Latviski English По-русски
Tuesday 21.08.2018 | Name days: Linda, Janīna

Emotional debates break out in Saeima in regards to automatic access to state secrets

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUDuring the last meeting, very emotional debates in regards to automatic issue of access to official secrets were held. Proposals were voiced both in support of this and against. The proposal was declined in the end.

One of the supporters of this proposal, Valdis Kalnozols, said that Saeima deputies are representatives of the nation. ‘Stretch, straighten shoulders and scrape off all remains of your souls! Let’s show an example for residents on being the best rulers,’ said the parliamentarian calling for automatic provision of access to state secrets for deputies as well. «We, not the security services, are Latvia’s highest power. Our voters have entrusted us with representing Latvia’s interests,» said Kalnozols.

Kārlis Krēsliņš also voiced support for this proposal. He explained that Saeima’s Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee asked during a meeting how this matter is resolved in the EU and NATO member states. No answer was given in the end.

Jānis Ādamsons suggested supporting a similar proposal submitted by him. This proposal states that no special permit is needed for Saeima deputies that take office after giving an oath and signing a commitment to not divulge official secrets.

The parliamentarian said that the Constitution states that sovereign power in Latvia belongs to the people, who delegate 100 representatives to defend their interests. «But now certain officials question if 100 national representatives are even able to perform their duties. Such a decision is made by people who have not enjoyed trust from society,» said Ādamsons, proposing avoiding ‘pressure and puppeteers’.

But even Ādamsons’ proposal was rejected by the majority in the Saeima.

Saeima member Aleksejs Loskutovs sarcastically said that he ‘likes’ the argument of deputies proposing looking at themselves as carriers of the highest power in the country. «The country in which this principle works to the fullest is not that far away geographically,» said the politician, saying that in Britain the Queen does not have a driver’s licence. «Then, perhaps, if we are above all else, we should be provided with a driver’s license automatically as well?» Loskutovs rhetorically asked, inviting colleagues to be more realistic. He emphasized that checks for access to official secrets should be performed for deputies as well.

Parliamentarian Edvards Smiltēns said that it is no surprise that Harmony members «try to discredit Latvia’s state security institutions» in a situation of an ongoing information war. Nevertheless, «it is surprising that the same argument and style is used to defend this idea by a member of the political party of the ruling prime minister,» he added. Imants Parādnieks says Kalnozols wants other members of the parliament to be serious about their duties all the while being less than serious himself.

Jānis Dombrava emphasized that the proposal for automatic provision of access to official secrets would hurt Latvia. The deputy believes that it is more important to talk about how security services have not been sufficiently strict in their duties lately. «Because it is not clear to me how [Ilze] Pētersone-Godmane could stay in important posts for so many years and be provided with access to official secrets,» said the politician. He also said that some of the people previously provided with access to official secrets include Ainārs Šlesers, Andris Šķēle and Aigars Kalvītis – people known for lobbying Russia’s interests in Latvia.

In response, Kalnozols rhetorically asked why his colleague and other deputies do not love the Constitution. «Do you ignore and spit on the Constitution?! It clearly states: the Saeima checks the authority of its members on its own,» he said.

Artuss Kaimiņš also provided his opinion on Kalnozols’ opinion. «I think you really are crazy! You must not be provided with access of any kind,» said Kaimiņš. For this statement, he earned a remark from Saeima speaker Ināra Mūrniece about breaching the ethics code.

Saeima member Kārlis Seržants warned that proposed changes cannot be supported, saying that the proposal would cause distrust among NATO member states. Parliamentarian Ingmārs Līdaka mentioned that Kalnozols is not serious with his ideas.


Leave a reply

Greece ends receiving loans as part of its huge bailout programme

Greece arrived at the end of its financial borrowing programme from international lenders on Monday, emerging from the country's and eurozone's most difficult times in recent history.

Unemployment in Estonia at lowest level since 2008

The unemployment rate in Estonia was 5,1% in the second quarter of 2018, which is the lowest level in the last ten years, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Tens of thousands sing to mark Estonia's restoration of independence

52,772 people have joined a singing event to mark the anniversary of the restoration of Estonian independence, with the majority of the singers singing along on the internet.

India hit by devastating floods

Southern India has been hit by the most devastating torrential rain floods in a century, as 186 people have lost their lives and several thousand soldiers have been deployed to save many affected residents.

Week in Lithuania. Probe finds no «drastic» EU differences in prices of non-food goods

A price comparison probe by Lithuania's Justice Ministry and the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority (SCRPA) has found no «drastic» differences in the prices of non-food goods in Lithuania and other EU countries. Justice Vice Minister Irma Gudžiūnaitė said that Eurostat's figures for 2017 show that the level of footwear and clothing prices in Lithuania makes 105 per cent of the EU average. The probe was carried out by the price comparison cite for the Justice Ministry and SCRPA. It compared 60 different non-good items in 12 EU countries on August 7.

