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Wednesday 29.01.2020 | Name days: Valērijs, Aivars

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

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

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.

Having heard the news, many politicians showed interest in using it for necessary investments. Latvian Prime Minister (New Unity) said that the decision on using the money should be made by the government. To his mind, it would be most appropriate to use it in a one-off infrastructure investment. Meanwhile, Ukraine, with its President visiting Latvia this week, has voiced its interest in the money noting that it had been linked to former high-ranking Ukrainian officials.

The Latvian parliament made last week a historic decision: to end from the year 2020 granting the status of a non-citizen to children born to non-citizen parents and to grant the new-borns Latvian citizenship if the parents do not object to it.

The BNN provides a summary of the key news stories of this week told in the topics of: Unexpected millions, Non-citizen children, Ousted president, Municipality reform, Strike, Subsidies, Pension reform, Another pause and Fire.

UNEXPECTED MILLIONS

Confiscated EUR 29 mln: Latvia waiting for evidence from Ukraine

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Latvian and Ukrainian Presidents

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.

The Latvian President met with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy and discussed the matter on Wednesday, October 16.

«There is an agreement with Ukraine that it would provide the respective evidence. I think that this issue will be solved,» said Levits. He added that the Latvian court proceedings, as part of which the money has been confiscated, have not been finished yet.

Read more here.

NON-CITIZEN CHILDREN

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

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

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.

The draft law was supported by 60 members of the Saeima out of the total of 100.

Read more here.

OUSTED PRESIDENT

Latvian football loses its head as Gorkšs ousted from federation chair

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

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

After a series of poor international results by the Latvian national football team, the decision was passed on Thursday, October 17, with 67 of a total of 129 votes going against Gorkšs, a former captain of the national team and a former British League One defender.

Read more here.

MUNICIPALITY REFORM

Government decides: Latvia will have 39 municipalities

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

The Latvian government has backed the draft Law on Administrative Territories and Populated Places that sets forth cutting the number of municipalities in Latvia from 119 to 39.

According to the draft law, after the reform, the Baltic state would have 34 municipalities of populated places and rural territories called ‘novadi’ and cities of republican significance: Riga, Jūrmala, Daugavpils, Liepāja and Rēzekne.

Read more here.

STRIKE

Latvian medical workers to hold unprecedented protests against funding cuts

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Latvian Trade Union of Health and Social Care Workers has decided to hold protests it calls unprecedented against state budget plans that would result in reduced funding for health care, according to the LVSADA Council.

The trade union announced that its planned protests would be widespread, would include a warning strike, a march and rally in combination with a claim in the Latvian Constitutional Court.

Read more here.

SUBSIDIES

Rīgas satiksme expects profits, yet asks EUR 140 mln from Riga budget

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Interim board chairman of Rīgas satiksme Ernests Saulītis

Rīgas satiksme, the municipal transport company plans to end the year 2019 with a 1.3-million-euro profit, and yet it will request a large subsidy from the Latvian capital for 2020 as well, says the company’s interim board chairman Ernests Saulītis.

The scandal-plagued transport company asked for the year 2019 a subsidy of 139 million euros, but was allocated 130 million euros. In 2018 and 2017, it received 131 million euros and 122 million euros, respectively.

Read more here.

ANOTHER PAUSE

Court proceedings of Lembergs could restart only in 2020

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

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

The court explained that the criminal department of the Riga Regional Court evaluated the volume of case materials lawyer Genādijs Ivankins is yet to read, in order to prepare his speech for debates, decided to give him time until January 12, 2020.

Read more here.

PENSION REFORM

Estonian pension reform expected later in 2019

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Estonian Social Affairs Minister Tanel Kiik

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.

Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports that Social Affairs Minister Tanel Kiik (Centre Party) said in an interview that the final draft of the pension reform bill has not landed on his desk yet. The reform’s working group has presented its results to the government and fundamental agreements are ready, while many questions still remain, such as tax policy, details of exiting the second pension pillar and other.

Read more here.

FIRE

Video: Evacuation in Lithuania amid fire at tyre recycling plant

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Alytus in southern Lithuania was hit by a cloud of black smoke from a fire at a large tyre recycling plant. A hospital nearby has been evacuated.

Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT reports that the fire broke out on Wednesday, October 16. Fire fighters from nearby towns and cities, including Kaunas, have been trying to extinguish the flames. The military has been called in to assist the effort which continues into Wednesday afternoon.

Smoke from burning tires is extremely harmful, so a rehabilitation hospital in Alytus has been evacuated. The town’s inhabitants are advised to stay indoors, cover water wells and not use the water for food.

Read more here.

 

Keywords: Latvia Ukraine


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