Latvija in brief - 2008-11-05

  • 2008-11-05
The first woman, a Norwegian citizen, has been fined for urinating on the Freedom Monument in Riga. State Police have imposed a 200 lat (284 euro) fine on the Norwegian youth for urinating by the Freedom Monument in Riga. The 22-year old was caught on video surveillance around 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 2. The Norwegian was under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol level of almost 0.2 promils. She was detained and taken to police. The young woman explained that she had used alcohol and was not able to control her actions. She was slapped with a fine and released.

After accession to the Schengen zone, the number of visas rejected at the Latvian embassy in Moscow has grown. The embassy's representative Karina Kovale said that Latvia's membership in the Schengen Treaty gives additional responsibility to other partner countries and each visa application has been carefully assessed. This year, out of 41,322 visa applications,1,623 cases visas were rejected 's 3.78 percent more compared to the 2.6 percent rejection in 2007.  A person can be rejected a visa for providing untrue information, forging signatures on application documents, submitting false documents or if the person does not have a permanent link with the country of residence.

The government has announced a tender for Latvia's new anti-corruption chief. Nov. 21 has been set as the deadline for submitting applications to the State Chancellery. The vacancy has been advertised in Latvijas Vestnesi, the government's official newspaper. The candidates should meet the requirements stated by the law on the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau and the law on state secrets. The prime minister will then ask the chief prosecutor, the head of the Constitution Protection Bureau, and the Supreme Court chairman to provide their opinion about the candidates within 10 days. After receiving their findings, the prime minister will have to present the suitable candidates at a Cabinet meeting. Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis hopes that the candidate for the new anti-corruption bureau chief will be selected and presented to parliament by December 2008.