Linda Zalāne

Linda Zalāne

Latvijas Radio raidījuma "Atvērtie faili" žurnāliste

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Rīga-Vilnius train gets thumbs up from tourism industry
Rīga-Vilnius train gets thumbs up from tourism industry
The Vilnius-Rīga train route, which opened four months ago, has already brought several thousand visitors to the Latvian capital. The hospitality industry says that route has contributed positively to Riga's business environment, Latvian Radio reports April 24.
Employers welcome Latvia's revised guest worker salary rules
Employers welcome Latvia's revised guest worker salary rules
Two months ago, rules were adopted that employers can pay guest workers the average wage in the sector, instead of the national average, as was previously the case. Employers welcome the government's decision but admit that the effect will only be felt in the coming months, Latvian Radio reported April 10.

With the government's decision of January this year, employers are allowed to pay foreign workers a wage that is not less than the average gross monthly wage of Latvian workers in the sector in the previous year or equivalent to the minimum wage set by the sector's general agreement.
Latvian Radio investigates manganese ore transit via Latvia to Russia
Latvian Radio investigates manganese ore transit via Latvia to Russia
While Ukraine has been fighting the  Russian military machine on the battlefield every day for more than two years now, the Latvian transit business and politicians have not closed the gates to the flow of manganese ore to the aggressor country – and Russia can use this raw material for the production of military equipment, reports Latvian Radio's 'Atvertie Faili' (Open Files) investigative show. 
Latvia mulls curbing cash payments
Latvia mulls curbing cash payments
Merchants with an annual turnover of more than €50,000 could be required to provide non-cash payment options to their customers. Currently, there is no such mandatory requirement. The Ministry of Finance has included such an idea in its plan to curb the shadow economy, and hopes to introduce the requirement by the end of this year, Latvian Radio reported on March 20.
Latvian authorities pledge to pay more attention to cash flow
Latvian authorities pledge to pay more attention to cash flow
Every year, the circulation of cash in Latvia is estimated at several billion euros, and a significant proportion pass through ATMs. The responsible authorities plan to pay more attention to cash flow through ATMs, Latvian Radio reported on February 27.
Exports promotion will be tougher in Latvia this year, experts say
Exports promotion will be tougher in Latvia this year, experts say
Last year Latvia's foreign trade turnover dropped and this year Latvian exporters will have to continue searching for ever new export markets to reduce the pressure caused by the geopolitical situation. Support for export promotion from the European Structural Funds has decreased significantly for this planning period, Latvian Radio reported on February 21.
Construction industry saw stabilization last year in Latvia
Construction industry saw stabilization last year in Latvia
Last year, construction sector turnover was 3.2 billion euros, and compared to 2022, growth was more than half a billion euros. This year is not likely to bring such significant growth of turnover to the sector, rather stabilization, according to industry representatives surveyed by Latvian Radi February 14.
Few sanctions breach cases reach court in Latvia
Few sanctions breach cases reach court in Latvia
Although several hundred criminal cases for violation of sanctions have been initiated in Latvia since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, only a tiny fraction – 22 cases – have reached the court. Seven judgments have come into force and the penalties are gradually increasing, Latvian Radio reported on February 9.
Latvia plans to borrow EUR 3 billion next year
Latvia plans to borrow EUR 3 billion next year
This year Latvia's government debt has reached EUR 17 billion, and it is expected that next year the amount of borrowing will increase. Government debt has risen significantly in the last five years, from €11 billion in 2019 to €17 bn this year, Latvian Radio reported on December 13.
Surprises in heating prices unlikely this season
Surprises in heating prices unlikely this season
Over a year and a half, several dozen projects have been implemented in Latvia, in which local governments have changed fuel from natural gas to woodchips. This will allow the heat bill to no longer jump along with fluctuations in gas prices in global markets, as it was last winter, experts surveyed by Latvian Radio November 29 said.
Is it too early for Christmas shopping in Latvia?
Is it too early for Christmas shopping in Latvia?
While it seems Christmas is far away, the advent of holiday decor on store shelves in early November is a common practice in Latvia and elsewhere in the world. Representatives of retail stores told Latvian Radio Wednesday that this is due to early demand but it does not mean that shops have forgotten Latvian national holidays in mid-November.
Fruit and vegetable growers ready to fight for reduced VAT
Fruit and vegetable growers ready to fight for reduced VAT
Fruit and vegetable producers are not prepared to give in to the government's idea of raising the value-added tax (VAT) rate on produce from 5% to 12% next year. Industry representatives are concerned about shadow economy and say the fight is not over yet, Latvian Radio reported on November 9.
