bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 14.12.2018 | Name days: Gaisma, Auseklis
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

Estonia raises minimum wage

The minimum monthly wage in Estonia has been approved at the level of 540 euros, which is an increase from 500 euros.

This year e-signature was used to sign more than 5.7 million documents in Latvia

This year, e-signature was used more than half a million times a month in Latvia. A total of 5.7 million documents have been signed using this function in Latvia so far. More than 25,000 now use e-signature function on their smart-phones.

Trump distances himself from crimes committed by his lawyer

Reacting to the conviction of American lawyer Michael Cohen over campaign funding violations, U.S. President Donald Trump has distanced himself from the lawyer and accused him of attempts to embarrass Trump.

New Unity starts consultations with parties on forming government with Kariņš in charge

New Unity will insist on getting Finance Ministry in the new government, because it is only logical to have this ministry managed by the prime minister’s party, says NU representative and Saeima deputy Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš.

Strasbourg terrorist «neutralised» after opening fire on police

The attacker suspected of killing two people and injuring 12 more people at a Strasbourg Christmas market has been shot dead by French police.

Next week in Latvia to start off with snowfall

The end of the week is not expected to have any major weather changes in Latvia, whereas next week will start off with snowfall and gradual decline of air temperature, promises Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Court arrests Harmony sponsor and Honour to Serve Riga party member

Riga City Vidzeme District Court issued an arrest to businessman Aleksandrs Krjačeks on Thurday, 13 December. He was previously detained by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau in the criminal case regarding procurements organized by SIA Rīgas satiksme, as confirmed by the man’s lawyer Valdis Ulmanis.

Saeima: increase of doctors’ wages should be a government priority

When preparing the budget plan for the next three years, the government should allocate money for the 20% increase of doctors’ wages. This is provided by changes to Healthcare Financing Law, approved by the Saeima in two readings on Thursday, 13 December.

airBaltic to perform more flights between Riga and Liepaja

During a visit today in Liepaja CEO of Latvian airline airBaltic Martin Gauss announced that airBaltic will increase the number of domestic flights between Riga and Liepaja from three to five weekly as of summer season 2019.

Court arrests Škoda commercial director; CPCB request arrests for two more people

Latvian court has arrested Škoda commercial director Vladislav Kozak following a request from Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau in relation to the criminal case regarding procurements performed by Rīgas satiksme.

EY: investments in crypto currency offers have largely failed

86% of 141 initial crypto currency offers presented last year have lost value over the course of the first eight months of this year. Additionally 30% of them have lost nearly all of their value, according to Initial Coin Offerings study by EY.

Estonian criminal figure convicted in Ireland

A court in Ireland has convicted Estonian criminal figure Imre Arakas, finding him guilting of conspiracy to murder.

As income increase, housing becomes more accessible in all Baltic capitals

Housing Accessibility Index improved in all Baltic capitals in Q3 2018. The main factor for this was the growth of average net salaries. Additionally, beneficial economic development also improved households’ interest for housing acquisition, which was reflected both in increased activity on the apartment market and household loan portfolio growth.

Lithuanian PM suspects Kremlin-backed opposition behind teacher attacks

The nearer municipal council, presidential and EP elections, the more sparkles Lithuania’s political leadership spews out. With the linguistic weaponry exhausted in the Seimas, the party leaders seek help from intelligence services.

EP proposes stricter monitoring of militants returning to Europe to combat terrorism better

The European Parliament has presented proposals for better measures against radicalization, better data exchange and support of victims of terrorism, as well as several other proposals for European Union’s strategy for terrorism prevention.

Latvian media organizations found Media Ethics Council

On Wednesday, 12 December, Latvian Media Ethics Council was founded. It is a public organization meant to unite media organizations and legal persons associated with the media sector and supervise compliance with the council’s statutes and code of ethics, the council explains.

U.S. President's former lawyer sentenced to prison

The former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump has been handed a prison sentence for violations of the rules of election campaign. A New York court has sentenced Michael Cohen to three years in federal prison.

Latvian parties hear New Unity leader’s offer; opinions on coalition still differ

Political parties in Latvia are prepared to listen to New Unity and its prime minister candidate Krišjāņis Kariņš’s initiative in the government formation process.

British PM stays after no-confidence vote, attends EU summit

British Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a no-confidence vote in her ruling Conservative Party and on Thursday attends a summit of the European Union.

European Parliament ratifies EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

On Wednesday, 12 December, gave green light for EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, which is EU’s all-time largest mutual trade agreement.

Businessman Māris Martinsons brought to court. What will the court decide?

Businessman Māris Martinsons has been brought to testify in court. As it is known, he was detained by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau on 11 December.

Employers become more open to 3rd level pension contributions

Employers in Latvia have begun making more active contributions to 3rd level pension plans. Residents’ interest towards crating pension savings continues growing, too. Compared to the period of last year, the size of contributions to private pension funds has increased 10% in the first nine months of 2018.

Polish PM to call confidence vote

Polish head of government has voiced plans to call for a confidence vote to test parliamentary support for the ruling Law and Justice party cabinet.

30 searches and 8 detainees in Rīgas satiksme criminal case

In November 2018, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau commenced a criminal process in relation to procurements performed by Riga municipality’s SIA Rīgas satiksme. More than thirty searches were performed as part of the criminal process on Tuesday, 11 December.

Lithuania adopts budget, not raising pay to protesting teachers

The Lithuanian Seimas has passed the state budget for 2019, which includes more funds for defence, while not taking into account the funding demands of striking teachers.