Latvija in brief - 2012-09-06

  • 2012-09-05

Two Latvian schoolchildren have won gold and bronze at the 9th International Geographic Olympiad that took place in the German city Cologne from Aug. 21 to Aug. 26, State Curriculum Content Center’s public relations expert Kristine Ilgaza said, reports LETA. Riga 1st Classical School student Maris Serzans won gold, and Lizums High School student Armands Sebris took bronze. More than 120 students from 32 countries participated in the Olympiad this year. The Olympiad featured various complicated theoretical, as well as practical, tasks.

Since it was set up two months ago, the hotline for alcoholics in crisis has taken 85 calls, reports LETA. As Sandra Rubene, program director, said, 70 percent of the callers were interested in rehab opportunities, including the “10th Step” program. About 27 percent of callers were indeed in crisis – seeking psychological consultation and support. The calls indicate a lack of information about help possibilities, Rubene pointed out.

In the first six months of this year, banks paid in a total of 14.8 million lats (21.1 million euros) to the Deposit Guarantee Fund, said Financial and Capital Market Commission spokeswoman Laima Plavina, reports LETA. The Deposit Guarantee Fund will use the funds to pay back the money borrowed from the state. The Deposit Guarantee Fund has also received 50 million lats from KPMG Baltics, the administrator of the insolvent Latvijas Krajbanka. This amount will also be used to honor the fund’s obligations to the state, informed Plavina. Last fall, when Latvijas Krajbanka depositors were unable to retrieve their money from the bank, the Deposit Guarantee Fund had a total of 149.9 million lats, while the total amount of state-covered deposits at Krajbanka was 335.6 million lats. In order to pay the depositors the entire amount, the fund had to borrow 185.6 million lats from the state.

Latvia’s military contingent in Afghanistan will relocate from Maymana base to Mazar-i-Sharif in October, where Latvian soldiers will continue to serve together with the Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish contingents, said the Defense Ministry’s Crisis Management Department senior officer, Armins Macins, reports LETA. Preparations for the relocation started already in mid-summer, as it involved significant logistical work to be done; the Latvian soldiers will be relocated to Mazar-i-Sharif after the Maymana base is handed over to the local security forces in October. Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks (Unity) said previously that a political agreement had been reached during his visit to the United States, that Latvian soldiers could in the future serve in one group with the three Nordic countries. “I believe that this is quite a successful format,” said the minister, explaining that it would ensure development of closer cooperation between the Baltic and Nordic countries.