Many complain about employees lacking Latvian language
Many complain about employees lacking Latvian language
Latvia has a number of jobs in different sectors and professions where it is possible to carry out work duties without knowing the Latvian language, but often even those who should know the language by law, do not. The number of complaints about the lack of Latvian-language knowledge is increasing, Latvian Radio reported on August 14.
Teenagers keen on summer jobs in Latvia
Teenagers keen on summer jobs in Latvia
The youth employment program is in full swing this month, with a large number of companies participating this year, enabling more than 7,500 teens to work in the summer, Latvian Radio reported on August 10.
Rental market heated by students ahead of new term
Rental market heated by students ahead of new term
The demand for rental housing has taken an upward turn, with students looking for accommodation ahead of the new study term. Real estate experts surveyed by Latvian Radio on August 4 said that the first apartments to go are in central Rīga in the price category of around €500.
Restaurants report dire lack of workforce in summer
Restaurants report dire lack of workforce in summer
For restaurants and bars during the summer season, when both domestic and foreign tourism increases, the workload is increasing significantly. Finding additional workforce is not easy, Latvian Radio reported on June 28.
Small shops still fight Latvia's deposit system
Small shops still fight Latvia's deposit system
For small rural shops, the size of which is more than 60 square meters, the Law lays down an obligation to accept empty containers for deposit, but shopkeepers have long been saying that there are issues with that, mainly space, Latvian Radio reported on June 27.
Electric car popularity on the rise in Latvia
Electric car popularity on the rise in Latvia
Over the past two years, electric car numbers have increased – the sector has had the fastest growth ever. The number of electric car charging points is therefore also increasing. Several experts addressed by Latvian Radio on May 24 said that the number of charging networks is optimal, while some say Latvia is lagging behind.
Bicycle sales brake after pandemic in Latvia
Bicycle sales brake after pandemic in Latvia
After a rapid upturn in bicycle sales during the pandemic, demand is stable this spring, but it is far from the pandemic levels. The good news is that this summer merchants no longer face logistical problems, Latvian Radio reported on May 5.
Construction sector forecasts recession for 2023
Construction sector forecasts recession for 2023
This year, the construction sector will not experience rapid growth, and will not recover from last year's drop of 11%. Experts surveyed by Latvian Radio on April 11 predicted a moderate recession for the construction sector this year.
Latvian central bank plans to battle loose change
Latvian central bank plans to battle loose change
Every year, Latvian residents lose several million coins of one and two cents. They are dropped on the streets and lying around in drawers and pockets, and sucked up in vacuum cleaners. For this reason, the Latvian central bank (Bank of Latvia) intends to reduce the circulation of these nominals, Latvian Radio reported April 5.
E-commerce growth slows down in Latvia, say experts
E-commerce growth slows down in Latvia, say experts
Although the volume of e-commerce in Latvia has been growing rapidly in the last three years, the pace has started to slow slightly in the last three months. Was the breakthrough in e-commerce a temporary boom during the Covid-19 pandemic time, or is Internet shopping to stay? Latvian Radio spoke to industry representatives on March 29.
Russian language tends to disappear from job ads in Latvia
Russian language tends to disappear from job ads in Latvia
Although Russian knowledge is one of the most demanded in Latvia's labour market, the past year's events in Ukraine have made adjustments in this respect. Under public pressure, the Russian-language requirement is disappearing from job advertisements, Latvian Radio reported on March 22.
Will University of Latvia's Torņakalns campus benefit the area?
Will University of Latvia's Torņakalns campus benefit the area?
The University of Latvia (LU) will expand its Academic Center in Torņakalns in the next four years. The House of Nature and House of Sciences will be accompanied by the Houses of Letters, Technology, Health, Sports, and Students. Will the Academic Center be able to make a strong push for the development of Torņakalns? Latvian Radio explored the matter on December 21.
Shopping malls balance energy saving and festive decor
Shopping malls balance energy saving and festive decor
For several months, malls have been saving energy resources in a variety of ways, both by reducing lighting intensity and indoor temperatures and by upgrading heating systems. However, Christmastime presents a new challenge: how to align austerity measures with holiday decorations, Latvian Radio reported December 7.
Growing demand for cheaper products at stores
Growing demand for cheaper products at stores
Both consumers and food producers are looking for ways to save during the inflation upturn. Shoppers are looking for commodities at a lower price, while food producers tighten their belts and cut production costs – looking for cheaper forms of energy, reducing their product range, also changing recipes and packaging, Latvian Radio reported on November 16.