bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 23.03.2019 | Name days: Mirdza, Žanete, Žanna
LatviaLatvia

BNN summary of the week: SRS searches for spotless reputation; MPC talks continue

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: Progress; Change; Contest; Announcement; Future; Politicians.

PROGRESS: Rundale Castle Museum should be managed with the same ideals as before

In the years to come Rundale Castle Museum should be managed with the same ideals as before, says the soon ex-director of the museum Imants Lancmanis, who intends to retire at the end of this year.

He says the plan to form a new team has been realized, and that he has no doubts about the museum’s future. Lancmanis explains that he was previously concerned that young people may not want to live in the countryside and that they may not have any interest in Rundale Castle or ancient history and art. Fortunately, Lancmanis believes this is no longer a problem.

Lancmanis adds that he would like candidates to continue his management style – which does not include the museum’s commercialization.

When asked if any of the museum’s existing employees may participate in the contest for the director’s post, Lancmanis said he is aware of one person who intends to become a candidate: «I would rather not speculate. I want to see the outcome of the contest. We know of one candidate, but I want to see the full picture,» said Lancmanis.

He said museum director’s work is made complicated by the wide spectrum of tasks – maintenance of a large collection of art and historic items, management of the archive and function of the documentation centre. With that, he believes the museum should focus more on research and publications in the future. Lancmanis also believes research should not be limited to the castle – it should include research of art and architecture from different historic periods.

Full article here

CHANGE: Lithuania lays symbolic rail on restored Mažeiķi–Reņģe railway line

Lithuania’s Lietuvos geležinkeliai railway company’s director general Mantas Bartuška and Polish oil concern Orlen manager Daniel Obatjek laid a symbolic rail on the restored railway route connecting Orlen Lithuania owned Mažeiķi oil processing plant in Lithuania and Reņģi in Latvia this Tuesday, 14 August.

The aforementioned route was closed and dismantled ten years ago. The two officials also signed an agreement on cooperation between the two companies.

This agreement provides that Lietuvos geležinkeliai will carry cargoes from Orlen subsidiary Orlen Lithuania to Poland from now on. Until now products from Mažeiķi oil processing company have been carried by Lietuvos geležinkeliai only within Lithuania’s territory.

As Lithuania’s Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis said at the press-conference, the laying of the rail on the route has a symbolic meaning, because it proves successful overcoming of previous disagreements between Lietuvos geležinkeliai and Orlen.

«This disagreement and dismantling of the railway line many years ago had not only caused the conflict between Orlen Lithuania and Lietuvos geležinkeliai but had also impacted relations between our countries,» he said.

Mantas Bartuška called this day a historical one. «Today we commence restoration [of the railway] and open a new page. This is a day of partnership. Together we put the foundation for the future,» said the head of Lietuvos geležinkeliai.

Obatjek said the signed agreement will allow the company to carry more cargoes and benefit both Lithuania and Poland.

As announced by Lietuvos geležinkeliai, it is planned to carry several hundred thousand tonnes of Orlen Lithuania products a year in Poland’s direction. The current volume of cargoes is approximately nine million tonnes annually.

Full article here

CONTEST: New tender announced for post of SRS director; first requirement – spotless reputation

Latvia’s State Chancellery has announced an open personnel selection process for the post of director of State Revenue Service. Application submission process will last until 14 September.

Finance and administrative managers are welcome to apply. Similar to other high-level tenders, a personnel selection company will be involved. The company this time will be Amrop. It will help define the necessary requirements, invite potential candidates and perform their assessment across all stages of the project.

As noted by the chancellery, the main requirements for contenders is spotless reputation, a Master’s degree, at least three years of experience in a private sector organization with turnover of at least EUR 5 million and fifty employees or public sector organization with access to at least EUR 3 million of budget funds and 150 employees, managing these organizations directly. Experience working in a lower-rank post is acceptable if contenders had at least 200 direct or indirect subordinates.

