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Latvija in brief - 2004-12-15

  • 2004-12-15
Georgs Andrejevs, MEP and a member of the liberal party Latvia's Way, was named European of the Year in a ceremony by the European Movement a pro-EU NGO on Dec. 10. Andrejevs, a former foreign minister, beat out Sandra Kalniete and Andris Piebalgs. "This is a moving moment indeed, when you have been working abroad, and you see that people still have not forgotten your deeds," Andrejevs said after receiving the honor.

Latvia's Union of Politically Repressed Persons has called on the state to appeal the recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights against Mikhail Farbtukh, who was awarded 6,000 euros in compensation for damages and legal costs. The organization does not agree with the court's decision to award monetary compensation to Farbtukh, a man the organization claims has not apologized to the people who were deported to Siberia under his watch.

According to the Russian language daily Telegraf the security police has begun an investigation into the Russian rap group Dihlatoz & Nailz for allegedly inciting hatred against Latvians in their song lyrics.

Aleksandrs Kirsteins, head of Parliament's foreign affairs committee, asked the state prosecutor Janis Maizitis to look at the Russian language newspapers Chas and Vesti Segodnya, which he believes are inciting ethnic hatred.

The naturalization board received 2,440 applications for citizenship in November, the highest number of applicants to date in one month.

Latvia is set to see its population fall by some 12,800 people this year, the government reported, giving it a total of 2.30 million.