Latvija in brief - 2010-06-02

  • 2010-06-02

The Foreign Ministry on May 27, in cooperation with the Riga City Council agency ‘Rigas pilsetas arhitekta birojs’ (Riga City Architect’s Bureau) organized an excursion for foreign ambassadors to Latvia to explain plans for the city’s development, reports LETA. During the excursion, speeches were given at the shopping center Olimpija by Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs (Harmony Center), Riga architect Janis Dripe, Latvian Architects Association President Andris Kronbergs, and Dean of Riga Technical University’s School of Architecture Ugis Bratuskins. The foreign diplomats were also introduced to the exhibition ‘Rigas arhitektura projektos’ (Riga’s architecture in projects). Sixty projects are displayed in the large-scale exhibition, including those for the state, city council, and private investors, as well as city planners and architects’ visions for Riga’s future development. This is the second time that Riga City Council and the Foreign Ministry have organized this type of event. The first took place in 2008, when the stress was placed on the new buildings constructed for the banks Swedbank, Nordea, Rietumu Bank, DnB Nord, and Latvijas Krajbanka (Savings Bank). The event was attended by 15 foreign ambassadors.

The cost of a ride on Riga’s public transport could be reduced, back to the previous 40 santims (0.57 euros), said Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs (Harmony Center) in an interview, reports LETA. The mayor indicated that this could be done thanks to the optimization and auditing carried out on the municipal public transportation company ‘Rigas satiksme.’ He said that the audit was commissioned at the end of last year, and the results could be released this week. “This means that in summer we will reduce the number of directors by half. We will also reduce administrative spending by 1 million lats, and we can also take into account what has already been saved this year. We will put things in order,” promised Usakovs. The city council leader admitted that it was essential to reduce the funding given to ‘Rigas satiksme,’ but reducing prices was more important to public opinion. “It would be extremely interesting to reduce prices on September 1, a month before the elections, but that will not be possible,” said the mayor.