Latvija in brief

  • 2013-09-11

September 1 is Knowledge Day, as schools reopened nationwide, with Education Minister Vjaceslavs Dombrovskis delivering a special message for each and every student: “The national economy’s growth will be stunted without your serious contribution to education.” He therefore wished for everyone to “make this contribution,” reports LETA. Dombrovskis mentioned in his message that each school year, principals, teachers, parents and state officials speak about what an important role education plays in a person’s life. “This is not happenstance, because education does have meaning,” he underlined. “Education is the foundation in people’s lives, and the people are the foundation of the nation,” the minister declared as the new school year got under way.

The Latvian Society of Physicians has announced that its annually-awarded Professor Ilmars Lazovskis Prize “for fundamental contribution to health care” will go to lung and respiratory surgeon Jazeps Basko, reports LETA. Basko heads the Center for Surgery at Stradins Hospital in Riga. The award will be presented to Basko during a ceremony in the Riga Latvian Society House Sept. 19.

The average monthly gross wage in Latvia was 503 lats (718 euros) in the second quarter of 2013, according to the latest data from the Central Statistical Bureau, reports The average monthly gross wage grew 4.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013, compared to the respective period in 2012. Compared to the first quarter of 2013, when the average monthly gross wage was 485 lats, it increased 3.8 percent in the second quarter of 2013. The average monthly gross wage grew 6 percent in the public sector, 2.6 percent in the private sector, 4.5 percent in the general government sector.

The future of Riga Castle museums will become clear within a month, Culture Minister Zaneta Jaunzeme-Grende (VL-TB/LNNK) said in an interview on Latvian State Radio on Sept. 3, reports LETA. Museum collections were damaged not by the fire, but by the large amounts of water used in putting it out. Six months and 3 million lats (4.2 million euros) are required to move the collections to other premises. Therefore, it is important to find out whether it is truly impossible for these collections to remain at Riga Castle, or perhaps something can be done to improve the microclimate of the Riga Castle rooms, explained the minister. According to Jaunzeme-Grende, the ministry is currently ready for two scenarios - moving the museum collections to three temporary locations, or continuing to hope and believe that the museums will be able to stay at the castle. The police have concluded their investigation and “charges will be brought in the case,” Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (Reform Party) said on the LNT morning show ‘900 sekundes’ on Sept. 3. A fire broke out at Riga Castle on the night to June 21, causing damage to an area of approximately 3,200 square meters.