Contenders also must have international and/or interdepartmental collaboration experience, successful change management experience, as well as be able to resolve matters systematically and work with complicated and large volumes of information. Candidates are also expected to have experience and understanding of the structure of state management, administrative processes and budget planning. Candidates also must have excellent strategic planning, cooperation, communication, presentation and English language skills.

The personnel selection process will have three stages. The first stage will commence 14 September. During this stage, the commission will evaluate submitted documents and contenders’ compliance with requirements of the contest. At the same time, the company will prepare and submit detailed comments to the commission, including potential reputation risk analysis for every candidate approved for the second stage of the contest.

Full article here

ANNOUNCEMENT: Unemployment level in Latvia down to 7.7% in Q2 2018

In Q2 2018 Latvian unemployment rate constituted 7.7 %. Compared to the previous quarter, unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage points, while over the year it dropped by 1.2 percentage points.

In the 2nd quarter, in Latvia there were 75.4 thousand unemployed persons aged 15–74, which is 11.2 thousand people fewer than a year ago and 4.6 thousand fewer than in the previous quarter, according to results of the Labour Force Survey by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Since the 3rd quarter of 2008, Latvian unemployment rate exceeds the European Union (EU) average (except for Q1 2015 when both indicators were equal). In Q1 2018, Latvian unemployment rate (constituting 8.2 %) exceeded the EU average (7.4 %) by 0.8 percentage points. In Q2 2018, Latvia still had the highest unemployment rate in the Baltic States – 7.7 %, compared to 5.1 % in Estonia and 5.9 % in Lithuania.

In Q2 2018, the share of long-term unemployed persons, i.e., those who have been without work for 12 months or longer, in the total number of unemployed persons grew – from 39.4 % in Q2 2017 to 41.3 % in Q2 2018. The number of long-term unemployed persons reduced by 2.9 thousand, falling to 31.1 thousand.

Full article here

FUTURE: Noord Natie develops a new business niche – attracts cruise ships for Ventspils

The first of the cruise ships attracted from SIA Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals will arrive at Ventspils port this week. NNVT stresses that development of cruise business as a new product will help develop tourism in the city and region, as well as provide a contribution to economic development and raise recognition of NNVT terminal and the city.

NNVT representatives say that the cruise business so far has been inactive in Ventspils. This is because there are no institutions or businesses that perform attraction of cruise lines and coordination of activities among involved sides to ensure their success in Ventspils. Ships of different cruise organizers did stop not far from Ventspils pier not long ago. However, because it is not fully compatible with such ships, NNVT commenced a new initiative for attraction of cruise ships a couple of years ago.

«Two years ago we became fully-fledged members of Cruise Europe, which has provided us with information circulation and self-promotion options using media and expos,» says NNVT Commercial Department manager Artis Šenkevics. The terminal, together with cooperation partners has performed talks with well-known cruise ship operators to outline Ventspils port on their maps and use its excellent geographical location, infrastructure and the company’s rich experience with passenger services. The flow of tourists travelling to Sweden via ferry exceeds 130,000, the company continues.

Full article here

POLITICIANS: How successful are businesses owned by Saeima deputies? UGF members at the top

Currently politicians in Latvia who own shares in businesses and are also true beneficiaries in capital associations are in the minority. Information compiled by Lursoft shows that 35 Saeima deputies and members of the Cabinet of Ministers own shares in businesses.

Valdis Kalnozols, a member of the Union of Greens and Farmers, seems to be the most active businessman, as he owns shares in six businesses. Members of UGF faction own twenty companies. Members of Concord own twelve.

Lursoft has performed a study of 12th Saeima deputies and government ministers to see how they’ve been able to combine their posts with business activities.

«Three opposition deputies – Vladimirs Nikonovs, Jānis Tutins and Ivans Ribakovs – are not only colleagues in the Saeima but also business partners. These politicians and three more private persons own 2006-founded SIA Saknes Plus, which is involved in magazine and periodic book publishing activities. An analysis of annual accounts shows that this company has yet to commence meaningful economic activities over the course of many years,» as reported by Lursoft representative Indra Urtāne.

