next year. Rubesa says that the matter with Latvia’s budget is also unclear.

She stresses that countries participating in the project have failed to reach an agreement in regards to the project’s main goal – every country continues working to suit its own interests. This is an obstacle for decision-making processes, especially in regards to finances. In addition, the project lacks transparency.

Full article here

INVESTIGATION: CPCB requests commencement of criminal prosecution of UGF member

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has sent materials of a criminal case to the Prosecutor General’s Office for the commencement of criminal prosecution against Union of Greens and Farmers member Askolds Kļaviņš, according to information published by the bureau.

Kļaviņš is accused of abuse of official power, document forging and use of forged documents.

Without mentioning the name, CPCB notes that a Saeima deputy received a mandate of a member of the Saeima 16 June 2016. That same deputy declared his place of residence in Liepaja on 1 November 2018.

The report on commencement of criminal prosecution mentions that information regarding a Saeima deputy’s transport cost compensation amounts was reported by public media on 21 February 2018. On 2 May, CPCB commenced a criminal process against this person.

On 13 September 2018, nearly a month prior to 13th Saeima election, this deputy stepped down.

Full article here

FIGHT: ABLV Bank’s creditors submit claims worth more than EUR 2 billion

Nearly 3,300 creditors have responded to the invitation from ABLV Bank’s liquidators to submit their claims, submitting claims for more than EUR 2 billion, as confirmed by the bank.

The Credit Institutions Law does not detail any deadline for submission of claims by creditors who were not paid back their money prior to 18 September. This means they can continue submitting claims. Only creditors in this category are allowed to apply for this claim repayment order, as the law requires it, the bank notes.

«The liquidation committee is happy for this result. In spite of the relatively short period of time reserved for creditors’ claims, nearly a maximum amount has been received. This was accomplished as a result of efficient organization of work. The next step is no less challenging, because we will have to commence careful and responsible evaluation of all claims from creditors,» says ABLV Bank’s liquidator Arvīds Kostomārovs.

ABLV Bank says that after approval of methodology for creditor evaluation, the bank will require no less than three months to check the claims’ validity and then make a list of creditors. With that, the first payments to depositors who still had balance above state guaranteed remuneration amount at the time of announcement of the bank’s liquidation process could begin in January 2019. Payments will commence with private persons, micro-enterprises, as well as small and medium-sized companies.

Admittance and satisfaction of creditors’ claims will be performed in accordance under strict supervision from Finance and Capital Market Commission. EY (previously Ernst & Young) has been called in to assist with the liquidation process. The international audit company has developed methodology for money laundering prevention and compliance with sanctions, as well as creditor checks and cost supervision. This methodology project is currently being coordinated with Finance and Capital Market Commission, the bank adds.

Full article here

HOPE: Lithuania makes another attempt to stem emigration, ease youth‘s employment

Amid exodus of youth to more developed Western European countries able to provide a better livelihood, the Lithuanian government scrambles to find ways to keep the population, and especially so its young people, in the homeland.

Considering adverse effects on the national economy, social welfare system, as well as the country’s national and social development caused by a complicated demographic situation, the Lithuanian Parliament this week has endorsed the Strategy for the Demographic, Migration, and Integration Policy for 2018–2030.

The strategy spans 17 targets and consists of 116 provisions. It ought to be adopted by 1 December, 2018.

It is one of many strategies aiming to stem emigration and boost youth employment in the country.

To remind, in early 2018, the Lithuanian MPs passed legislation enabling young families to acquire affordable housing in the Lithuanian provinces and the draft document of this week sets out a series of measures to integrate successfully adolescents into the job market.

For example, it envisions employment incentives, such as subsidised employment, support for acquisition of professional skills, public works and job rotation programmes.

Importantly, young workers, who apply for their first job, would be exempted from social security payments, which now account for nearly third of a wage in Lithuania, according the draft.

In the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament), 77 MPs voted for it, 24 abstained and 3 were against.

Full article here

FUTURE: New natural gas tariffs approved in Latvia; those who use more gas will pay less

The Public Utilities Commission has approved AS Gaso’s submitted natural gas transmission system’s tariff project, which provides for the introduction of a fixed fee for connection to permitted load regardless of the consumed gas volume.

It is planned that the new tariffs, which will come into force 1 January 2019, will motivate end consumers to use their connection more efficiently. At the same time, new tariffs are meant to secure the company with the option to perform the necessary investments in the gas transmission network.

Major gas consumers to benefit the most

According to estimates from AS Gaso, the price of gas transmission will decline 11% to 52% for most consumers. The price will decline for those who consume more gas.

The total price will, however, increase for ‘zero’ clients – those who are supplied with gas but do not consume it.

Gas bills of households that consume gas to prepare food will grow from 0 to EUR 1.77, tariff authors say.

What fees consumers should watch out for?

Until now gas consumers were differentiated based on their annual consumption without taking into account connection output and efficiency. From now on, differentiation of consumers will also depend on permitted output and the efficiency of connection’s use. «The goal of the transmission operator will be ensuring safe and uninterrupted gas supply, and the new tariff structure will help achieve this goal,» says AS Gaso chairperson Ilze Pētersone-Godmane.

Full article here


Leave a reply

Is polygamy the answer for Latvia? «Demographic affairs expert» Parādnieks is the man for the job!

The government formation process in Latvia is progressing slowly and painfully. It is as though a ship without navigation – Latvia has yet to find its way in the ocean of political roads. And this ocean I full of «icebergs» Latvia keeps bumping against. The latest one is National Alliance’s official candidate, an «expert» at resolving demographic problems Imants Parādnieks.

Latvian government approves unified requirements for road and street construction quality

On Tuesday, 15 January, Latvian government approved a project of rules from the Cabinet of Ministers. The goal of this project is ensuring rational use of public funds for road and street construction.

