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Wednesday 20.02.2019 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris
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Riga City Council discussion on pensioners’ benefits passes with exchange of harsh words

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIntention to provide pensioners of all countries discounts for public transport services at the same age was rejected by Riga City Council under loud discussions.

News that pensioners of other countries receive discounts on public transport services in Riga at an early age when compared to Latvian pensioners caused a resonance in society not long ago.

On Wednesday, 28 March, Riga City Council viewed amendments to regulations regarding discounts on public transport services in Riga. Although the initial objective was providing a 100% discount for orphans under the age of engaged in studies, as well as discuss the introduction of a registry for large families in Riga and application of discounts for shuttle buses that are planned to replace specific Rīgas satiksme routes, members of the city council did not miss the chance to address the matter with pensioners.

Deputies spent hours calling each other names and criticizing this problem. The opposition said that the ruling coalition with such discounts offers ‘dog shit in a candy wrap’. Members of the opposition invited coalition representatives ‘to stop stealing, scheming and living in accordance with Russian laws’, as well as providing equal treatment of all pensioners.

In response, coalition representatives invited members of the opposition to ask their representatives in the Saeima to establish pension age in Latvia at 55 years.

Discussions devolved into a shouting match when Harmony’s representative Aleksejs Roslikovs took the stand: «For three days I have listened to opinions that it is important to make important decisions and think about Latvia. What have I learned from all that? Former communist youth [Jānis] Bordāns who has grown up to be brutal communist? [Juta] Strīķe mentioned in one of her interviews that her parents refused to join the communist party on principle, adding that all the problems in Latvia appeared because there was no lustration». He added that he is worried about Bordāns because Strīķe is looking at him like an ‘unbalanced cannibal’.

Chaos erupted in the hall after those words. Strīķe asked the mayor to have Rosļikovs’ words evaluated by the Ethics Committee.

After a lengthy exchange of words, Bordāns took the stand, saying he can no longer respect Rosļikovs after what he said. «Before letting the Ethics Committee perform it evaluation, I expect you to apologize, because I’ve never been a communist. I take that as a deep insult. In the 90s I was the only one in the Saeima who admitted being written into the ranks of communist youth at the age of 14. What you just reminded me of is very disrespectful,» said Bordāns. Other members of the opposition also proceeded to shame Rosļikovs.

Mihails Kameņeckis decided to defend his associate from Harmony, saying that «our political atmosphere and work style is poor». «We all have to think what we say from the stand. Why, Miss Strīķe, do you think you are allowed to call us idiots? If we don’t change all this and don’t start respecting one another – nothing will change,» said Kameņeckis.

Regīna Ločmele – Luņova (Harmony) said the opposition is angry because the coalition had somehow ruined their pre-election campaign. «If we submit your every statement to court, all courtrooms would be filled – criminal and administrative alike. Try recalling everything you have said these past several months – we have been called fascists, idiots and god knows what else. You stand there, lying to everyone,» said the deputy.

Member of the National Alliance Baiba Broka submitted a proposal in accordance with which discounts for public transport services would not be provided to foreigners, except for citizens of European Union member states, European Economic Zone member states and Swiss Confederacy, as well as people without a country with permanent residence permits in Latvia. The same proposal was submitted by Strīķe.

Deputy Juris Pūce from the party For Latvia’s Development proposed introducing a regulation in accordance with which all non-working residents that have reached pension age stated in Latvia’s legislation, regardless of citizenship, would be provided with 100% discount on public transport services.

Before their submission to Riga City Council, those proposals had been submitted for review in committees. Both were rejected in the end.


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  1. zerry says:

    Well, Saskana is just like Moscow’s satellite puppet. On that bases we cannot expect anything creative or progress.

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