Categories: Latvia in review

Latvian President Andris Bērziņš Asks Laimdota Straujuma to Form the New Government of Latvia

State President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš has decided to ask Laimdota Straujuma, the Unity nominated candidate for the post of prime minister, to establish the new Cabinet of Ministers, after meeting with political parties that are represented in the Saeima and evaluating her professional experience and positive activities in the out-going government where she was […]

High Level EU Visit to Latvia

On Friday, January 10, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, will pay a visit to Rīga with a view to meet Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis and participate in the event hosted in honour of the euro introduction in Latvia. During the meeting with the […]

Latvia Joins the Euro Zone!

With the arrival of 2014 Latvia has joined the Eurozone and the Euro has become the official currency of the country. Shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve the Prime Ministers of Latvia and Estonia, Valdis Dombrovskis and Andruss Ansip, as well as Minister of Finance Andris Vilks, and President of the Bank of Latvia […]

3rd Quarter Indicates Rise in Wages

The latest data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia show that, as compared to the corresponding periods of the previous year, average wages and salaries in the 3rd quarter of 2013 have risen faster than in the first two quarters of 2012. In the 3rd quarter of this year, average gross wages and salaries in the […]

Countdown to Riga 2014 – European Capital of Culture

Countdown to Riga 2014 – European Capital of Culture

There are only 39 days left till the opening ceremony of Rīga 2014, when Rīga will become the cultural epicentre of Europe. Force Majeure is the bold theme of Rīga’s year under the EU’s cultural spotlight. The central aim of the programme is culture as a force for positive change – an extraordinary energy with the power to […]

PM Dombrovskis Steps Down

Prime Minister of Latvia Valdis Dombrovskis resigned on November 27, accepting political responsibility for the November 21 tragedy. After meeting the President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš, Dombrovskis announced he is stepping down over the catastrophe when a roof caved in a shopping centre, during its busiest hours on November 21, resulting in 54 casualties and […]

Tragedy in Riga that is beyond comprehension… November 21, 2013

The past few days have been filled with unbearable sadness for everyone in Latvia. Monday, November 25, marks the third and final day of mourning in our country, following a tragedy when a roof caved in a shopping centre, during its busiest hours on November 21, resulting in 54 casualties and dozens of people injured. […]

Dombrovskis: Latvia Is Ready to Start Youth Guarantee Initiative from January 1

On November 12,”In view of the economic situation in Europe, all Member States should focus on concrete action to improve the youth employment. Latvia will be ready to start implementing the youth guarantee initiative already from January 1, 2014”, emphasized Prime Minister of Latvia Valdis Dombrovskis in the intergovernmental conference on tackling youth employment that […]

In Latvia Exports Up 3.3% in Jan-Sep

Compared to the first nine months of 2012, export of goods (at current prices) during January-September of 2013 has grown by 165 million lats (EUR 234.7 million) or by 3.3%, according to provisional data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia Meanwhile imports have grown by 33.9 million lats (EUR 48.3 million) or by […]

Lonely Planet Lists Rīga as Fourth TOP City to Visit in 2014

Lonely Planet has named Rīga to be the fourth TOP city to visit in 2014. Beaten only by Paris, Trinidad and Cape Town, Rīga in the words of the Lonely Planet’s editors is “reclaiming its rightful title as the cosmopolitan cornerstone of the Baltic”. They describe the capital of Latvia as “sitting at the crossroads […]

Saeima Restricts Issuance of Residence Permits

On Thursday, October 31, the Saeima adopted in the final reading urgent amendments to the Immigration Law in order to introduce quotas for issuing residence permits to real estate buyers and prevent foreigners from obtaining residence permits in exchange for purchase of real estate containing agricultural land or forest. In 2014, the Office of Citizenship […]

Unemployment in Latvia Drops to 9.1% in Early November 2013

The unemployment rate in Latvia has dropped to 9.1% in early November, said the National Agency for Employment (NVA) director Inese Kalvane in an interview with the Latvian public radio on Monday. She said that the unemployment level is comparatively low. „Since the beginning of the crisis, the unemployment level has dropped two-fold,” she said. […]

EBRD Will Focus on Support for Entrepreneurship in Latvia

During a meeting with Prime Minister of Latvia Valdis Dombrovskis, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Sir Suma Chakrabarti confirmed that the EBRD plans to focus on business support projects in Latvia. The President of the EBRD confirmed that he plans to visit Latvia with this objective this year, in order to […]

General Government Budget Deficit in 2012 Has Dropped to 1.3 % of GDP

General government budget deficit at the end of 2012 comprised LVL 203.3 (EUR 289.3) million or 1.3 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the general government debt comprised LVL 6,305.8 (EUR 8,972.4) million or 40.6 % of GDP. According to the results of the October 2013 general government budget deficit and debt notification […]

Life in Rīga

Life in Riga is a blog designed to help you move to, live in, appreciate and understand Latvia, its capital city Riga and residents.

