Latviski English По-русски
Friday 03.04.2020 | Name days: Daira, Dairis

Saeima says state of emergency in Riga’s waste management sector is justified

(No Ratings Yet)

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

Latvia’s Saeima has approved the decision made by the Cabinet of Ministers on declaring a state of emergency in Riga’s waste management sector.

This means that last week’s declared state of emergency remains in force.

59 deputies voted in favour of the state of emergency and 24 voted against. One Saeima deputy abstained in the vote.

In his speech addressed to the Saeima, Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce recounted the reasons why the state of emergency was declared. According to him, the state of emergency should be maintained; otherwise emergency measures lose their power.

Saeima deputy Artūrs Toms Plešs comments: «If Riga City Council failed to take care of residents, then we have to do it in the Saeima.»

Deputy Sandis Riekstiņš stresses that the situation in Riga is not an emergency, because problems have been known for years and no action was taken, allowing the situation to escalate. His party member Krišjānis Feldmans bashed the situation in the capital, which emerged as a result of monopoly. He also bashed the management of Riga City Council.

Non-party Saeima deputy Didzis Šmits also referenced the alleged desire of certain politicians to take revenge against Riga City Council management. «As a result, they take revenge against Riga’s residents,» said Šmits. He stressed that Riga and Naples should not compete waste-wise, saying that he will support the state of emergency.

Artuss Kaimiņš, on the other hand, says decision-making power has the authority to decide differently than executive power. «As for concerns that it will not be possible to transport waste from Lidiņš – we will come up with something in three months. Society finally knows how the waste management business works,» said Kaimiņš, inviting the Saeima to not support the state of emergency.

During the meeting deputies also exchanged mutual insults. For example, Saeima deputy Juta Strīķe, referencing Šmits’ words, said: «I didn’t think political garbage would discuss garbage. But they did. Everything is fine!»

Strīķe also bashed Riga’s Mayor Oļegs Burovs, stressing that «Burovs is the name of the garbage situation».

Deputy Jānis Dombrava said it is negative to see Latvian parties argue with one another while the guilty parties sit quietly and celebrate. «How often do we resolve the problems Riga creates? The problem is not with the size of the municipality, but the size of its managers. Ušakovs, Turlajs, and Burovs are completely useless managers. They cannot properly manage their municipality,» said Dombrava, adding that dismissing the city council would be the right thing to do.

National Committee leader Jānis Vitenbergs reminded that the Competition Council had warned about the potential situation in the waste management sector well in advance. This is why CC should be supported. «We are solving Riga’s problems here. Perhaps we will have to take Riga City Council’s cats in our care, too?» asked the deputy.

Saeima deputy Sergejs Dolgopolovs concluded the parliament discusses everything except what should be discussed. According to him, the situation outlines a number of problems that should be resolved by the Saeima by different means, including changing the law. «Today we do not discuss how well or how poorly Riga City Council works. We discuss ways to avoiding future problems,» he said, adding that a state of emergency is needed.

«I am happy to see the coalition members argue with one another over a decision made by the government. Why do we even have opposition with this coalition?» asked deputy Viktors Valainis, stressing that a state of emergency is needed.

Non-party deputy Aldis Gobzems compared the process to a theatre, saying that the entire process had started several years ago. According to him, the critical situation was created by deputies of coalition parties in the current and the previous Saeima. Gobzems also blasted Riga City Council, whose procurement for waste management services was poor.

Saeima deputy Daniels Pavļuts said the process in the parliament today creates the impression that deputies are deciding on whether or not Competition Council is right. Pavļuts stressed that the government, when making the decision, considered all arguments and opinions. «No one in this hall has a monopoly for legal truth. […] We can insult one another and talk things out, but the Cabinet of Ministers had already considered all pros and cons when making the decision,» said Pavļuts, stressing that discussions in the Saeima urge the question if the parliament even trusts the judgement of the government it had previously approved.

«Colleagues from the opposition attempted to rile up deputies by saying we have split and that we are not united in regards to the government’s decision,» said deputy Linda Ozola, stressing that New Conservative Party’s decision does not mean a split in the government. She reminded that the government did not make the decision unanimously, adding that it is also necessary to respect Competition Council’s opinion.

After listening to opinions of Saeima deputies, Pūce concluded that the parliament will likely discuss other steps on Friday, 20 September.

Leave a reply

COVID-19 prompts Latvian government to involve army in border patrol with Belarus

Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks has issued an order for Latvian National Armed Forces (NBS) to provide support to the State Border Guard by sending national guardsmen to organize additional patrolling of the Latvian-Belarusian border, as confirmed by the minister.

Lithuania puts COVID-19-related prosecution above human rights

What should come first in a time of emergency like the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Obviously, order, but what about human rights?

Idleness rules will apply to companies with tax debts in Latvia

The idleness regulations in Latvia will apply to companies with tax debts, as provided by amendments to Latvian government rules approved on Thursday, 2 April, to rules on companies affected by COVID-19 and who qualify for idleness support and other benefits.

