bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 18.02.2019 | Name days: Kintija, Kora
LatviaLatvia

BNN summary of the week: UGF in trouble, President issues a warning, Saeima composes committees

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: Conclusion; Remembrance; Saeima; Trouble; Change; Agreement; Warning.

CONCLUSION: Police admit November 11 Embankment is not the best place for mass events

Security-wise, 11 November Embankment is not the best place for mass events. Nevertheless, responsible authorities plan to analyse in the near future ways to improve security measures in this portion of Riga, as reported by Criminal Police Chief Artis Velšs.

«The embankment is not the best location for organizing mass events geographically security-wise, because on one side you have Daugava River and on the other you have Old Riga, which is a kind of wall in its own right,» said Velšs, adding that the embankment has been a favourite spot for all kinds of events for years.

According to estimates from authorities, the fireworks event on Sunday, 18 November, was attended by around 100,000 people. Together with municipal services, interior affairs services and ambulance brigades, police will hold meetings to analyse the situation and discuss different security aspects.

«Each side will provide their opinions on what can be improved,» said Velšs.

Although on social media residents have expressed concern over the size of crowds, Velšs said before any ass events are planned, organizers go through a security plan and algorithms used to determine the level of potential danger for each public gathering.

Full article here: https://bnn-news.com/police-admit-november-11-embankment-is-not-the-best-place-for-mass-events-194062

REMEMBRANCE: Five years pass since the Zolitude Tragedy in Latvia

The court investigation of Zolitude tragedy’s criminal case is progressing, according to the state prosecution. Wednesday, 21 November, marked five years since the tragedy, when the roof of a Maxima supermarket collapsed, killing 54 people and injuring several dozen.

The state prosecution in this criminal case is represented by prosecutors Agris Skradailis, Kaspars Cakuls and Jekaterina Kušakova. Prosecutors believe the investigation has progressed considerably since October 2015.

Testimonies of hundreds of people, opinions of experts and construction specialists, as well as the accused were checked in different court sessions over the last two and a half years. The court viewing of the case has entered the debate stage of the investigation. Once this is done, the court will allow the accused their last word and then read the final verdict.

«Despite the unprecedented number of people involved in the case and the sheer scale of the investigative area, the prosecution has managed to maintain uninterrupted investigation, thereby creating an example for efficient work of the court justice system to ensure the best results in the shortest period of time,» prosecutors say.

Full article here: https://bnn-news.com/five-years-pass-since-the-zolitude-tragedy-in-latvia-194080

SAEIMA: Saeima approves deputies for work in parliamentary committees

Latvia’s Saeima has approved deputies who will work in the parliament’s standing committees in the next four years. 92 deputies participated in the vote; no one voted against or abstained in the vote.

In accordance with regulations, there are 16 standing committees in the Saeima.

Saeima committees work in a specific legislative field, supervise the work performed by the executive power and perform other tasks. Saeima committees prepare different matters that are later discussed during parliamentary meetings. Following decisions of the Saeima, committees review legislative drafts, proposals and submissions.

Full article here: https://bnn-news.com/saeima-approves-deputies-for-work-in-parliamentary-committees-194034

TROUBLE: Police raise charges against Jurmala mayor for possible illegal financing of UGF

In the criminal case regarding possible illegal financing of the Union of Greens and Farmers, Latvia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has officially presented charges to Jurmala Mayor Gatis Truksnis and businessman Jūlijs Krūmiņš.

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau asked charges against Truksnis to be raised not only for illegal financing of political parties, but also for document forging and use of forged documents.

As for Krūmiņš, CPCB requested criminal charges for illegal financing of political parties. The businessman’s lawyer Guna Kaminska has confirmed charges against her client have been raised in accordance with the Criminal Law on two episodes. She did not provide any other comments.

According to the info graphic from CPCB, Krūmiņš is accused of illegally financing For Latvia from the Heart.

Before its submission to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the criminal case was investigated by CPCB. According to available information, an official of Jurmala municipality had reached an agreement with Krūmiņš on illegally financing political parties using a mediator.

Krūmiņš used his bank account to transfer large sums of money to political parties. Truksnis then informed Krūmiņš that ‘donations’ were not received. Krūmiņš contacted ‘supporters’ and their mediators and Jurmala City Council official, revealing the names of said ‘supporters’ and their associates.

