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Pessimism, soul-searching 20 years on

Pessimism, soul-searching 20 years on

RIGA – Latvia celebrated the 20th anniversary of the declaration of independence this week amid much pessimism and soul-searching brought on by the worst economic crisis in the country’s young history. Many politicians past and present had few good words to say about Latvia’s state of health 20 years on from the day the Supreme […]

Dombrovskis: 2011 cuts may be less

Dombrovskis: 2011 cuts may be less

RIGA – Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis has said that the 2011 may not need such drastic spending cuts as first envisioned thanks to growing tax revenues. Speaking on public radio Wednesday, the prime minister said while the exact number is still unclear, the budget consolidation — or expenditure cuts plus revenue increases — might comprise […]

Latvian unemployment up or down?

Latvian unemployment up or down?

RIGA — Latvia’s unemployment level underwent a slight uptick in April, according to officials, though European Union data shows that joblessness in the Baltic state was virtually unchanged and remains the highest in the 27-member bloc. Baiba Pasevica, head of the State Employment Agency, said that unemployment declined over the month to 16.8 percent of […]

Repše to retire from politics

Repše to retire from politics

RIGA – Latvia’s Minister of Finance Einars Repše will not ballot for the next parliament and intends to quit politics, his spokesman said Tuesday, though he will assist the parties he helped create, New Era and Unity, if his former colleagues ask him. Spokesman Aleksis Jarockis told the Delfi new portal that Repše has worked […]

Will the pro-biz tandem last?

Will the pro-biz tandem last?

RIGA — While last week’s announcement that two of Latvia’s so-called oligarchs will establish a bloc for the October elections did not come as a surprise, it still shuffles the political playing field and offers some clue as to what the next government may look like. The tandem of People’s Party chairman Andris Šķēle and […]

Riga permits sitting on park grass

Riga permits sitting on park grass

RIGA — Riga’s city council has reversed a long-standing, contentious prohibition and decided to allow people to sit in grassy areas in downtown parks. Fifty council members supported the decision Tuesday, while four abstained. The nearly unanimous decision comes after a seven-year ban of sitting in picturesque downtown parks such as Esplanade, Vērmane and Kronvald. […]

Volcano hurts business

Volcano hurts business

RIGA — Latvia’s aviation and tourism industry are incurring significant losses as a result of Europe’s airspace shutdown, with total damages likely to exceed 2 million lats (€2.8 million). The Latvian Hotel and Restaurant Association told Baltic Reports that if in the first days after airspace was shutdown Riga hotels saw a boom, with travelers […]

Deposed Kyrgyz president mulls Latvia

Deposed Kyrgyz president mulls Latvia

RIGA — Reports in recent days have indicated that the deposed president of Kyrgyzstan may take up residence in Latvia, though local officials here are stressing that they have not received any requests from Kurmanbek Bakiyev for asylum or residency. Bakiyev fled Kyrgyzstan on Thursday under a deal negotiated between opposition forces that seized power […]

Lawmakers block Maizītis

Lawmakers block Maizītis

RIGA – Latvian lawmakers unexpectedly blocked the reinstatement of General Prosecutor Jānis Maizītis, throwing a huge question mark over the future of both the prosecutor’s and the office’s anti-corruption efforts. Forty-seven deputies voted Thursday against Maizītis’ third term in the post, while 45 voted for and two ballots were declared invalid. The ballot was secret, […]

Room to expand

Room to expand

RIGA – The government’s decision last month to invest more than $30 million in airBaltic is stated to be a move intended to maintain the rapid development pace of the dynamic carrier but critics seems extravagant during Latvia’s current recession. Ministers confirmed to journalists late Tuesday that the government would indeed invest 15.6 million lats […]

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