Court to enforce nearly 12 000 euros from Gobzems for defaming Bunkus family

Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court has partially satisfied the plea from the surviving members of the family of the murdered lawyer Mārtiņš Bunkus against Saeima deputy Aldis Gobzems over defamation. The court has decided to enforce EUR 11 833 from him, as confirmed from the deputy.

Spain registers unprecedented job loss as lethal cases of COVID-19 exceed 10 000

In Spain, nearly 900,000 jobs have been lost since mid-March during strict measures to fight the coronavirus. 10,000 Spaniards have died from the virus disease, BBC reports.

Emīls Jakrins becomes board chairman of restaurant business company Vincents

Ex-Riga City Council’s Transport Department’s head Emīls Jakrins has become board chairman of architecture, design and restaurant business company LLC Vincents, according to information from

Jānis Vitenbergs approved in Latvia’s Economy Minister's post

On Thursday, 2 April, Latvia’s Saeima approved parliamentarian Jānis Vitenbergs as the country’s economy minister.

Large mine closes in Estonia after one of 800 miners tested positive for COVID-19

In Estonia, it has been decided to close one of two large oil shale mines after one miner tested positive for COVID-19, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.

COVID-19 update in Baltics. 458 cases in Latvia, 649 in Lithuania, 858 in Estonia

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 458, growing by 12 cases in the past day. Meanwhile, Lithuanian media report 649 confirmed coronavirus infection cases.

Germany to keep gathering restrictions past Easter

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the situation with the outbreak of COVID-19 in Germany is far from being over as the government extended its strict rules for gathering in public places until April 19, DW reports.

Shuttle buses and express buses on hold in Riga

LLC Rīgas mikroautobusu satiksme has decided to shut down shuttle bus services on all routes in Riga until the state of emergency in Latvia is over, as confirmed by RMS.

Latvian government to finance COVID-19 crisis prevention efforts from state budget

Efforts to overcome the direct negative effects from COVID-10 crisis will be financed from the state budget. After the crisis, however, the economy will be stimulated using EU funds, as decided by Finance Minister Jānis Reirs’ led work group for support of entrepreneurship and the employed on Wednesday, 1 April.

EU planning lending programme to support temporary work schemes

EU member states would guarantee the creation of a fund up to 100 billion euros aimed at providing loans to governments to support workers in countries hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission plans, according to EurActiv.

Minister: repatriation efforts may be restarted mid-April

Repatriation efforts may be restarted in the middle of April, said Latvia’s Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits on 1 April at a conference of Latvian municipalities on public transport and traffic during a state of emergency.

Saeima committee supports writing off debts left from 2008 crisis

On Wednesday, 1 April, Latvian Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee conceptually supported during a remote meeting the proposal to allow credit institutions to one-sidedly write off debts for mortgage loans taken prior to the 2008 economic crisis, as reported by Saeima press-service.

Belarus introduces ban on buckwheat exports

Belarusian government has prohibited temporarily the export of buckwheat and other staple foods, state news agency BelTA reported.

Moscow tests app for tracking infected people required to self-isolate

In Moscow, where a lockdown has been in place since the beginning of the week, a new smartphone app is being developed and tested aimed at ensuring that patients with mild symptoms adhere to their contract of self-isolation, Russian state news agency TASS reports.

Multiple of Nature Protection Office’s duties delegated to the State Environment Service

Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry issued an order on 30 March to delegate multiple duties of the Nature Protection Office to the State Environment Service, according to information from LETA.

Latvian State Employment Agency received notifications for numerous planned lay-offs

Latvia’s State Employment Agency has received notification about planned lay-offs of 3 258 employees of 19 companies.

1 April onward entry to Jurmala by car will not be allowed without paying 2 euro fee

Wednesday, 1 April, marks the beginning of the the season when entry to Jurmala by car will require a 2 euro fee, as reported by Jurmala City Council.

Estonia looking at mass tests’ option to determine latency of COVID-19

The Estonian government has set itself the goal of mass tests of COVID-19 in the society, its Foreign Minister has revealed as the worst-hit Baltic country is looking at ways to overcome the outbreak, Estonian public broadcaster reports.

COVID-19 update in Baltic. 446 in Latvia, 581 in Lithuania, 779 in Estonia

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 446. Meanwhile, Lithuanian media report 581 cases.

Countries rush to support production of lung ventilators, essential amid pandemic

Governments and medical institutions in the world seek to acquire many lung ventilators that can save lives in severe cases of the COVID-19 disease. France and Israel have made recent announcements in this respect, German public broadcaster DW reports.

Public catering companies to adopt new hygiene requirements as of 1 April

Latvia’s Agriculture Ministry has expanded requirements for public catering and retail trade companies, BNN was told by the ministry.

At least 26 healthcare workers in Latvia confirmed infected with COVID-19

At least 26 healthcare workers in Latvia have been infected with COVID-19, according to information reported by the Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre expert Jurijs Perevoščikovs.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!