Full article here: https://bnn-news.com/police-raise-charges-against-jurmala-mayor-for-possible-illegal-financing-of-ugf-194111

CHANGE: Jānis Vilnītis replaces Uldis Sesks as Mayor of Liepaja

On Thursday, 22 November, Jānis Vilnītis from Latvian Association of Regions was elected as the new mayor of Liepaja, replacing Uldis Sesks from Liepaja party. It is worth mentioning that Sesks spent the last 21 years in this post.

Vilnītis was the only other candidate for the mayor’s post. He was elected with eleven votes in favour and three votes against.

Election of a new mayor was necessary to implement the previous agreement reached with members of the Latvian Association of Regions.

Sesks said he hopes established values will remain – keeping the city very Latvian, open, and supportive of the west.

The now former mayor also thanked his colleagues for their support in these 21 years. He also said considering leaving his post earlier – before the last municipal elections.

After he was done with his speech, deputies present in the room stood up and applauded him.

Full article here: https://bnn-news.com/janis-vilnitis-replaces-uldis-sesks-as-mayor-of-liepaja-194168

AGREEMENT: UK and EU reach agreement on draft declaration over future ties

The European Union and the UK have arrived at a draft declaration on their bilateral ties after the divorce that would allow the signing of the declaration and the British withdrawal agreement by EU member states on Sunday, November 25.

Canadian-British news agency Reuters reports that the news of Thursday, November 22, made the value of the British pound to grow by close to 1 percent on relief among investors that 18 months of tense and tortuous negotiation were ensuring nothing much will change during a transition period due to last until the end of 2020.

EU officials said there was a solid consensus that remaining smaller differences should not hold up a final deal for Sunday, as the other 27 governments go through the new paperwork.

Full article here: https://bnn-news.com/uk-and-eu-reach-agreement-on-draft-declaration-over-future-ties-194186

WARNING: Latvian president has «Plan B» if parties fail to pick a prime minister candidate on their own

If parties involved in government formation talks fail to pick a prime minister candidate on their own by Monday, 26 November, they might not get a second chance, said Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

The president did not hide the fact that he has a ‘Plan B’ at the ready. He did not say what this plan entails, however. He only said «parties may not like it». The president did mention that this ‘Plan B’ does not include Saeima’s dissolution.

«I have given them [parties] time until Monday to pick a prime minister candidate. 26 November, you could say, is a critical moment. If parties fail to reach an agreement by then, they will not be given this right again,» said the president.

When asked about the possibility of including Harmony in the new government, the president reminded that not a single party elected to the Saeima has mentioned any desire to work with Harmony. This means such a scenario is not possible at the moment.

Full article here: https://bnn-news.com/latvian-president-has-plan-b-if-parties-fail-to-pick-a-prime-minister-candidate-on-their-own-194201


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania to hold referendum on reducing number of MPs

A referendum on reducing the number of lawmakers to 121 from the existing 141 will be held on May 12 alongside the presidential election in Lithuania, the country's parliament has decided after 58 lawmakers voted in favour on Thursday, February 14, 42 were against and two abstained.

Latvian President: All should acknowledge constitutional values as their own

At the anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, President Raimonds Vējonis, urged everyone in Latvia «to acknowledge the values of the Constitution as one's own and be ready to stand for the basic law both in big issues and in aspects of daily life».

Court rules EUR 200 thousand bail for criminal suspect of Riga transport firm

A court in the Latvian capital has set at 200 000 euros the bail money for ex-board chairman of the Riga public transport company Rīgas satiksme, who is a suspect in the criminal case over possible corrupt procurement dealings at the municipal firm.

Grave terror attack shakes Kashmir, conflict region of India, Pakistan

A terror attack has taken place in the disputed region of Kashmir, a long source of argument between India and Pakistan, taking the lives of 44 people.

British parliament rejects government's approach to Brexit talks

As the government of the United Kingdom sought the backing of the British Parliament to its strategy for the remaining weeks of Brexit talks with the European Union, a motion endorsing the government's strategy was rejected with a majority of 45 votes.

Lithuanian lawmakers set to backtrack on «Norwegian-type» child welfare protection

The Lithuanian lawmakers have sent this week a mixed message on their resolve to root out child abuse in Lithuanian families. As the MPs backtracked from the stringent Norwegian-type child welfare protection law to a more lenient one, not-criminalizing corporal punishment in certain cases, some experts warn that the reverse can trigger a spike of child abuse cases.

Drivers warned in Latvia as roads slippery in warmer temperatures

Black frost is hampering driving on Latvia's main and regional roads. The road administration body Latvijas Valsts ceļi (LVC) says that maintenance teams are covering the roads with antiskid materials and advises drivers to be very careful.

