Archive for the Category ‘Latvia’

Gerhards refuses to speak Russian on TV

Gerhards refuses to speak Russian on TV

RIGA — Latvia’s transport minister walked out of the TV5 studio after insisting on speaking Latvian during a planned interview for a Russian-language news program. The incident immediately created a storm of controversy along Latvia’s well-trod language fault line, which in recent days underwent a sizable quake after Moscow’s mayor suggested that eventually Russian will […]

Urbanovičs: no deal with Par labu Latviju

Urbanovičs: no deal with Par labu Latviju

RIGA — Jānis Urbanovičs, Harmony Center’s prime minister candidate, downplayed suggestions that his party is planning on forming a government with the pro-business tandem For a Good Latvia (Par labu Latviju). In an interview with the Latvijas Avīze newspaper Urbanovičs said that he did not see the possibility for a forming a government with Par […]

Saeima eliminates excise tax on natural gas

Saeima eliminates excise tax on natural gas

RIGA — Despite calls for further austerity from the International Monetary Fund, Latvia’s approved the elimination of the excise tax on natural gas for the next year. The move is anticipated to cost the national government only 3 million to 5 million lats (€4.2 million to €7 million) in revenue. The bill easily passed the […]

Free transport for Riga pensioners

Free transport for Riga pensioners

RIGA — After increasing ticket prices by 25 percent late last year to make up for the elimination of government subsidies, Riga’s public transportation will now be available for free for unemployed pensioners. On Tuesday the Riga City Council approved the measure on Tuesday, and it is estimated to cost the already strapped Rīgas Satiksme […]

Ušakovs: PLL, Harmony Center coalition feasible

Ušakovs: PLL, Harmony Center coalition feasible

RIGA — Should Harmony Center win Latvia’s fall parliamentary election as polls are indicating it might, who would it form a coalition with? Given that no party is projected to come close to winning half the Saeima’s 100 seats, a coalition government is a forgone conclusion. During an interview Monday on the LNT morning news […]

Jūrmala seagulls dying en masse, cause unknown

Jūrmala seagulls dying en masse, cause unknown

RIGA – Many visitors to Jūrmala and several other Latvian beaches over the weekend were surprised to see that the noisy flocks of seagulls had vanished, leaving pigeons to reign over the suntanned masses. Finally on Monday it was reported why: seagulls are turning up dead in large numbers, and no one knows why. Ornithologists […]

Lembergs family bank accounts leaked

Lembergs family bank accounts leaked

RIGA – Publication of bank account documents that allegedly belong to the son and daughter of Ventpsils Mayor Aivars Lembergs has enlivened the already boisterous pre-election mood in Latvia. The documents, published on the Internet portal www.rokasgramata.com show two very lively personal accounts that have seen millions of dollars pass through them over the period […]

Former govt off the hook on Parex takeover

Former govt off the hook on Parex takeover

RIGA — Latvia’s prosecutor general announced Tuesday that the criminal investigation against the state officials for possible misconduct during the nationalization of Parex Bank will be dropped after nearly one year. The prosecutor general’s office said that it did not find any indications that decisions on the nationalization of the bank were made for any […]

World Bank praises Latvia

World Bank praises Latvia

RIGA — It appears Latvia’s international creditors are playing good cop, bad cop with the troubled Baltic state. While the International Monetary Fund is unwavering in pressing Latvia for additional cuts, saying on Friday that current plans are not going far enough to consolidate the country’s finances, the World Bank praised the Baltic state for […]

On video: Zatlers meets World Bank president

On video: Zatlers meets World Bank president

SIGULDA, Latvia — Latvian President Valdis Zatlers met with World Bank President Robert Zoellick on Monday to discuss the country’s economy and bailout package. Here is video coverage by the Latvian president’s office.

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