Latvija in brief - 2011-11-03

  • 2011-11-02

Harmony Center will not support radical Vladimirs Lindermans’ signature-collecting campaign for Russian to be recognized as the second official language in the country, reports LETA. The party’s leader, Nils Usakovs, says that Lindermans’ campaign was a response to the “nationalists’ destructive provocation, which, fortunately, failed.” His party did not back Lindermans in the past and cannot do it now due to the party’s conviction and pragmatic concept, emphasized Usakovs.
The signature drive for Russian as the second official language in Latvia will be held Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. The campaign’s bill envisages to amend the Constitution’s articles 4, 18, 21, 101 and 104 so that Russian would become the second official language in Latvia. Sixty-one percent of economically-active residents do not intend to sign for the proposed amendments, according to a survey carried out by the market, social and media research company TNS Latvia and the LNT television channel.

The loss of six MPs is a failure, and it will take a long time to find out the reasons why it actually happened, Zatlers Reform Party’s (ZRP) leader, Valdis Zatlers, said to the weekly business newspaper Lietiska Diena. At the same time, Zatlers points out that the parliament’s vote on the new government showed that there is a positive side to this failure. There can be rumors about more MPs quitting the party, but they are usually spread by those who enjoy such policy of rumors, believes the politician. Zatlers admits that there were things that could and should have been done differently. However, there were only three weeks to establish the party and submit its ticket for the 11th Saeima elections, which is a very short period of time. The ex-president believes that the party has successfully completed this task and will now focus on structural development to achieve strong regional branches.

The Cabinet decided to provide a one-off support payment of 6,000 lats (8,570 euros) for the parents of two triplet girls and a boy born in Riga Stradins Hospital on Oct. 16, Welfare Ministry spokeswoman Marika Kupce said, reports LETA. The payment will be allocated from the government’s emergency funds. This is the fourth set of triplets born in Latvia this year. The first set was born in Riga Maternity Hospital on Sept. 15; the second in Jekabpils Regional Hospital on Sept. 27; the third in Riga Stradins Hospital on Oct. 4. The most recent triplets were born to the family of Evita and Alvis Smits, who are currently living in Ireland. The girls were named after flowers: Lily, Jasmine and Daisy, the portal reports. The family lives in Limerick and also have another daughter, Shayla. Alvis and Evita arrived in Ireland in February 2005, looking for money and new adventures.