Latvija in brief - 2008-04-23

  • 2008-04-23
A recent survey by the Baltic Institute of Social Sciences attributed the Latvian population's reluctance to take part in the celebration of national holidays to the economic and political situation in the country. Many respondents in the poll also noted that usually celebrations attended by top state officials were the least successful. Many respondents also complained about heavy police presence at festive events. Those festive events that involved active participation of the public, such as torchlight processions, lighting candles and laying flowers, drew the most positive evaluation. The most popular holidays in Latvia are those associated with solstice or pagan traditions, with 98 percent of Latvians marking these dates, the poll revealed. At the same time, only 48 percent of ethnic Latvians and just as many representatives of ethnic minorities celebrate Latvia's Independence Day on November 18, and even less people mark the upcoming May 4, the day Latvia's independence was restored in 1990.

The Central Election Commission reported that almost 29,000 signatures were collected backing the pension law amendments. A signature collecting campaign is underway on amendments in Latvian pension law that would ensure pensions remain above the subsistence minimum. The signature collecting campaign will last for 30 days and will be completed on May 15. The bill on amendments to the pension law will be submitted to the parliament if it is supported by at least one tenth of eligible voters 's at least 149,064 people.

The government has approved the Foreign
Ministry's report for denouncing the Soviet occupation regime in Latvia. The Foreign Ministry has been put in charge of the implementation of the document under the prime
minister's decree that was issued in 2006. Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis said he would ask the commission tasked with calculating the damage done to Latvia by the Soviet occupation regime to report
on its work in the nearest future.