According to data from the study, companies owned by Saeima deputies and ministers turned over EUR 17.96 million, earned EUR 308.86 million, provided 336 people with jobs, and paid EUR 3.05 million in taxes to the state budget last year.

«Naturally, not all businesses have had such successful results. For example, two companies (Rihards Kozlovskis’ partially owned SIA BBF Consulting and Valdis Kalnozols’ owned SIA Kalnozols un partneri) has commenced an insolvency process. Nine companies have been applied with collateral management. What is particularly interesting that of the six companies owned by Valdis Kalnozols only SIA Dizaina līnija currently has no difficulties, because other companies have either been closed down, declared insolvent or provided with guarantees,» says Urtāne.

Full article here


Leave a reply

Crumbling buildings and the future of Riga’s slums

There are many empty buildings in Riga at the moment. However, Riga’s slums have a way to be reborn. One option is Rail Baltica, which could potentially change the situation with jobs in the city centre. Developers might have many complicated objectives ahead of them, considering that more and more people may decide to relocate to Riga’s central districts, said Riga city’s chief architect Gvido Princis in a conversation with BNN about Riga’s slums.

EC Vice-President: like other countries, Latvia has limited progress with EC recommendations

Latvia has limited progress when it comes to implementation of recommendations from the European Commission. Nevertheless, Latvia does not fall from the general EU context, when most member states have a small or limited progress with recommendations, said EC Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis during a joint meeting with Latvian Saeima’s committees.

Comparing abortions to killing affects Estonian government talks

After figures of the Estonian Conservative People's Party compared abortion to killing of people, the party's partners in coalition talks have voiced criticism.

Latvian Olainfarm minority shareholders urged to attend shareholder meeting

Co-owners of Valerijs Maligins inheritance Nika Saveļjeva and Signe Baldere-Sildedze, as well as Annas Emīlija Maligina’s mother invite Latvian pharmaceutical company Olainfarm minority shareholders to attend an extraordinary shareholders meeting and actively propose their candidates for the council.

Social workers’ wages in Latvia to grow by average of EUR 145 a month

Latvian government has decided to allocate an additional amount of EUR 4.8 million to increase wages for state social care centres starting from 1 April 2019. This will allow increasing their wages by an average of EUR 145 a month. This is provided by the 2019 state budget that has been approved by the Latvian parliament in the first reading, as confirmed by Welfare Ministry.

Germany pushes for funding cuts to EU members violating core values

Germany's federal Foreign Minister believes the European Union should start reducing its solidary funding and introduce sanctions on member states that adopt legislation contrary to European values, for example, free press, rule of law and independent courts.

Association reports Latvia suffers the most from emerging HIV cases

In 2018, 326 new HIV infection cases were registered in Latvia, according to information from Disease Prevention and Control Centre. Inga Upmace, chairperson of Baltic HIV Association, says that even though this is less when compared to 2017, Latvia remains an unfortunate leader among Baltic States for emerging HIV infection cases.

Poll: 40% Britons have felt powerless or angry over Brexit

About 40 percent of the adult population of the United Kingdom have been feeling powerless, angry or worried by Brexit in the past 12 months, a mental health poll showed.

Riga City Council wants a large loan from Latvia’s State Treasury for bridge project

To finance the reconstruction of Krasta Street and Brasas Bridge, Riga City Council plans to take a EUR 14.23 million loan from Latvia’s State Treasury, according to documents added to the working agenda of Riga City Councils Finance and Administrative Affairs Committee.

EU postpones British withdrawal to April 12 or May 22

The United Kingdom has been given two extra weeks by the European Union to decide for the third time on its withdrawal agreement and to leave on April 12 if it is not passed or to leave on May 22 if it is passed.

