Latvija in brief - 2004-09-02

  • 2004-09-02
Public approval ratings have dropped sharply - by 34 points - for Ingrida Udre in the wake of her appointment as the country's Eurocommissioner, leaving her with a minus 22 rating and third place overall among the country's least favorite politicians. Only MEP Tatyana Zdanok and former mayor of Riga and head of the Socialist Party Alfreds Rubiks were less popular.

The Social Democratic Workers Party has ended an agreement with its youth party over differences involving the contentious education reform. The leader of the youth wing, Janis Kuzins, lent support to Shtab, an anti-education reform organization, by signing joint declarations to the government.

Imants Freibergs, the president's spouse, has decided not to sign a land deal in Jurmala until a probe by the anti-corruption bureau into the deal's integrity is completed. Freibergs, who is after a 99-year lease, was the only one who bid on the property. The initial deal drew criticism from Delna, who said the land should be sold at a public auction.

Several members of the left-wing For Human Rights in a United Latvia have addressed a letter to Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev in support of Vladimir Linderman, leader of the National Bolshevik Party who is wanted in Latvia for allegedly planning to assassinate the president. Russia may deport him to Latvia.

Foreign Ministry State Secretary Maris Riekstins has accepted the position of ambassador to the United States of America. Riekstins served as state secretary in the Foreign Ministry for 10 years.

Around 30 people converged outside of the Belarusian Embassy in Riga to protest the regime of strongman Alexander Lukashenko and the continued imprisonment of former Ambassador to Latvia Mikhail Marinich, who has been held for four months without charges.