Latvija in brief

  • 2013-10-02

Jurmala City Council has made amendments to traffic regulations in the coastal resort city, and has lifted vehicle entrance fees for the autumn and winter seasons, reports LETA. Thus, from Oct. 1 to March 31, vehicles will not have to purchase entry passes but will be able to enter the city for free. Vehicle entry fees will once again be in force from April 1 to Sept. 30 (summer season) next year. Furthermore, a one-time vehicle entry pass into the city during the summer season will increase by 50 santims, to 1.50 lats (approximately 2 euros). “Jurmala is a unique destination where people like to come to relax and enjoy themselves, is becoming more popular also outside the summer season. There is a wide range of cultural events taking place during the winter and autumn seasons, as well as many different options for persons looking for some active fun. Many guests, especially families with children, enjoy visiting Jurmala during the weekends in autumn and winter as well. Lifting vehicle entry fees in the autumn and winter months will allow the local government to attract more tourists and will benefit the city’s service industry,” Jurmala Mayor Gatis Truksnis said.

Introducing a progressive personal income tax is a matter for the more distant future, Finance Minister Andris Vilks (Unity) said in an interview with the business magazine Kapitals. The introduction of progressive personal income tax will not be possible in the next two years, he says. “We will not be able to run away from the idea of progressive personal income tax - nationalists and others will continue bringing it up. I also doubt that we will be able to keep a flat rate; it will be necessary to come up with the right solution,” explains the minister. The government has approved amendments to the Law on Personal Income Tax, which stipulate reducing the personal income tax rate to 22 percent in 2016. The personal income tax rate will be reduced to 24 percent in 2014, 23 percent in 2015, and 22 percent in 2016.

The Quality Education State Agency has completed its investigation at the University of Latvia (LU), and the conclusion is that LU had no right or authority to grant doctor’s degrees in the “arts sciences,” reports LETA. The Agency underlines one nuance - LU has been given the right to grant doctor’s degrees specifically in philology, but not in “arts sciences,” as has been the case recently in 2008 and 2012, with one pending this year. As a result, the two aforementioned doctorate degrees are not legitimate, the Agency says, mentioning an additional violation - the degree committee had only two members, not the required five. Also, LU had no right to accept documents from “arts sciences” doctoral candidates, i.e. theses, and/or hear their presentations.