Off the wire

  • 2000-05-25
DANES BUILD TERMINAL: SIA Baltic Transshipment Center, a
subsidiary of Danish company KFK, will complete construction of the new
bulk cargo terminal in the western Latvian port of Liepaja late in June
or early July, Liepaja Special Economic Zone (SEZ) manager Mara Tapina,
said. The terminal is built in the fifth pier of Karosta channel in
Liepaja and the Danes, along with construction of the terminal, also
are performing reconstruction of the pier and construction of the
railway access road.

GONE WITH THE WIND: Latvia had power shortages throughout
the country because of winds reaching storm levels. Winds ripped off
branches from trees which fell on power lines causing a blackout in
many parts of rural Latvia. Riga was somewhat spared with only minor
traffic problems. The storm also brought down snow in Jelgava early
morning May 12. According to Skaidrite Priedniece at the Jelgava
Hydrometeorology Service, snow has not been witnessed in Jelgava in
mid-May in almost 25 years.

NO GRAFFITI PLEASE: Latvian Ambassador to Russia said the
Latvian Embassy in Moscow will repair the facade of the building on its
own and submit the bill along with a note to Russia. As already
reported, the black paint has been washed off the wall, still Russia
has not yet informed when repairs could be done. According to Daudiss,
Russia had promised to restore the damages on the building only after
the guilty parties are detained in order to demand compensation. The
ambassador emphasized that he has informed the Latvian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs on the decision to restore the facade and the work
would be launched next week.

CONSUMED BY FIRE: A man who attempted self-immolation in
front of an insurance company's office in the Russian-populated city of
Narva in Estonia on Wednesday died of injuries in a Narva hospital on
the night between Thursday and Friday. Alexander Nikolayevski, 46, set
himself aflame after dousing his body with gasoline Wednesday morning
in protest against the insurance company's refusal to pay him 240,000
kroons ($14,000) for injuries and disability received in a car accident
last year. Nikolayevski, to whom doctors had assigned 2nd degree
disability after the accident, left behind a letter saying his death
was to be blamed on Sampo Kindlustus (Sampo Insurance), from which he
held a 500,000 kroon life policy from May 1998.

PIRATES WALK THE PLANK: Police on Friday morning staged
one of the biggest raids ever in Tallinn's Kadaka market, a place
popular with foreign tourists here for the availability of cheap
pirated goods such as music CDs and computer games. Fifty-five officers
from different departments of the police entered the market's sales
hall at 8.30 a.m. Friday to perform thorough checks over the next two
hours in 10 stalls suspected of trade in pirated goods. Many stalls
across the market closed immediately when the police arrived.

ESTONIA BEYOND THE GREAT WALL? A delegation of China's
Shandong province is visiting Estonia Saturday through Wednesday to
strengthen ties with the Baltic republic in education and discuss the
possibility of opening an Estonian institute in China. The seven-member
delegation of the Shandong province is made up of the leaders of the
provincial education authority and colleges, who will look at
cooperation opportunities in education and economy in Tallinn and
elsewhere in Estonia.

LITHUANIA TAKES A LOAN: The Finance Ministry has asked for
the Cabinet of Ministers' approval for the borrowing of $100 million
from the World Bank. The Cabinet is to make a decision on this issue
next week. The World Bank is expected to disburse the first tranche of
a $100 million structural adjustment loan - $50 million - in July this
year. Lithuania will use the funds to cover the budget deficit, finance
the government's investment programs and repay debts.

FISHING WITH NET-WORK: Three public relations agencies
have set up a joint Baltic network, with a view of taking up to 30
percent of the countries' public relations market. The PR Net Baltic
network includes Lithuania's Komunikacija & Konsultantai, Latvia's
Mediju Tilts and Estonia's Ots & Partnerid. The three companies hope
that the joint network will make it easier for them to attract major
customers in the Baltics and outside the three countries, Komunikacija
& Konsultantai said.

FERRY SERVICE IMPROVING: The sea ferry-boat service
between Lithuania and Sweden will improve as of Monday after the
Lithuanian shipping company Lisco increases the number of trips to
Sweden. The ferry-boat Palanga, with the capacity of 120 passengers,
will be making three, and not two, weekly 17-hour trips to Stockholm
until Sept.1, the company's spokesperson said.