• 2000-06-01
Let's give credit where credit is due.

Bouquets to:

Latvian State Chancellery director Gunta Veismane for removing the chancellery's director for economic affairs Talivaldis Zamozdiks after the state auditor's office found Zamozdiks had spent nearly 100,000 lats on flowers, indoor plants, wreaths and seedlings and other assorted gifts without keeping proper accounts. The audit office ruled that the chancellery would have to pay back 50,000 lats to the state budget after a scrutiny that included looking at the legality of the chancellery's construction of a recreational complex including a sauna.

Riga City Council Chairman Andris Argalis who urged Latvia's residents to send in their ideas on whether Latvia should construct a $70 million plus national library and how to fund it. The recent plan afoot is to slap a surcharge on all electric power bills, dismissed by some as a modest charge, but worth a loaf of bread to others. According to BNS, Argalis observed that some people are sufficiently prosperous to donate part of their income for the "Palace of Light."

The 70 residents in Valmiera who have expressed an opinion on a local option to regulate alcohol sales. Their signatures express displeasure with Minister of State Administration Reform Janis Krumins, an out-of-towner who called local bans in Valmiera, Olaine and Jelgava on night-time alcohol sales illegal. A campaign is ongoing to collect more signatures on a letter chiding the minister for "opposing attempts to lessen the alcohol problem in Latvia."

A thump on the head with a thimble to:

Russian Foreign Ministry official Alexander Jakhovenko for criticizing statements made by Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga to German magazine Der Spiegel in which she said Russia's instability and shaky economy make her nervous. The president is not alone in her feelings.

Latvian Prime Minister Andris Berzins for telling reporters that if non-citizens were 75 percent, they should be allowed to vote. By the time the proportion of non-citizens to citizens gets to that point, Latvia's poll keepers may not have a choice.