Posts published in Day: March 9, 2021

The role of the 17+1 format in dividing the EU

By Juris Paiders on Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The “17+1” format created by China in 2012, as part of which it has been attempting to acquire influence in 17 Eastern European countries from the Baltics to the Balkans, has received a blow. Tuesday, six nations, including Latvia, didn’t respond to the invitation to participate in a highest-level online summit with Xi Jinping. China’s “divide and conquer” policy, i.e. it’s strategy to divide EU’s joint policies by offering Eastern Europe one…

What planet is NATO living on?

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies on Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The February meeting of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Defense Ministers, the first since President Biden took power, revealed an antiquated, 75-year-old alliance that, despite its military failures in Afghanistan and Libya, is now turning its military madness toward two more formidable, nuclear-armed enemies: Russia and China. This theme was emphasized by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in a Washington Post op-ed in advance of the NATO meeting, insisting…

Dairy industry in Latvia: fewer farms, larger volumes

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The number of dairy farms in Latvia has fallen sharply, but they have grown in size and productivity, Latvian Radio reported March 7. 11,812 farm holdings in Latvia produce 980,000 tons of milk per year, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture (ZM). Although the number of dairy farms has fallen by 27% over five years, the volume of milk purchased has decreased by only 2.1%. Farms are growing…

Latvian residents had fewer debts last year

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Last year, law enforcement officers received 119,293 writs of execution on residents’ debts, which was about 2,000 fewer than in 2019, Latvian Radio reported March 7. The total amount of resident debts was €1.1 billion, of which the officers collected nearly half last year – €602 million. The average amount of one debt is €300 to €500, the debtor is most frequently between 35 and 55 years old and the main offences…

Finance minister: Government will draw up supplementary budget

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) announced that the government is planning to create a supplementary budget that will among other things extend payouts of wage support and sick leave compensation. The finance minister has previously said the government prefers using the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the government’s reserves, EU crisis support funds, Enterprise Estonia and state credit body KredEx to a supplementary budget, but the Ministry of Finance will now…

Lidl, Sāga, Via Jūrmala: newcomers in Latvia’s retail in pandemic time

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

During the pandemic in Latvia, three new retail market participants – the Sāga mall, the brand outlet village “Via Jurmala Outlet Village” and the Lidl store network – should have made a powerful entrance. However, due to Covid-19, plans are constantly changing, Latvian Radio reported March 8. Sāga and the Outlet Village still managed to open their door for customers, but Lidl hasn’t opened any of its planned 14 stores yet. All three companies…

Retail is holding head above water, but some traders have already drowned

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Last year turned many industries’ work upside down. Retail is among them, as both sellers and buyers had to and still have to adjust to different restrictions, according to a Euranet Plus report March 8. Eurostat data show that although the last year was like a rollercoaster, after the first shock of the spring, the retail sector has found a way to survive. So far the most dramatic restrictions in the…

Last week Latvia saw highest vaccination pace so far

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Last week the largest vaccination capacity has been reached – approximately 2,500 people were vaccinated on average per day,  Vaccination Project Bureau told Latvian Radio March 8. Last week, vaccination rates increased. Most people received their jabs on Wednesday and Thursday, when the peak of nearly 6,000 vaccinations a day was reached. In total, more than 190,000 episodes of vaccination have been performed during the week. At the end of…

Annual deflation still in place in February

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Latest data released March 8 from the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in February 2021, compared to February 2020, the average level of consumer prices decreased by 0.2 %. Prices of goods fell by 0.7 %, while prices of services rose by 0.9 %. “Compared to February 2020, in February 2021 the average level of consumer prices was mainly influenced by the drop in prices of goods and services related to housing, goods and services related to transport,…

No selfies with seals, nature experts remind

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Over the weekend the first reports of baby seals on shore have been received, Nature Conservation Agency (DAP) said March 8. Despite annual campaigns by the Agency urging not to come close to baby seals washed ashore from the sea, year after year, people either try to “save” them or take pictures to post on social media. Baby seals should have plenty of rest when they’re on shore, and people should not put the…