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Latvija in brief - 2004-10-20

  • 2004-10-20
After nearly half a century of decline, the percentage of ethnic Latvians in Latvia is steadily increasing, having grown by 6 percent over the last 15 years, the state statistics office reported. At present, ethnic Latvians make up 58.6 percent of the total population. Still, despite this growth, their total number is down, having fallen by 19,000 in the last four years. Ethnic Russians, who made up 34 percent of the population 15 years ago, now account for 28.8 percent. All minority groups have seen a natural decrease, except for Roma, whose number has grown by 215 people in the last four years.

The Corruption Prevention and Control Bureau has for several months failed to submit the required proposals on the replacement of their supervisor to Prime Minister Indulis Emsis. For this reason proposals will have to be prepared by the State Chancellery, Emsis told Latvian Radio on Oct. 15. The prime minister would not specify how long it would take for the proposals to be drafted. Curiously, CPCB spokeswoman Ilze Leimane told the Baltic News Service that the bureau did, in fact, submit the proposals to Parliament's legal committee in April.

Nearly 500 alcoholic minors were registered last year, and the figures keep growing as narcologists have pointed out that the actual number is many times higher than official records show. According to information from the health statistics department, 488 minors were recorded as suffering from alcoholism last year. In 2002 this figure was 432 and in 2001 just 315. Children under age 14 account for some 40 percent of all registered juvenile alcoholics. The addiction is the most prevalent among teenagers aged 15-17.