Latvija in brief - 2013-04-18

  • 2013-04-17

Residents of Latvia consider 665 lats (950 euros) a respectable monthly salary, according to the latest DNB Latvia Barometer survey, reports Asked how much one should make a month to live a decent life, most said it was 665 lats - which is 72 lats more than last July. The authors of the study say, however, that the smaller figure recorded last summer is attributable to the fact that residents then did not have to worry about paying their heating bills. Almost a half of respondents - 47 percent - said 500 lats would be enough for them to live a decent life; 43 percent said the amount should be 501 lats to 1,000 lats, and 9 percent said over 1,000 lats, said DNB. When asked how much a family with three kids should make every month, the average amount was 1,362 lats. DNB Latvia Barometer is a public opinion survey conducted on a monthly basis.

Saeima on April 11 approved in the first reading banning Soviet Union (USSR), Latvian SSR and Nazi Germany symbols at public events, reports LETA. The bill was also put on the fast track, as previously proposed by MP Inese Laizane due to May 9 nearing. The now-traditional May 9 rally in Riga’s Pardaugava is a controversial event as most Russian-speakers in Latvia consider May 9 the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, whilst most Latvians see this day as an ‘Occupation Day,’ as one repressive regime (Nazi Germany) in Latvia was replaced by another repressive regime (the Soviet Union) during World War II. The Soviet troops didn’t leave when the war was over, but stayed on, uninvited by Latvia, for another almost 50 years, causing social, economic and political ruin in its wake.

Latvia’s non-citizens do not feel that their status of non-citizens is causing them any difficulties in their day-to-day lives, according to a study carried out by the Baltic Institute of Social Sciences, reports LETA. According to the findings of the study, citizens from third countries residing in Latvia are considering naturalization, whereas most non-citizens say that they have considered naturalization sometime in the past but, for one reason or another, decided not to become naturalized and by now they have gotten used to their situation, said Igors Gorbunovs, head of the Naturalization Department at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs. Third country citizens who settled in Latvia over the past ten years are better informed about Latvian language courses than non-citizens, but the survey also reveals several problems that persons who wish to learn Latvian may encounter, such as insufficient quality and duration of the free Latvian courses offered in the country.