Riga City Deputy Mayor Janis Dinevics has said that the city should introduce entrance fees to help cut down on traffic. Dinevics, who made the comments in a forum devoted to traffic in Riga and organized by Latvia's Social Democratic Workers Party (LSDSP), proposed several solutions to the traffic problem in Riga. His main recommendation was that the city expands fees 's which are currently only applied to vehicles entering the Old Town 's to cover the entire city. Dinevics said that an electronic card should be introduced for tax-paying residents of Riga as they should be the priority of the city, while non-residents should pay for driving into the city. He also said that, despite the economic situation, transport and social affairs are the only fields with increased financing next year as compared to this year, which proves that the Riga City Council is working actively at solving these problems.
No conclusion has yet been reached in the ongoing debate over the construction of a new high-rise skyscraper in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. The Estonian-language daily Aripaev reported that the City Council continues discussions over the possible construction on Dec. 9. The question concerns a plot owned by the pharmaceutical company Tallinna Farmaatsiatehas in the Tondi area of the city. The head of the municipal planning board's site planning service, Arvo Rikkinen, said that a draft site plan has to be passed by the municipal economy committee if it changes an effective general plan. A prerequisite for the construction of high-rises is that they are located at the crossing of major roads in order to avoid problems with transport and traffic arrangements. To circumvent that requirement, the city government carried out additional analysis and concluded that even though there is no junction of main roads in the Tondi area, the streetcar terminus and nearby train stop can be regarded as such despite city planners' long-standing opposition, Aripaev reported.
The new Lithuanian ruling coalition has asked the parliament to send the 2004 Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas) privatization deal to the Constitutional Court for review. The conservatives believe that the sale of the shares in the natural gas import and distribution company could have been unlawful, the Kauno Diena Lithuanian-language daily reported. "The persons who took those decisions would have to face a political and moral responsibility. As to practical consequences [of a possible ruling of incompatibility of the privatization with the Constitution], we should wait and see," it quoted Jurgis Razma, a member of the conservative Homeland Union-Christian Democratic Party, as saying. Gazprom and Germany's E.ON Ruhrgas each paid around 100 million litas (29 million euros) for 34 percent stakes in Lietuvos Dujos.