Strike in German airports cancels hundreds of flights

Several hundred flights have been cancelled in German airports on January 15, because of strike as part of an airport worker wage dispute. Germany's powerful Verdi union has announced the strike would last from 02:00 am until 8:00 pm local time at the airports of Frankfurt, Munich, Hanover, Bremen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Dresden and Erfurt.

Saeima proposes applying labour protection requirements for topical employment trends

Considering the emergence of new forms of employment, when work is often performed remotely outside company premises, it is necessary to adapt labour protection requirements.

Opinion: final decision for next Daugavpils mayoral candidate is not yet made

Although on Thursday, 17 January, Daugavpils City Council plans to elect a new mayor and Andrejs Elksniņš is mentioned among the candidates, the final decision has yet to be made, claims former mayor Rihards Eigims, who was dismissed in November.

Tallinn Port sees record passenger number of 10.6 million

Estonia's largest passenger port in Tallinn has registered 11th year of growth in passenger numbers as the year 2018 has ended with a total of 10.6 million passengers.

Additional funding requested for continuation of publication of KGB files

Constitution Protection Bureau’s Centre for the Documentation of the Consequences of Totalitarianism requests additional funding of EUR 51,976 to continue financing the digitization of remaining KGB files before 30 April.

Latvian authorities announce influenza epidemic in the country

Last week, the number of patients with flu in Valmiera reached the threshold of an epidemic – 163.6 cases per 100,000 residents. With that, 15 January was declared the beginning of an influenza epidemic in Latvia, BNN was told by Disease Prevention and Control Centre.

Government declaration proposals may cost Latvia EUR 600 million this year

If all proposals submitted for the government declaration were to be implemented this year, it would require an additional amount of EUR 660 million, prime minister candidate Krišjānis Kariņš told journalists.

Stabbed Polish mayor dies

In Poland, the long-time mayor of Gdańsk Paweł Adamowicz has died after doctors were unable to save him following a knife attack during a charity event.

Police: cocaine shipment from Ecuador was not meant for Latvian market

The shipment of cocaine sent from Ecuador and intercepted in Koknese was likely not meant for Latvian market, says Chief of State Police Main Criminal Police Department Andrejs Grišins.

Forming government in Latvia may develop new Local Governments Law

Prime minister candidate Krišjāņis Kariņš’s formed government could develop a new Local Government Law, according to information compiled for government declaration ideas from members of the work group.

«Osinovskis’ million» case: Elksniņš requested money «for KNAB»

Several years ago there was a scandal caused by the announcement made by the now former investigator of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) and now Saeima deputy Juris Jurašs that he was offered a two million euros bribe in the LDz corruption case.

Businessman Martinsons’ fast loan company’s paid interest compost most of Ameriks’ income

A month ago, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau performed 30 searches and detained 7 people as part of an investigation of possible corruptive activities at Rīgas satiksme. Among those people is Honour to Serve Riga political party member Aleksandrs Krjačeks.

Bank: this year’s priority will be restoring finance sector’s reputation

This year’s priority will be ensuring sustainable development and restoration of the finance sector’s reputation, says chairman of Baltic International Bank Viktors Bolbats.

Weather in Latvia to be chilly and windy this week

Weather will be volatile in Latvia this week – a reasonable amount of thaw along with chilly air is expected. Latvia’s State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre predicts strong wind and plenty of precipitation.

Week in Lithuania. Ruling LFGU initiates referendum to reduce number of MPs

Members of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union will collect signatures for a referendum to reduce the size of the parliament.

BNN summary of the week: Latvian government’s plan; minister vs. mayor; politologist in the parliament?

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Government; Conflict; Announcement; Proposal; Support; Opinion; Fight.

New Unity’s candidate to offer partners to sign Fiscal Pact

New Unity’s prime minister candidate Krišjānis Kariņš intends to offer partners of the government to sign a Fiscal Pact, which, among other things, proposes not supporting raising or introducing any new taxes this year.

Latvia’s forming government’s priorities include minimal wages and schools

Among the priorities of Latvia’s forming government is the administrative territorial reform, strengthening of the national economy, reformation in education and healthcare, «uncompromised rule of law», state security, cooperation with diaspora and demography, according to information LETA.

Inflation in Latvia reached 2.6% in December 2018

Compared to December 2017, the average level of consumer prices rose by 2.6 % in December 2018. Prices of goods increased by 2.3 % and prices of services by 3.1 %. Compared to 2015, in December 2018 consumer prices were 6.4 % higher.

Orbán seeks anti-immigration sentiment dominance in EU institutions

Hungary' s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has stated the his country's goal was to have «anti-immigration forces» in the majority in every European Union institution as the spring European Parliament election nears.

Delays with state budget may put at risk EP elections in Latvia

Delays with approval of the country’s state budget could put at risk residents’ ability to vote in upcoming European Parliament elections at any election site, Diena reports with reference to concerns voiced by Central Election Commission’s chairman Arnis Cimdars.

Opinion: no amount of speculation will make electrification project cost-effective

«For people working in the industry it is hard to spot even the slightest benefits of the electrification project and we believe there is no logic to back this mega project’s future development. Especially considering existing excessive project costs and the costs created by the need for locomotive replacement and that increased costs will make cargo freight in Riga’s direction all the more expensive. No amount of speculations regarding electricity and diesel fuel fluctuations will make this project cost-effective,» says AS Baltic Express board chairman Māris Bremze.

UK pledges large investment in Northern Ireland before decisive Brexit vote

London has pledged hundreds of millions of pounds in funds to uphold peace and welfare in Northern Ireland after Brexit, as British MPs are expected to deny their support to the withdrawal deal.