Latvija in brief - 2011-06-16

  • 2011-06-15

In five to ten years, Latvia will turn from emigration country to an immigration destination, demographer Ilmars Mezs announced on May 31 during a debate organized by Swedbank, reports Mezs pointed out that the latest census data confirm the alarming demographic situation, adding that the decrease in population will have a ‘domino effect,’ with no turning back. “If there was hope that the ‘domino effect’ will stop when Latvia’s population will drop to 1.5 million, I would not mention this issue today; however, given the current number of children per one woman, this process will not stop,” said Mezs. According to Mezs, Latvia will also experience mass immigration from Third World Countries. When the government approves benefit cuts, restrictions, it is also a decision that will affect future immigration… it is necessary to do everything possible so that families that decide to raise children would not face the risk of dropping below the poverty line, emphasized Mezs.

Reporters must be banned from being present in the Saeima plenary hall because they hamper MPs’ work, Janis Klauzs (Union of Greens and Farmers) said at a meeting of Saeima Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee on June 8, reports LETA. “They must be simply thrown out of here,” said the infuriated Klauzs, explaining that reporters had no manners whatsoever. Klauzs stressed that he could not even sit down without being filmed by reporters. “You won’t see a bunch of cameras behind MPs’ back in parliament anywhere else,” said the politician. He said that Saeima members had been deprived of privacy; for instance, he believes that MPs should not be filmed while texting messages. The committee’s chairman, Vitalijs Orlovs (Harmony Center), said he was not happy with media’s interpretations of what they see in parliament. MP Janis Bekess (For a Good Latvia) said that reporters’ presence was too disturbing. The committee decided that it would write a letter about the problem to the Saeima Presidium. The committee’s decision was supported by Klauzs, Orlovs and Bekess, whereas Raivis Dzintars (All for Latvia!-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK) abstained.

Police in Riga said on June 9 that they suspected a man found dead on a suburban street could be missing British artist Daniel Lyon, reports AFP. “We have no confirmation of the identity yet, but we suspect that it could be him,” Riga District Police spokesman Toms Sadovskis said. The body was found on June 8. “He was reported missing on June 1 and we distributed his picture to the media on June 6 in an effort to track him down,” Sadovskis said, adding that no further information on the circumstances of the death was being released at present.Jamaica-born Lyon, a painter and sculptor, had been living in Riga for the past three years. The 31-year-old was last seen on June 1 at the University of Latvia’s Arts Faculty.