Latvia in Brief podcast: March 07, 2017

Here is the news in brief from Latvia, brought to you by Latvian Public Media.

airBaltic up in the air

There is fresh intrigue at Latvia's national airline airBaltic, after LTV reported the surprise sale of a large holding in the company.

The 20% stake in the airline bought by German investor Ralf-Dieter Montag Girmes a year ago for 52 million euros is being sold to a Danish investor named as Lars Thuesen by LTV.

Speaking on LTV March 7th, Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said ownership changes would strengthen the company but did not give details of the deal.

Snow, floods cause problems

Fresh snowfall, plus melting ice and a strong wind have created dangerous conditions on roads across the country during the last 24 hours.

Snow and flooding completely blocked the main trunk roads from Riga to Daugavpils for a time. Officials are warning motorists to drive with care and to avoid unecessary jouneys.

Sharply rising waters in the River Daugava have also caused localised flooding in Daugavpils and Jekabpils district.

Teacher training college in limbo

The ruling government coalition agreeed at a meeting March to postpone a decision about shutting down the Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy liquidation.

The Eduation Ministry favours closing the institution and transferring its students to other colleges as part of a streamlining plan. Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said after talks with coalition parties that the issue would be revisited in two weeks' time after further discussions.

Public Ombudsman Juris Jansons had asked Kučinskis not to go ahead with the liquidation plan, describing it as premature and not sufficiently evaluated.

Pothole emergency

Members of Bauska district council have called an extraordinary meeting in order to declare a state of emergency due to the appaling state of the roads in the area.

Councillors are calling on the Government and ministries to take immediate action to improve gravel roads which are full of potholes, making driving hazardous and frequently damaging vehicles.

Unless action is taken people will continue to leave the district, resulting in a worsening of the demographic situation and a downturn in business, councillors claim.

You can read all the latest news from Latvia in English, Latvian and Russian at www.lsm.lv

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