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

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Progress; Change; Contest; Announcement; Future; Politicians.

Eurostat: Latvia had inflation rate higher than average in EU and Eurozone

In July, Latvia’s inflation rate was higher than the average in Europe and Eurozone, according to data published by Eurostat.

Presence of Latvian milk reduces, whereas presence of imported milk increases in Latvia

The proportion of milk produced in Latvia is starting to lose to imported milk, as concluded by Central Union of Latvian Dairy Farmers chairman Jānis Šolks.

Seven previously convicted candidates crossed from Saeima election lists

On Friday, 17 August, the Central Election Commission decided to cross out seven previously convicted deputy candidates. The decision regarding one more candidate has been postponed until the next meeting, as confirmed by the commission.

Aspiring prosecutors «drop out» in tests – half of contenders fail second stage of tests

Approximately half of aspiring prosecutor candidates has failed the second portion of tests for general and judicial knowledge.

Riga International Airport concludes first half-year with turnover increase of 13%

Riga International Airport concluded the first half-year of 2018 with turnover increase of 13% when compared to the same period of 2017, according to the airport’s unaudited and shortened account for the six-month period before 30 June 2018.

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.

CEC to decide on four candidates’ possible relation to KGB

Latvia’s Central Election Commission has received results of investigations of all 13th Saeima election candidates from Interior Affairs Ministry’s Information Centre and Latvian Centre for the Documentation of the Consequences of Totalitarianism.

Concord will have to include bread distribution costs in kebab café in its pre-election expenditures

Political party Concord will have to include in its 13th Saeima pre-election campaign expenditures the money spent by one of its candidates on distributing bread to pensioners free of charge in a kebab café in Bolderāja, as reported by TV3 news.

Weekends expected to be warm and at times hot in Latvia

On Friday, 17 August, the sky will partially cloudy again in Latvia, but no major precipitation is expected. Fog may form is certain regions at night thanks to slow wind speed. Maximum air temperature is expected to be around +22° C… +26° C. Night-time air temperature will stay at +11° C… +16° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Latvia’s State Audit requests additional funding to invest in workers

State Audit has requested additional funds in next year’s budget to invest in employees, as head of the institution Elita Krūmiņa mentioned in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Nearly half of children born in Latvia in 2017 were delivered by mothers with higher education

20,828 children were born in Latvia in 2017. Almost half of them were born to mothers having higher education. Out of the total number of newborn children mothers, 7,229 or 34.7 % had acquired upper secondary general or vocational education and 2,775 or 13.3 % had basic education or lower.

«Steel Magnolia» named Lithuania's most influential politician for fourth consecutive year

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, dubbed as «Steel Magnolia» by foreign press, remains the most influential politician in the country for the fourth consecutive year. In two separate polls, one by the popular ratings magazine Reitingai and the other by pollster Spinter Tyrimai, she appeared on top, being followed by Saulius Skvernelis, Prime Minister, Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), Valdas Adamkus, ex-president, and Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuania's first post-independence leader.

Ex-director: 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.

Star Rating determines the best schools in Latvia

According to the 2018 Star Rating, Riga State Gymnasium No.1 remains in the lead among Latvia’s schools. Daugavpils Russian Secondary School – Lyceum is second, and Riga State Gymnasium No.2 is third.

ABLV Bank assets worth EUR 21.052 million were recovered in July

Liquidators of ABLV Bank have recovered assets worth EUR 21.052 million in July. This includes EUR 11.602 million recovered from issued loans, EUR 7.644 million from recovered/sold securities, EUR 1,792 million from loans provided to credit institutions, and EUR 14,000 from sales of real estate and other types of property, according to the account published in Latvian Herald.

Concerns over Turkish crisis cause world stock market decline

Stock prices around the world took a massive dive on Wednesday, 15 August, as concerns over Turkish crisis’ possible influence and investors’ attempts to get rid of risky assets surfaced again.

Election commission receives word some candidates’ possible non-compliance with the law

Latvia’s Central Election Commission has received information regarding possible non-compliance of multiple deputy candidates with requirements of the Saeima Election Law, says CEC chairman Arnis Cimdars.

African swine fever found in domestic pigs in Saldus; inspectors investigate illness in Unguri

African swine fever has been found in domestic pigs in Saldus Country’s Zaņa Parish. The infection was found in four domestic pigs. It cannot be excluded that ASF may have entered SIA Druvas Unguri farm’s pig enclosure along with sawdust or cars, as reported by Food and Veterinary Service Public Relations Office manager Ilze Meistere.

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.

Newest comments