bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 15.08.2018 | Name days: Dzelde, Zenta, Zelda
LatviaLatvia

Saeima deputies allocated record-large amount of money for «friend projects»

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe money of Latvia’s budget for next year allocated not with the intention to solve problems in priority industries but rather to satisfy desires of certain politicians and their lobby groups has reached an astonishing new peak – EUR 27.9 million, according to estimates, as reported by Ir.

The Saeima has reviewed and approved 368 proposals in relation to the next year’s budget. Members of the parliament agreed to allocate funding for specific projects submitted by deputies or factions. The so-called deputy quotas are basically the division of taxpayers’ money outside the government’s planned budget funds. Decisions made by deputies have no criteria. Because of that, this practice is actively criticized for their non-compliance with good management principles. But this year, Saeima deputies have managed to allocate an unprecedented amount of money as part of those quotas. While discussions in September mentioned amount reaching EUR 2.8 million, the final agreed upon amount turned out ten times larger.

To support deputies’ proposals, Saeima has agreed to provide EUR 27,884,245 from the state budget for 2017 to large infrastructure projects in municipalities to a couple of hundred projects planned by small organizations.

The largest sums of money will be spent financing projects from the three ruling parties – UGF, Unity and the National Alliance. Factions and their politicians have submitted proposals – UGF has submitted projects worth EUR 5.4 million, Unity has submitted projects worth EUR 4.4 million and NA has submitted projects worth a total of EUR 4.4 million of taxpayer money.

As previously reported, independent deputy Artuss Kaimins has expressed his dissatisfaction and shock with the parliament’s approved budget. «I’ve never seen such a robbery as massive as the one that happened tonight,» – Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimins on Thursday, 24 November, after the night the Saeima approved the next year’s budget. According to him, while Latvia’s people were sleeping, the parliament was busy reviewing the new budget, wasting EUR 27 million of taxpayer money in the process.

«I don’t know a word more appropriate than robbery, because it was deputies’ vote-buying before elections. I don’t think taxpayers should buy for publication of a book or street repairs, roof change for churches and the digitization of museum archives. All of its falls in line with deputies’ quotas – EUR 20,000 for each of them,» – Kaimins told Rīta panorama, adding that ‘EUR 10-11 million of the EUR 27 million would end up in Lembergs’ municipality’.

«I asked [Prime Minister Maris] Kucinskis why we’d have to approve the budget at night within 20 hours as though Latvia was in a state of war. I was told that it is a tradition left from the Supreme Council – the communist era, it seems. As long as our country is ruled by former communists – Brigmanis, Lembergs, Reirs, Piebalgs and Ameriks, nothing will change, and people will continue leaving the country,» – Kaimins said.

According to him, the 2017 budget is the coalition’s, not the taxpayers’, budget. In it, the coalition has divided money among themselves to serve their own interests. Kaimins urges residents to pay close attention to and engage in political processes, otherwise «the State Treasury will be brutally robbed in the night. […] It is and aggressive budget built on the shoulders of the country’s taxpayers».

Delna Society for Openness emphasizes that ‘deputy quotas’ primarily serve the purpose of promoting political parties, not public interests. Deputy quotas allow parties to use state resources to bribe voters into supporting them in the upcoming summer elections. Use of state resources to sponsor people close to political parties does not comply with good management principles and priorities listed in the state policy planning documents. This kind of practice should not be taken for granted. It should be condemned and combated, Delna notes.

Especially generous amounts will be allocated to Ventspils, which is managed by the Union of Greens and Farmers. Ventspils will receive EUR 4 million in the 2017 state budget. The money will be allocated for the development of Ventspils Olympic Centre’s infrastructure, Ventspils international radio-astronomy centre’s development project and Ventspils Music School infrastructure development project.

Multi-million infrastructure projects are not considered acute problems the municipality is unable to solve on its own. In addition, Ventspils Music School has already received EUR 15 million funding from the emission allowances auctioning tender, Delna emphasized.

Ref: 102.109.109.6701


Leave a reply

Culture Ministry announces open contest for post of director of Rundale Castle Museum

Latvia’s Culture Ministry invites contenders to apply for participation in an open contest for the post of director of Rundale Castle Museum. Contenders can submit their applications before 14 September.

Lithuania’s Central Bank to assess information about Latvian VIA SMS Group

Lithuania’s Central Bank has promised to assess information regarding Latvian VIA SMS Group working in the country. This decision is a reaction to the statement made by Seimas National Security and Defence Committee member Arvydas Anušauskas that people associated with former Parex Banka owners work in that company.

Small wineries in Latvia will be allowed to use only local products

Members of Saeima’s Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee supported amendments to the Handling of Alcoholic Beverages Law, stating that small breweries will be allowed to use products grown only in Latvia.

How successful are businesses owned by Saeima deputies? UGF members at the top

Currently politicians in Latvia who own shares in businesses and are also true beneficiaries in capital associations are in the minority. Information compiled by Lursoft shows that 35 Saeima deputies and members of the Cabinet of Ministers own shares in businesses.

