Latvija in brief - 2012-10-03

  • 2012-10-03

Though the State Police’s contract with speed camera supplier V-Traffic (previously - Vitronic Baltica un partneri) was set to expire on Sept. 29, it was at a Sept. 27 meeting that agreement was reached such that the company would ensure that speed cameras remain operational after contract expiration, reports LETA. State Police Chief Ints Kuzis emphasized that speed control on Latvia’s highways will also be ensured non-stop with fixed, mobile or hand-held speed cameras. During the next two months, the Interior Ministry will assess whether to buy back 57 V-Traffic speed cameras that are currently in operation on Latvian roads, Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (Reform Party) said after the government’s session on Sept. 25.  

In the 2012/2013 school year, in accordance with the “money follows the pupil” principle, an average of 740 lats (1,057 euros) per student will be paid for teacher salaries, which is 62 lats more than last year, reports LETA. To confirm the distribution of the earmarked subsidy in municipal educational establishments on teacher salaries and mandatory state social insurance contributions for the four months of the year, the Education and Science Ministry’s commission convened for a session on Sept. 18, consisting of representatives from the Education and Science Ministry, the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments, the Latvian Education and Science Workers’ Association and the Latvian Education Leaders’ Association. The earmarked subsidy is calculated by the Education and Science Ministry on the basis of local governments’ submitted and confirmed information in the State Education Information System. This year, the number of pupils over the age of five has increased by 1,207; those in special education programs are 627 more, and 312 more take part in in-depth learning programs. Taking this into consideration, the ministry calculated that an additional 568,004 lats is necessary to provide greater support for teachers.

The Latvian youth choir Maska was triumphant at the Sept. 23-24 weekend’s IV International Harald Andersen Chamber Choir Competition in Helsinki, the choir’s conductor Janis Ozols said, reports LETA. Second place honors went to Concert Clemens (Denmark). Maska took home the top prize (15,000 euros), and also received the Finnish Composers’ Society’s special award. Regarded as a highly prestigious competition, only 12 choirs are chosen for it. In the final, Maska sang a work composed by Latvian Peteris Vasks.”

Residents now tend to have a better opinion of the overall situation in Latvia and its economic development, according to a DNB Latvia Barometer survey, reports LETA. After a slight increase in pessimism now most indexes have improved. The overall mood index has increased from minus 31 this past February to minus 21 in August, which is the best index since the DNB Latvia Barometer surveys were started. The same can be said about residents’ opinion about the future: increasingly more residents have higher hopes for an improvement in the economic situation in Latvia and in their own households in the foreseeable future.