Latvija in brief

  • 2014-05-01

Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma’s (Unity) performance in April was positively evaluated by 53.3 percent of Latvian residents, a poll carried out by Latvian facts shows, reports LETA. When asked to evaluate Straujuma’s performance, 40.6 percent of respondents replied with ‘rather positively,’ and 12.7 percent said they had a high opinion of the prime minister. 20.9 percent of respondents were skeptical and said they had a rather negative opinion of her performance, and 8.1 percent said they had a negative opinion. 17.7 percent of respondents did not have an opinion on this matter. Straujuma’s ratings have increased since she became prime minister. In March, her performance was assessed positively by 16.1 percent of respondents, and rather positively by 33.2 percent. 25.9 percent of respondents had a negative opinion of her performance.

The government on April 8 agreed to allocate an additional 780,250 euros to the Home Guards, reports LETA. 680,250 euros will be used to train additional Home Guard soldiers and attract new recruits, while 100,000 euros will be allocated to the Recruitment Center of the Youth Guards, to ensure the training of 1,800 Youth Guards as well as organize additional camps. In wake of the crisis in Ukraine, the Defense Ministry requested additional funds from the government for the development of the Home Guards, as well as increasing the number of Home Guards by another 500 soldiers. Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis emphasized that the Defense Ministry wishes to increase the 8,000-strong Home Guard force by another 500 soldiers. He said that additional financing is needed to train and equip the new recruits, as well as improve the capabilities of the Home Guards. “Thus, we are requesting an additional resources from the government,” he said. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more people in Latvia are showing interest in joining the Home Guards.

The new Palace of Light National Library building is expected to finally open to the public from the end of May, Culture Minister Dace Melbarde said during a press conference on April 24, reports LETA. Although construction of the National Library building has been completed, the building has not yet been accepted into service. This means that the library cannot yet work as per normal. The minister though has now said that the State Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed that the building is in accordance with fire and safety regulations. The State Fire and Rescue Service is to make its final inspection of the building this week. Even though the building is expected to begin work at end-May, the National Library’s official opening is scheduled for Aug. 29, the day the library will mark its 95th anniversary.