Programmer, physiotherapist and pilot – top professions on Latvian Job Shadow Day

The Job Shadow Day 2019 was held on February 13 in Latvia and the professions of programmer, physiotherapist and pilot were the most attractive as 1 545 companies offered the chance to follow working specialists throughout the day, according to the data by Junior Achievement Latvia.

Macedonia starts name-change from signs to currency, passports

Macedonia's official gazette has published the name-change agreement, launching a campaign of renaming the country as North Macedonia and allowing for its accession to NATO and eventually the European Union.

Dozens of British ex-ambassadors call for delay of Brexit

A group of over 40 British ex-ambassadors have urged the country's Prime Minister Theresa May to delay the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, British media report.

Port of Ventspils sees 40% boost in cargo turnover on year

Cargo turnover at the Freeport of Ventspils has in January 2019, compared to the respective month in 2018, jumped by 40.12% or 593 tonns, according to data from the Port Administration.

New CEO of Rail Baltic project is Finnish railway executive Riihimäki

To advance the pan-Baltic railway project, the Supervisory Board of RB Rail AS has appointed Timo Riihimäki as Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Management Board of the Rail Baltica Joint Venture.

Latvian PM sees no chance no significantly raise teacher salaries in 2019

Despite promises to teachers made by the previous government, Latvia is currently unable to significantly raise the wages of teachers, because it would require either increasing the budget deficit or higher taxes, Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš has told on Wednesday, in an interview with LNT's programme 900 sekundes.

Estonian startups attract EUR 328 million in 2018

The Estonian startup sector has in 2018 attracted combined investments of 328 million euros with Taxify, Pipedirve and Monese being the top performers, according to calculations by Startup Estonia.

U.S. sees power vacuum in Eastern Europe as exploited by Russia, China

U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo evaluated that in Eastern Europe, China and Russia endanger the democratic and free-market gains made since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 by the means of predatory investment and political meddling.

Ukraine peace agreement not fulfilled, UN finds

The Minsk peace accord of 2015 stands unimplemented in eastern Ukraine as over 3,300 people have been killed and 1.5 million people displaced in the five-year conflict, U.N. officials stated.

Latvian conductor Nelsons wins Grammies in U.S.

Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons has added two Grammy music awards to his list of honours for the work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. At the Grammy music awards ceremony in the U.S. on Sunday, February 10, the Latvian won the prize for the best orchestral performance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the record Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4&11.

Riga Mayor survives another no-confidence vote

The embattled Mayor Riga Nils Ušakovs has survived a vote of no-confidence as the opposition parties criticised him over corruption scandals involving the Riga City Council.

Justice Minister: Justice does exist in Latvia, but it's selective

«I'm in politics precisely, because as a citizen and a lawyer, I wasn't satisfied with the influence on the court and political system from people, operating outside these spheres. To my mind, this influence is the reason of long trials in Latvia. Another problem is the lack of specialists, who could solve economic crimes – if politicians would be very interested in this, many cases would have been solved over the past ten years. There are two options: there have either been unprofessional politicians, or they have been interested in having the situation remain the way it was,» said Latvian Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns in an interview with the BNN.

Spain starts historic trial against Catalan independence figures

Spain is beginning court proceedings against 12 leaders of the region of Catalonia for their role in the region's independence referendum and the subsequent declaration of separation from Spain.

Estonia convicts ex-army officer, his father for treason

A court in Tallinn has convicted ex-officer of the Estonian Defence Forces, Deniss Metsavas, his father for state treason, finding them guilty of selling state secrets to Russian intelligence.

Troubles continue in Latvian anti-establishment party KPV LV

In the Latvian anti-establishment party KPV LV, Saeima member Linda Liepiņa has decided to leave the post of the party's Co-chairperson and member of the board.

Thaw and warm temperatures expected in Latvia this week

The weather in Latvia, in the first part of the week will be mostly warm for winter-time and precipitation in the form of rain and wet snow can be expected, according to a weekly forecast from the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Defence Minister: Deployment of allied missiles in Latvia is «dreaming»

The issue of the deployment of the missiles of allied forces in Latvia is far from being relevant, «it's dreaming», commented Latvian Defence Minister on Monday, February 11, in an interview with LTV's news programme Rīta panorāma

Hungary' s mothers of four to be exempt from paying income tax

In Hungary, the government is boosting financial support to families with several children, according to measures presented by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. On Sunday, February 10, the significant measures announced by Viktor Orbán during an annual address, encouraging women to have more children.

Newest comments