Latvija in brief - 2006-09-13

  • 2006-09-13
Defence Ministry state secretary Edgars Rinkevics will be in the United States Sept. 20-23 on a working visit to the NATO Allied Transformation Command in Norfolk, New Jersey. The official is expected to discuss issues that will be on the agenda at the upcoming Riga summit in November. The official is also expected to ask for an American evaluation of Latvia's National Armed Forces in the context of Latvia's involvement in international operations.

According to a recent poll, one fourth of citizens trust Parliament. The study showed that 1.2 percent fully trust the governmental body, 25.35 percent more-or-less trust, 47 percent have little faith in Parliament, and 18.5 percent do not trust government at all. The poll, which was published on Sept. 12, surveyed 1,000 people. Younger people were more inclined to trust Parliament, as well as those with higher education and public sector workers. Older people and private sector workers tended to mistrust Parliament.

The new Israeli ambassador is expected to begin work on Sept. 19. Chen Ivri was selected as the new ambassador and made his accreditation visit with President Vaira Vike-Freiburga on Sept. 12. On Sept. 20, the new ambassador is expected to visit with Foreign Minister Artis Pabriks. The previous ambassador, Gary Koren left his post in early July. Diplomatic relations with Latvia began in January, 1992, when the first Israeli diplomatic post was established in the Baltic states. Other ambassadors are also scheduled to make their visits on Sept. 19 as well. They include the ambassadors from Pakistan, Brazil, and

The Riga city development department has received 173 responses from its public debate on plans for the Daugava River's left bank. A spokeswoman from the city said that it was not yet possible to determine prevailing opinions about the city's plan. Supporters of the plan maintain that proposed high-rises would make the city more attractive to tourists, and that the city should not focus only on "medieval architecture." Opponents are concerned about the already chaotic traffic situation on the left bank, increasing air pollution, and the loss of historical buildings. The opinions are currently being analyzed by the Riga city

Two documentary films are to be shot about the upcoming Parliamentary elections. SAF Pakalpojumi SIA was selected to shoot the films, which will cover the Oct. 7 elections. A spokeswoman for the Latvian Central Election Commission said the documentary films would show the "anatomy" of the election process, from compiling party lists to announcing the results. Each film will be 30 minutes long. The first will focus on election organizers, and the second will follow this year's election. They are the first such films to be made about the election process in Latvia.