Latvia's national debt increases LVL 786 million in 2010 
RIGA, Jan 24 (LETA) - Total central government and local government debt in 2010 increased LVL 785.92 million or 18.3 percent, reaching LVL 5.08 billion at the end of last year, according to State Treasury's information.

Latvia's internal debt was LVL 796.05 million at end-December, or 111.9 million less than at the beginning of 2010. External debt, on the other hand, was LVL 4.146 billion - LVL 885.2 million more than at the beginning of last year.

Nordic military invites Baltic states on board 
TALLINN, Jan 22 (LETA--AFP) - Nordic nations on Friday invited the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to join a body that aims to smooth cooperation among the region's armed forces, the Estonian military said.

Lieutenant Commander Ingrid Muehling told AFP that the Baltic trio were formally asked to join NORDEFCO at the close of a two-day meeting of army leaders in the Estonian capital Tallinn.

''Citadele banka'' repays state EUR 46.6 million 
RIGA, Jan 18 (NOZARE.LV) - Today, joint-stock ''Citadele banka'' repaid EUR 46.6 million (LVL 32.8 million) deposit to the Finance Ministry six months before the repayment term, as the bank informed the business information portal ''Nozare.lv''.

''Citadele banka'' board chairman Juris Jakobsons points out that one of the bank's main priorities is the repayment of the state aid provided to the bank as soon as possible, which is being done. ''Thanks to the hard work of ''Citadele banka'' branches and the loyalty of our clients, we have been able to achieve better results than previously planned,'' said Jakobsons.

FM congratulates Danish royal court on birth of twins 
Published: 13:54 09.01.2011.
RIGA, Jan 9 (LETA--AFP) - Foreign Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis has sent a note of congratulations to Danish Crown Princess Mary, Crown Prince Frederik, the Danish royal court and the people of Denmark on the birth of twins.

"I congratulate you on this jubilant occasion, and wish for good health for the little ones, and much joy for their parents. We rejoice along with you and the Danish nation, who has always been a trusty friend to Latvia," the note reads.
Government declares nationwide state of emergency 
RIGA, Jan 6 (LETA) - During an emergency meeting today, the Cabinet of Ministers declared a nationwide state of emergency in regard to the prolonged power supply shortages in various regions of Latvia.

Taking into account information from the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Center about weather conditions in Latvia since December 24 - prolonged snowing, thick snow cover, ice and rain, as well as future weather forecasts, the government decided to declare a state of emergency in 40 regions.
PM delivers message of hope for 2011 
RIGA, Jan 1 (LETA) - In a televised address shortly before midnight, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis asked each inhabitant of Latvia to evaluate their attitude and responsibility toward the nation, at the same time believing that "Latvia can!".

"We know full well that there are more challenges up ahead. The new year will require much patience not only for the government but each individual. This is no time to battle one another, this is a time for unified effort, knowing where we are headed and what kind of Latvia we are building. 2011 will then be a step toward a stronger and self-assured Latvia."
Minimum wage to be increased to LVL 200 from next year 
RIGA, Nov 30 (LETA) - The minimum wage for a 40-hour week will be increased to LVL 200 (before tax), whilst the minimum hourly wage will be LVL 1.189 per hour, the government confirmed today.

The changes in the salary system will come into force from next year.

The current minimum wage in Latvia is set at LVL 180 (before tax).

In August 2010, 182,600 employed persons in Latvia received minimum wage.
Government approves increasing VAT rate to 22% 
RIGA, Nov 19 (LETA) - The Cabinet of Ministers decided today that standard value added tax rate would be increased to 22 percent, whereas property tax rate for apartments and private homes would be doubled.

Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (New Era) said after the government meeting that the reduced VAT rate would also be increased, from 10 percent to 12 percent, whereas reduced VAT rate on electricity would be lifted altogether.
Speaker Aboltina meets with Danish Ambassador 
RIGA, Nov 11 (LETA) - At a meeting today with the Danish Ambassador Per Carlsen today, Saeima Speaker Solvita Aboltina said that she is convinced that relations must be tighter not just bilaterally, but also in the context of all three Baltic States/five Nordic countries.

10th Saeima holds inaugural plenary today 
RIGA, Nov 2 (LETA) - Today at 10 a.m - the first plenary meeting for the newly-elected Saeima will be held.

Registration for the new MPs will be open in the foyer as of 9 a.m. (Jekaba St. 11).

The plenary will be opened by 9th Saeima Speaker Gundars Daudze, and he will continue to chair the meeting until the new speaker is elected. Other members of the Presidium will also be voted in.
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