Latvija in brief - 2007-08-01

  • 2007-08-01
Approximately 200 national partisans who fought against the Soviet Union in 1944 and 1945 and their supporters gathered at the Freedom Monument on July 28 to lay flowers in honor of their deceased fellow warriors. After laying the flowers, the former partisans went to the Open Air Museum to attend a service at Usmas Church. There were reportedly so many people at the ceremony that many in attendance, including a number of prominent parliamentarians, had to stand outside. The event marked the Latvian National Partisan Association's 17th event of the kind.

Justice Minister Gaidis Berzins told Latvijas Avize in a July 27 interview that many jails in Latvia will soon be under new management. He said that the managers in question had failed to "facilitate the process of employment and education of the jail inmates, even though the funding granted to jails was sufficient [for those purposes]." He would not release the names of the managers that are going to be sacked, but said that a number of individuals were being discussed. The prison directors will most likely lose their jobs at the end of this year.

The results of a poll conducted by Latvijas Fakti, announced on July 31, found that Foreign Minister Artis Pabriks and Interior Minister Ivars Godmanis are the most popular ministers. Minister of the Economy Jurijs Strods received the lowest popularity rating. The survey also found that among political parties, the People's Party tied with Harmony Center at 11.6 percent as the two most popular parties. The Greens and Farmers Union remained in a strong position as well, up 2 percent from June to 10.2 percent. The Latvia's First Party and Latvia's Way election bloc, the For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK nationalist alliance and For Human Rights in United Latvia all rated below the 5 percent mark 's the minimum level parties must achieve in an election in order to be represented in Parliament.

The business daily Dienas Bizness reported on July 27 that Aerosmith received $1 million (505,000 lats) for their July 3 performance in Riga's Skonto Stadium, the highest amount of money ever paid to a band in Latvia. It was the second highest amount that the group received in Europe this year. The report said that the sum was matched only weeks later by the Russian superstar Alla Pugachova at the "New Wave" festival in Jurmala.

The Latvian government decided in a July 31 closed hearing to join a number of other Eastern European countries in the decision to take the European Commission to court over the low CO2 emissions quota they were granted. The government contends that the low quotas will damage the development of the energy and construction industries. Latvia was granted 3.43 million tons per year for 2008 - 2012, down from the 2005 - 2007 allocation of 4 million tons per year.