Latvija in brief - 2012-05-10

  • 2012-05-10

Latvia’s residents consider corruption, centralization of power and media censorship to be the main problems in neighboring Russia, according to a survey carried out by the research agency TNS in collaboration with the LNT television broadcast ‘900 sekundes’ at the end of April, reports More than half of the economically active residents of Latvia aged 18 to 55 believe that corruption is the biggest problem encountered by Russian residents. Fifty-three percent said the centralization of power was the main problem. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said that the main problem faced by Russians is media censorship, while 30 percent mentioned the economic situation. Twenty percent of respondents indicated that unemployment was Russia’s greatest problem, 14 percent named inflation and 13 percent the demographic situation. Nine percent had no opinion. The poll was carried out from April 24 to April 26; altogether 750 economically active residents were interviewed.

Public trust in Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis’ (Unity) government has reached the highest level since 2009, his first term in office, the TV3 broadcast ‘Neka personiga’ (Nothing Personal) reported on May 6, referring to a study carried out by the market and public opinion research center SKDS, reports LETA. Compared to March, public support for Dombrovskis’ government has grown 4 percent to 25 percent in April. Public trust in Saeima has also increased by 4 percent and is currently at 20 percent. SKDS Director Arnis Kaktins admits that, on the European level, 20 percent public support for parliament can still be considered as very low; however, the increase is acknowledgeable. During the last few months of the previous Saeima, public trust in parliament was at 6-7 percent. Public support for the current parliament is nearly three times higher, points out the expert. The least trusted Cabinets were the first government of People’s Party founder Andris Skele, and the government of Latvia’s First Party and Latvia’s Way Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis. Back then, only 7.3 percent of residents trusted the government and 4.5 percent Saeima.

In March, 185,200 or 38.4 percent of Latvian pensioners received a monthly pension between  150 lats (214 euros) and 180 lats, according to information from the State Social Insurance Agency, reports LETA. Seventeen percent of Latvian pensioners received a monthly pension between 100 lats and 150 lats, while another 17 percent received a monthly pension between 200 lats and 300 lats. Approximately 15 percent of pensioners in Latvia received a monthly pension between 180 lats and 200 lats, while six percent received a monthly pension which is less than 100 lats. A little over five percent of pensioners in Latvia receive a monthly pension of over 300 lats. Overall, there were 481,422 persons who were paid out pensions in Latvia in March. A total of 101.6 million lats was paid in pensions in March, compared to 90.1 million lats in March of last year.