Latvija in brief - 2010-08-19

  • 2010-08-18

The Prosecutor General’s Office on Aug. 16 dismissed the criminal proceedings concerning possible infringements by state officials during the Parex bank takeover process by the government, reports LETA. The evidence showed that the Latvian government had taken decisions concerning support for Parex and the state’s takeover of the bank as quickly as possible, the government acted in the national interest, and had prevented the possible negative consequences for the Latvian state, its financial system and economy, which could have arisen without the action, allowing the bank to go bankrupt. The investigation did not show any indications that the Cabinet’s decisions were taken in anyone’s self-interest or contained any intent to unlawfully acquire material gain. On Nov. 8, 2008, the state stepped in to rescue Parex bank by purchasing a controlling interest in the bank for the symbolic sum of 2 lats (2.85 euros).

The government on Aug. 10 decided to allocate an additional 1.8 million lats (2.5 million euros) to increase the salaries of State Revenue Service (SRS) employees, reports LETA. With these additional funds, the SRS will be able to ensure bonuses to employees of various levels, as well as increase the wages of employees working in high-risk positions, and even out the wages of lower level employees. The Finance Ministry says that with the allocation of the additional funds, the average monthly wage at the SRS will be 524 lats (before taxes), which is 55 lats more than currently. From 2012, the average wage at the SRS is to be increased to 570 lats (before tax). The additional funds were allocated to the SRS to help prevent the revenue service losing employees and experienced specialists, and to stimulate current employees’ efforts.

Continuing a trilateral meeting in Rezekne, eastern Latvia, the interior ministers of the Baltic countries on Aug. 10 shared experiences of preventing drunk driving and drownings, which has become an urgent problem in all three Baltic states this summer, reports LETA. A topical issue is reducing the number of road accidents, especially those caused by drunk drivers and reckless drivers. Unlike Latvia, there are a large number of speed cameras in Lithuania and Estonia, which have helped decrease the average speeds on roads substantially and therefore also the road toll. To combat drunk driving, all the Baltic states rely on various social campaigns, and the officials are confident that these campaigns have produced the desired results. Because of very hot weather this year, the numbers of drownings have increased significantly in all the Baltic States. A total of 116 drowning victims have been registered this year in Latvia.