Latvia to Have Greatest Economic Growth in Central and Eastern Europe – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts Latvia will have the biggest economic growth among Central and Eastern European countries in 2013 and 2014. In its World Economic Outlook projections published October 8, the IMF forecasts a 4% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase for Latvia in 2013, as well as a 4.2% growth in 2014. Meanwhile […]

Speaker of the Saeima: Women’s Rights Are Among Latvia’s Priorities in Human Rights

Women’s rights are among Latvia’s priorities in international law on human rights. Latvia is implementing an integrated approach to gender equality in politics and legislation, as well as in planning and decision-making processes. This was emphasised by Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, during her visit to the United States of America when meeting with […]

Work To Start on Organising AlphaMetrix International Investment Forum in Rīga

On September 19, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis concluded his visit to Monaco, where he participated in the annual international summit for financial investors and funds’ managers organised by AlphaMetrix. During the meeting with Aleks Kins, an entrepreneur of Latvian origin, founder and manager of AlphaMetrix, an agreement was reached to organise such event in Rīga. […]

Producer Prices Stable, Exert No Upward Pressure on Consumer Prices

Producer price dynamic is exerting no upward pressure on consumer prices. In August 2013, the prices of manufacturing products sold on the domestic market were  1.8% higher than a year ago. The slightly higher total rise in the prices of manufacturing products  (by 1.9%) was determined by the rising prices of export goods (by 2.0%). […]

The Guardian Picks Sigulda as a TOP Autumn Tourist Destination

“An hour from Riga is the Gauja valley, a spectacularly beautiful sight when the trees have turned red and gold. From the pretty town of Sigulda, with its white Lutheran church, head through the valley to the red brick fairytale of Turaida castle: the battlements offer a breathtaking view. A cable car trip will complete […]

Euro Conference Latvia Takes Place in Rīga

On September 12 the Euro Conference Latvia took place in Rīga, during which the economic policy makers and economists of Latvia and the European Union discussed development of the euro area and improvement of its governance. This is a historic moment for Latvia, which on 1 January 2014 will become the 18th member of the […]

Video Clip: Latvian Nationwide Song and Dance Celebration

Last week the Latvian Institute unveiled a new video about the Latvian Nationwide Song and Dance Celebration created in collaboration with the Latvian Television. Watch the new video here: Text: Latvian Institute 2013 ©

Progress Being Made on Latvia’s 2014 Budget

Progress in gradually being made on Latvia’s 2014 budget, while discussions are to continue on such problematic issues as port tax, the issuance of residency permits, as well as the Education and Science Ministry’s budget, Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis told journalists following a meeting of the coalition cooperation council on Monday. “We are gradually […]

Latvia Registers Biggest GDP Increase in Q2 among EU Members – Eurostat

Latvia has had the biggest growth of gross domestic product (GDP) among the 27 European Union (EU) states in the second quarter of 2013, Eurostat reports. The change, compared with the same quarter of the previous year, shows a 4.3% increase, based on seasonally adjusted data. Concluding the TOP3, Latvia is closely followed by its […]

Dombrovskis – Latvia’s Longest Serving Democratically Appointed Prime Minister

Friday, August 30, marks 1633 days since Valdis Dombrovskis took his office of the Prime Minister. Thus, now he is the longest serving PM since Latvia has regained its independence. He is also the longest serving PM in the Latvian history appointed in a democratic way. Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis emphasizes that such a long […]

Joint Statement of Baltic Prime Ministers Regarding the Baltic Way

August 23 is the European Day of Remembrance for victims of Stalinism and Nazism. Today the world commemorates the victims of the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. On 23 August 1939, the Soviet Union led by Joseph Stalin and the German Reich ruled by Adolf Hitler entered into a secret pact to divide and […]

Government Supports Reduction of Social Contributions

The Latvian government in a closed meeting on Tuesday supported labour tax model, providing for reduction of social contributions by 1 percentage point from next year, the Latvian Finance Ministry reported. The labour force tax model has been prepared, considering opinions of social and cooperation partners regarding social contributions and rebates on individual income tax. […]

Number of Visitors in Latvian Hotels Increase 10,5% in Q2

According to the data of Central Statistical Bureau, the number of visitors in hotels and other accommodation establishments in the second quarter of this year comprised 471 200 people, which is 10.5% more than in the same period of the last year. In total there were 8.6% more visitors in the first half of 2013 […]

Opera Star Elīna Garanča Wins Award for “Romantique”

Elīna Garanča will be among those honored October 6th at Germany’s “Echo Klassik” Awards presentation, winning for her album of “all-time most-romantic” opera arias – “Romantique” (a “Deutsche Grammophon” recording). She sings (superbly!) selections from the songbooks of Donizetti, Saint-Saens, Gounod, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, and others. Previously, in 2007 and 2009, Garanča was recipient of the […]