Latvia signs Istanbul Convention

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Latvia on Wednesday became the final European Union member state to sign up to the principles of the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe initiative that aims to reduce levels of violence against women.

Welfare Minister Janis Reirs signed the document in Sofia, tweeting in the process that "respectful treatment of women and respect for the family should be among the values and traditions of all families."

Though relatively uncontroversial in most EU member states, the Istanbul Convention has become a matter of some controversy in Latvia with the right-wing National Alliance political grouping bitterly opposed, most notably through Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnacs who was involved in a tempestuous live television interview on the subject Tuesday night.

Still fuming about the manner in which the One On One interview was conducted on LTV, with experienced journalist Gundars Reders refusing to show deference to the minister, Rasnacs on Wednesday posted a list of his 21 achievements as Justice Minister.

However, signing the convention is likely to be far easier than the process of ratifying it in Saeima with clear signals the National Alliance and the opposition Harmony party are preparing to work in tandem to defend what they jointly define as traditional family values.

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