Less precipitation expected in Latvia this week and more sunlight expected next week

On weekends the sky will be equally cloudy and sunny. Some rain is expected only on Saturday and the night to Sunday. On the night to Saturday, there will be clear sky and air temperature will drop to 0° C… -4° C, according to Latvian State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Producer price level in industry in Latvia up 0.6% in February

Compared to January, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry rose by 0.6 % in February 2019. Prices of products sold on the domestic market grew by 1.2 %, but prices of exported products remained the same.

Latvian president proposes giving citizenship to all children born in Latvia

Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis has submitted to the Saeima a legislative draft On Ceasing Provision of Non-Citizen Status to Children. This draft suggests giving children born to non-citizen parents Latvian citizenship upon birth starting from 1 January 2020 unless parents have decided on giving their child citizenship of another country, as reported by State President’s Chancellery.

Expert: Latvia has not accomplished with reduction of inequality

In the past seven years Latvia’s government has not properly implemented the recommendations provided by the European Commission on reduction of inequality, European Anti-Poverty Network’s EAPN-Latvia board chairperson Laila Balga told LNT programme 900 seconds on Thursday, 21 March.

Ruling LFGU’s presidential hopeful Skvernelis unveils key foreign policy points

Lagging in the presidential polls behind the frontrunner Gitanas Nausėda and MP Ingrida Šimonytė, Lithuania’s prime minister Saulius Skvernelis, the presidential hopeful of the ruling Farmers and Greens Union, LFGU, is ready to move heaven and earth in attracting voters on his side.

Banks in Estonia adopt increased anti-money laundering regulations

The Estonian Banking Association has decided to task its member lenders to fullfil anti-money laundering due diligence measures in an attempt to further heal Estonian banking reputation scarred by the Danske Bank money-laundering scandal.

Penalty to be applied to people for causing trouble for whistle-blowers in Latvia

Additions to the Latvian Code of Administrative Violations provide the application of a fine of up to EUR 14,000 to a legal person for causing trouble for whistle-blowers or their family members, as reported by Latvian State Chancellery.

New Zealand bans sales of semi-automatic weapons after Christchurch shootings

Assault rifles and military-style semi-automatics have been banned in New Zealand in a government reaction to the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Latvian parties submit 15 candidate lists for European Parliament elections

Five more Latvian political parties and party associations have submitted candidate lists to the Central Election Commission for upcoming European Parliament elections. So far participating parties include the National Alliance, Latvian Association of Regions, Latvian Social Democratic Workers Party, New Conservative Party and KPV LV.

Study: 55.6% of businessmen complain about high taxes in Latvia

Looking at the amount of taxes companies pay, 55.6% of businessmen and CEOs said there are too high, 36.5% said taxes are a bit too high, whereas 7.2% said taxes are as high as they need to be, according to data from Turība University’s Business Index.

Brussels: EU to support short Brexit postponement, if London passes deal

In the Brexit saga, a no-deal withdrawal is possible again as Donald Tusk has warned EU leaders will only agree to a short delay if MPs back Theresa May’s deal in March.

Allowance for people suffering from serious disability to be increased by EUR 100 in Latvia

From 1 July the Latvian government plans to increase the allowance for children and adults who require special care and who suffer from serious health problems from childhood.

Latvian minister: we should work with convicts, not isolate them

People who are currently isolated from society in prisons should not be kept isolated – they should be allowed to re-socialize, said Latvian Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns at a press-conference about the study on former inmates’ abilities to re-socialize.

Brexit extension: Theresa May won’t as for more than 50 days

British Prime Minister Theresa May wants only a short Brexit term extension that will not exceed 50 days, as reported by The Guardian.

Business Index: 56.7% of businessmen in Latvia believe government hurt businesses

When asked about the influence Latvia’s government has on the country’s entrepreneurship, 56.6% of interviewed businessmen said the government interferes with the sector, whereas only 7.3% said the government provides assistance, according to results of Turība University’s Business Index.