Latvija in brief - 2009-04-29

  • 2009-04-29
In a historic victory, the Latvian hockey team has defeated Sweden in the World Championships currently going on in Switzerland. After a loss to Team USA, Latvia scored a 3-2 victory on penalty shots against Sweden, marking the first win for Latvia against the country in hockey history. "I'm just happy, I really wanted to win this game," said Latvian coach Olegs Znaroks. However Swedish press reports the Swedish team is very upset about the result. "I feel sad, Latvia is a team that we were supposed to beat," Swedish player Magnus Juhanson said. The game saw Sweden score the sole goal in the first period. Latvia took the lead with two goals in the second period, but Sweden tied it up early in the third. After no goals were scored in the 5-minute overtime period, the game went down to a shoot out where the two teams tied the first set of three and Latvia came out on top with a goal on the fourth shot, followed by a deflection off the glove of Latvian goalie Sergejs Naumovs. 

There are currently no reported cases of the swine flu in Latvia, reports the State Health Agency. Currently in Europe the only reported cases of the flu are from those people who have traveled to Mexico, where at last count 882 people are sick with the flu already and 80 people have died. The State Health Agency reports the symptoms of the swine flu to be similar to the seasonal flu 's sudden onset, headache, shivers, temperature and a "breaking feeling" in the bones. More information and updates can be found on the Health Agency's Web site.

Another death has been reported in connection to the April 17 shooting of Vjaceslavs Sturainis. His pallbearer, Sergejs Nesteruks was shot on the Riga-Moscow highway earlier this week. Nesteruks, also known as "Tashkent," was shot en route to Moscow in a minibus. The incident also resulted in the deaths of his driver and bodyguard. Police report 20 shots apparently fired into the vehicle. 

The Economy Police have launched a criminal case regarding the alleged violations in the construction of the Southern Bridge (Dienvidu tilts) in Riga. The case involves possible violations in procuring funds and securing financing for the project, which was constructed from 2002-2008. Inguna Sudraba, Auditor General, has said that the Riga City Council wasted 27 million lats (38.4 million euros). Sudraba also said that of the 570 million lats used in the first two stages of bridge construction, 264 million was used to attract financing, meaning that each lat used to construct the bridge cost an additional 87 santims.

The cost of construction of the new national library, dubbed the "Castle of Light," could decrease by about 30 million lats because of deflation, state property agency "Jaunie tris brali" head Zigurds Magone told LETA. Magone said the total cost of the project, which decreased by an estimated 5.8 percent in the first quarter of the year, could fall to 86 million lats from the initial 114 million lats estimate. "Construction costs will be falling this year, but it will not continue forever, therefore the LNB project should not get protracted. Now the conditions are favorable for implementing construction projects in Latvia," he said. Magone said that 2 million lats have already been saved because of the conditions of the construction contract.