BNN recap of the week: New Mayors. “Voluntary” vaccination. Belarus breaks ties – Baltic News Network

This week communities and meteorologists alike reported “heat”. Newly formed municipalities in Latvia have elected and re-elected mayors. Now the well-being of the residents of these communities rests in their hands for the next four years.

Although the Ventspils coalition hoped to the last moment to resolve the situation with Aivars Lembergs, who is still in custody and can no longer become mayor, representatives of other parties kept their word and voted against the election of Lembergs as mayor.

This week the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers started talks on the compulsory Covid-19 vaccination for representatives of certain professions. As an argument for this, government members cited the Indian Covid-19 strain, which is more contagious than the strains previously observed in Latvia. Autumn is not far anymore. And with there was a sharp surge in Covid-19 patients last fall, there are concerns that hospitals will be congested again later this year.

BNN gives you a recap of the major events of the past week, told in news on the following topics: Covid-19 vaccine; Municipalities; Budget; Exams; A lot of money; The end of the quarantine; Belarus.

COVID-19 VACCINATION

The Latvian government is discussing the right of employers to request Covid-19 vaccination of workers

The Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš. Photo: Paula Čurkste / LETA

The Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš provides for the possibility of employers requiring workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19, as the Prime Minister confirmed at a meeting between ministers and government partners on Thursday, July 1.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister asked representatives from business organizations whether the existing legal basis in the country allows employers to require employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19. According to the PM, such an option should be considered when there is no such option.

He said – it is important if employers want to promote national vaccinations and keep their operations safe.

Jānis Endziņš, chairman of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, mentioned that the law in Latvia does not currently give employers such rights.

He described the possibilities of employers to motivate employees to vaccinate as poor.

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COMMUNITIES

New faces and “old goats” – which politicians were elected to the mayoral offices in Latvia?

Aivars Lembergs, early elections, Bauska, prison, new mayor, new municipalities, For Latvia and Ventspils, Liepāja, mayors, mayoral elections, opposition, municipal elections, Salaspils, VARAM, elections 2021, Ventspils, mayor of Ventspilspil
Photo: Unsplash

Former mayors, new faces and former chairmen – the results of the local council elections after the 2021 elections.

Liepaja’s representative Gunārs Ansiņš, who was previously deputy chairman, was elected chairman of the Liepaja municipal council on Thursday, July 1st. 14 MPs voted for him.

The Liepaja party has signed a cooperation agreement with the Latvian regional association and the national alliance in Liepaja.

The mayor of Ādaži, Māris Sprindžuks from the Latvian Association of Regions, was able to keep his seat in the newly formed municipal council of Ādaži, which administers both Ādaži and Carnikava.

All 15 deputies elected by daži to the municipal council voted for him.

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BUDGET

Latvian ministries want 1.68 billion euros from the state budget for priorities

Ministry of Defense, Budget, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Culture, plans, budget funding requests
Photo: Pixabay

According to the Ministry of Finance, Latvian ministries have submitted funding applications worth EUR 1.68 billion from the state budget for next year.

The Ministry of Finance has compiled the funding applications submitted by ministries and state institutions according to priorities.

In total, ministries have submitted funding applications for the state budget in 2022 amounting to 1.68 billion euros. The ministries have earmarked an even larger amount for the coming years – 2.06 billion euros from the state budget in 2023 and 2.46 billion euros from the state budget in 2024.

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EXAMS

The Latvian State Educational Content Center reports on the results of the central exams

Graduates, CE, central exams, exams, tests, students, knowledge, secondary school
Photo: Pexels

Compared to last year’s central exam results, the biggest improvements in student academic achievement are in subjects like history and physics, according to the latest data from the State Education Content Center (VISC).

For chemistry and English exams, the results are worse.

The average score in math stays below 40%, with the average score this year being 36.3% (34.4% last year and 32.7% in 2019).

According to the VISC, the average score of students in the subject of history and world history of Latvia is 46%, which is around seven percentage points more than in the previous year (41.3%).

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A LOT OF MONEY

Facebook worth over $ 1,000,000,000,000 after court wins

Facebook, e-commerce, business, share value, big tech, USA, monopoly
Photo: REUTERS / SCANPIX

US court victories have boosted investor confidence in American social media giant Facebook, and its value exceeded $ 1 trillion for the first time, reports the British public broadcaster BBC.

This week, a US federal court dismissed two lawsuits filed by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a group of 46 states alleging that the company was stifling competition.

Court judge James Boasberg ruled the FTC’s antitrust complaint against the social networking giant was too vague. Meanwhile, another separate anticompetitive lawsuit by a group of 46 states has been dismissed because the alleged violations were too long ago.

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END OF THE QUARANTINE

BNN ANALYZES | Lithuania lifts the lockdown, but the spread of the contagious Delta Tribe and the lethargy being shot worry many

Lithuania, Lifts Quarantine, Restrictions, Relieved, Health, Delta Tribe, Events, Businesses, Featured
Naktsdzīve VIļņā. Photo: 15min.lt/SCANPIX

Lithuania this week canceled the nationwide lockdown that has been in place for more than six months. However, some restrictions, including requirements to wear face masks indoors, remain intact.

Although many cheered at the news, the country’s chief epidemiologists warned this week that the contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus is entering Lithuania.

Meanwhile, the country’s liberal-conservative government is scratching its head: How can you combat the increased reluctance to vaccinate many on vacation?

“The virus won’t suddenly go away. It will definitely stay a while longer – in the air and in the truest sense of the word below us. However, we are much better prepared for it, but we need to learn to deal with it. For now, »Saulius Čaplinskas, a well-known Lithuanian epidemiologist and former director of the Lithuanian Center for Communicable Diseases and AIDS (ULAC), told BNN.

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BELARUS

EU: Belarus decision to break off relations with the EU in order to harm Belarusians

EU, Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, sanctions, economy, politics, diplomacy, Minsk
Photo: REUTERS / SCANPIX

Brussels has regretted Belarus’ decision to sever relations with the EU after Minsk stopped participating in the Eastern Partnership program and recalled its representative to the EU. The steps were taken in response to the introduction of new EU sanctions against Belarus, reports the US broadcaster Radio Free Europe.

On Monday, June 28, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry announced that Minsk had withdrawn its permanent representative to the EU for consultations after Brussels imposed economic sanctions in response to the forced diversion of a passenger flight to Minsk last month that resulted in the arrest of a Dissidents enabled journalist and his girlfriend.

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