Investigation: police arrest man who rammed car into a crowd of people in London

Police in London have arrested a man suspected of ramming barriers outside the parliament building and injuring multiple people in the process.

Number of visitors serviced at Latvian accommodation establishments up 11.3%

A total 772.3 thousand visitors stayed at Latvian tourist accommodation establishments in Q2 2018, which is 11.3 % more than in Q2 2017.

Ministry drops plans to allow doctor assistants rights to write referrals

Latvia’s Healthcare Ministry has dropped the proposal supported by multiple doctor organizations to allow doctor assistants write referrals, according to the project of rules for the organization of healthcare services approved at the state secretaries meeting.

Latvia to test its National Armed Forces’ state defence capabilities

The largest military drills in Latvia’s history – Namejs 2018 – will be taking place in the country from 20 August to 2 September. The goal of this military exercise is to test and improve the country’s National Armed Forces’ readiness to defend the country on their own and as part of a collective defence system, Defence Ministry says.

Insolvency administrator recovered EUR 320,500 from Trasta komercbanka in July

The administrator of the liquidated Trasta komercbanka has recovered EUR 320,501 in July 2018, which is much more than the amount recovered a month prior, when EUR 5,054 was recovered, according to information published by Latvian Herald.

Latvian parties promise to shorten length of judicial proceedings

Political parties that plan to participate in upcoming Saeima elections promise significantly reducing the length of judicial proceedings. They also promise to cancel the opportunity to appeal court verdicts in certain criminal cases, as well as perform a general modernization of the judicial system, according to LETA’s compilation of parties’ programmes.

Wooden promenade collapsed in Spain during festival, injuring 313 people

313 people were injured when a boardwalk collapsed during a sports and music festival in the City of Vigo, in the north-west of Spain, as reported by officials.

Insolvent Tosmare Shipyard plans to lay off workers

Tosmare Shipyard, which has been declared insolvent recently, has plans to lay off workers, as reported by LTV.

French police do not allow Latvian activists to carry flag up to Mont Blanc

Police in France stopped the expedition attempted by climbers from Latvia when they attempted to carry a pole and Latvia’s flag to the peak of Mont Blanc, as reported by The Times.

Minister: Economy Ministry’s proposed plan to abolishment of MPC is not the best solution

Economy Ministry’s proposal to abolish mandatory procurement component fee in three years’ time is not the best solution, said Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Construction output in Latvia increased 31.6% in Q2 2018

Compared to Q2 2017, construction output increased by 31.6 % in Q2 2018. Construction output rise was observed in construction of buildings, civil engineering and specialised construction activities.

SEB Bank survey: 40% of youngsters want to have their own business

Youngsters in Latvia are more ambitious that their neighbours in Lithuania and Estonia and wish to start their own business in the future. 36% of Latvian youngsters aged 18 to 25 have plans to start a business. 4% of them already have a business of their own.

Bank of Latvia acquires securities worth EUR 7.187 billion

As part of European Central Bank’s Public Sector Securities Purchase Program, the Bank of Latvia procured at the end of July securities of international organizations in Latvia and Eurozone worth EUR 7.187 billion, according to information published by the Bank of Latvia.

SLC: there is a desire to please businessmen in language matter

Every now and then a desire to please businessmen, foreigners and investors is noticed in state administration, which surfaces in the form of additional freedoms, said State Language Centre’s director Māris Baltiņš in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

airBaltic: 7-8% of planes fully occupied in summer months

In summer months 7-8% of passenger aircraft of Latvian national airBaltic airline are fully occupied, says airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss.

Baltcom: merge of LMT and Lattelecom is unavoidable in the future

The merge of mobile communications operator Latvijas Mobilais Telefons and telecommunications company Lattelecom is unavoidable in the future, says Baltcom manager Nicolas Boissin.

Weather in Latvia expected to be warm, rainy and windy this week

On Monday, 13 August, high atmospheric pressure area will increase from the east. With that, precipitation will back away. Air temperature will reach +18° C… +23° C during the day and +10° C… +15° C at night, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. Ministry initiates swift eviction of Lukiškės Prison

The Ministry of Justice seeks swift eviction of Lukiškės Remand Prison from central Vilnius.

BNN summary of the week: 13th Saeima candidates; Europe’s G-Spot; Latvia’s digital government

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Announcement; Proposal; Expenses; Change; Opposition; Accusation.

IKEA owns approximately 90,000 ha of forests in Latvia

Ever since IKEA Group’s Netherlands-based IRI Investments has become the sole owner of Foran Real Estate, IKEA now owns approximately 90,000 ha of forested land in Latvia, says IRI Forest Management SRL public relations manager Raluka Buzja.

Hot summer causes ice cream sales go up 50% in Latvia

Thanks to a long and hot summer, Latvian residents have been able to enjoy Mediterranean climate and expand their diets with different cool additions, says SIA Rimi Latvia senior public relations specialist Anete Ezeriete.