Latvija in brief - 2006-02-01

  • 2006-02-01
New Era has established a support group in Ireland, currently home to numerous immigrant workers from Latvia, the party said. The party already has 26 regional sections and 18 support groups around the world, including one in Philadelphia and Toronto. More than 20 New Era members set up the support group in Ireland, and board member Ieva Zvejsalniece attended the founding ceremony. Inga Gorsanova, who was elected to direct the new group, said interest in New Era was high among Latvians working in Ireland, and that the number of activists was rapidly rising.

Parliament has backed the repeat nomination of Egils Levits for the post of European Court of Justice judge. Levits was appointed to work in the court on May 1, 2004, and his term expires Oct. 6 of this year. Although under the European Court of Justice foundation treaty judges should be appointed for a six-year term, half of them are appointed for a three-year term to ensure their gradual replacement. Levits has already agreed to continue his current post as judge.

Oskars Rode, the defense counsel of former Health Minister Aris Auders, who currently stands trial for fraud over his private surgical practice, asked to open a disciplinary case against Judge Inara Steinerte. Rode accused the judge of having demonstrated a biased attitude "in favor of the defendant's guilt" during the trial. He also claims that she violated her procedural rights and infringed on Auders' integrity while questioning one of the victims.

Latvia's level of confidence in political parties is the second lowest among EU member states, a new Eurobarometer survey found. While the average EU level is 17 percent, in Latvia the figure is 8 percent. Citizens have more trust in the media and EU than in political parties, the national government or Parliament. Of those surveyed, 29 percent said they trust the government, and 25 percent have confidence in Parliament. These figures are lower than the EU average, where they are 31 percent and 35 percent respectively.

The State History Archive received an archive of the 15th division of the Latvian Waffen SS unit, or the so-called Latvian Legion who fought on the side of Nazi Germany during World War II, the General Directorate of Latvian State Archives said. A special commission was set up to open the collection from the Netherlands, visually assess their condition and transfer the documents to the archive. Culture Minister Helena Demakova, who took part in the ceremony, said the documents "are very important, just like the procedure of their transfer, because we must remember that forces hostile to Latvia will use every opportunity to organize provocations in the informative sphere of this sensitive issue." The documents, which include war diaries, lists of missing and fallen soldiers, received orders, and combat reports, were found in a box that had been buried for years.