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Latvija in brief - 2012-12-13

Dec 12, 2012

The main task of the first congress of Latvia’s non-citizens, which will be organized next March, will be to draw the government’s attention to non-citizens’ problems in Latvia, a task force set up for the organization of the congress said on Dec. 4, reports LETA. The task force explained that naturalization is one of the problems that raises concerns among Latvia’s non-citizens. Thousands of non-citizens find it difficult to naturalize. The task force’s member, Elizabete Krivcova, said that non-citizens have problems with naturalization due to health and age issues, not an unwillingness to naturalize. The organizers of the congress said that they intend to attract several thousand people to the congress. Asked about their funding, the task force said that the campaigns will be organized from personal funds. Modern technologies are sufficiently developed, so the organization of such campaigns does not require huge funding, journalist Jurijs Aleksejevs said.

The risk of poverty has not increased in Latvia, and Latvia’s society has become slightly wealthier overall, even though there is still a considerable number of people below the poverty line, Inter-ministerial Coordination Center head Martins Krievins said in an interview on Latvian State Radio on Dec. 3, reports LETA. Krievins said the statements about the risk of poverty increasing in Latvia were unfounded and emphasized that, on the contrary, the risk of poverty has gone down in the country. Latvia’s fundamental issue is that there is a large number of poor people. Economic inequality between the country’s richest and poorest residents increased during the crisis, said Krievins. According to Krievins, data on the risk of poverty is collected by analyzing the country’s growth, taking into account Europe’s economic growth - which is slowing and therefore increases the risk of poverty, and the situation in Latvia, where the economy is growing and the risk of poverty is therefore declining.

Ugis Praulins’ ‘The Nightingale’ has been nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition, reports LETA. The winners will be announced in Los Angeles on Feb. 10 during the 55th annual ceremony. Praulins wrote ‘The Nightingale,’ inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the same name, which tells about a Chinese emperor who prefers the tinkling of a bejeweled mechanical bird to the song of a real nightingale. “The story is also interesting because Andersen was once also in love with a nightingale - Swedish soprano Jenny Lind - who did not reciprocate Andersen’s feelings and so, just like the emperor in the story, Andersen had to let his nightingale go. Working on the score, I not only listened to and recorded a nightingale singing, but literally transcribed the nightingale song for a recorder. So in concert, a real nightingale melody will be played by a recorder,” says the composer. Praulins composed ‘The Nightingale’ in 2010 for the Danish National Vocal Ensemble and flutist Michala Petri; it premiered in Denmark’s Arhus on March 30, 2011. The composition was recorded and released on a CD by the Danish record company Our Recordings.

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