Observer Latvija SIA
WEEK 10th. 2004

Thursday, the 4th of March, 2004

Doubtful advantage of Lattelekom agreement of settlement
On March 3 the agreement of settlement was signed between the Latvian telecommunication company Lattelekom and its co-owner TeliaSonera. According to the terms of the agreement, TeliaSonera should pay LVL 1 million to Latvia, although there are no any additional conditions for that company. TeliaSonera also has the right of pre-emption. That is why some representatives of the Latvian side think that this agreement is not so profitable for Latvia.

To re-register or to close
The main state notary of the Latvian Companies Register Janis Endzins declared that only 11,000 companies out of 50,000 Latvian enterprises had rewritten their statutes according to the new law on commerce. At the same time only 300 days are left for re-registration of the companies - their transition from the Companies Register to the Commercial Register. Endzins is afraid that around 25,000 companies will not be able to re-register. Therefore, they will have to stop working.

Wednesday, the 3rd of March, 2004

Transit goes to efficient neighbours
On March 2 the Latvian government has approved the terms for construction of 5 sanitary inspection border points that are in line with the EU requirements. However it will not be possible to build them before autumn, therefore the flow of cargos of animal origin through Ventspils and Riga ports will be stopped for some time. The local companies already forecast that this flow will be directed to Estonia and Lithuania and even count their future losses. At present in Latvia there are only two sanitary inspection border points that are functioning according to the EU standards.

Tuesday, the 2nd of March, 2004

Good company in bad list
The USA had included Latvia in the list of the most problematic countries in money laundering sphere. Among the weaknesses mentioned by the American specialists there is a big amount of non-residents deposits in banks, participation in cases on money laundering investigated by FBI, active net of organized crime in Latvia and small number of people convicted for legalization of the illegally received money. The American Embassy in Latvia advises to pay more attention to money declaration control during crossing the border and to report about some kinds of money transactions. The experts also recommend to introduce a law that will allow to confiscate laundered money. Last year 15,371 reports about suspicious deals were submitted, 26 of them referred to money laundering.

Monday, the 1st of March, 2004

Salaries had grown nearly by 11%
The Central Statistical Bureau informed that last year the salaries in Latvia were growing faster than the prices - by 10.9%. The average wages in the public sector was LVL 224.24 (LVL 159.91 after paying taxes), but in the
private sector - LVL 172.46 (LVL 124.29). The level of inflation was 2.9%. The total amount of employers debts to their employees was LVL 2.25 million.

Latvia distinguished itself with high inflation
In January 2004 Latvia experienced one of the sharpest increases of inflation level in the EU candidate-countries. According to the European Statistical Bureau Eurostat, the prices had grown by 4% in comparison with the same month of 2003. The inflation was higher in Slovenia and Hungary. One month inflation in Latvia was 1.3%.

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