There is a fight for last lucrative chunks in continuous Latvian privatization process. Telia-Sonera and Blackstone Inc compete for being future owners of the majority stake in Lattelecom. Conflicting announcements come out from the government building. It is rumoured that government would make its final decision on February 5, 2008.
After omenous decision of the Latvian Supreme Court to bar Riga Freeport expansion plans has made the Maire of Riga, Jānis Birks and Freeport representatives very nervous. Member of the Riga Freeport board Vladimirs Makarovs (TB/LNNK) even announced in an interview to TV3 and LTV1 evening news, that the Riga Freeport would sue Latvia about the decision of Constitutional Court into the European Court of Human Rights! Nervousness of Latvian minigarhs is obvious because the Constitutional Court's decision to terminate Freeport expansion plans right at this moment means "estimated loss" of GBP 1,3 billion... . Such amount of money is estimated, if real estate developers would be allowed to develop their plans keeping in mind current price of the land in an area of planned expansion.
While some politicians fight for breadcrumbs from lucrative privatization deals there are some who like to serve their God-masters. The Head of Saeima Legal Commission Dzintars Jaundžeikars (LP/LCC) has opened discussion about the law on security organizations reports Delfi. Amendments in this controversial law was the reason for former president Vaira Vīķe Freiberga to veto hasty government's decision in March 17, 2007. Events that emanated from the veto of the former president called widspread protests and revived the civil society in Latvia. Head of the Legal Commission tried to assure journalists that opening of this controversial law for amendments would not touch sensitive issues that were put on referendum.
I do not trust this politician because he publicly lied about his son Pēteris, when the latter was stopped last summer by traffic police and found under influence of drugs & driving. If the law is opened again, I am afraid that they will try to consolidate the power in hands of executive again. It means that silent coup d'etat continues in Latvia. Timing for opening the law is well planned because civil society has quieted down due to winter, Russian presidential "elections" (some might call it simply a royal succession:) are coming, and Brussels is more concerned about the "terminally ill" Italy and Belgium. Unfortunately very few policy makers in Brussels are concerned about the "weird and faraway new member state-Lettonie". Present political elite I assume knows it, and that explains very smug attitude of certain MP's and ministers (for example Messrs A.Šlesers, A. Kalvītis, R.Pauls, I.Kalniņš) vis-a-vis Brussels. Smugness of Latvian political elite is very short sighted, and in combination with suicidal courting with Russian businessmen could seriously endanger sovereign existence of the state.
P.S. The 2nd Secretary and Vice Consul of the Russian Embassy in Riga, Mr. Alexander Rogozhin is the person who spied in Latvia and left the country yesterday. Russia has not yet demanded any Latvian diplomat to leave Moscow premises, as it was predicted. Russian outgoing ambassador Mr Kaluzhni finished his tenure with a Byzantine pronouncement. When journalists inquired him about Mr Rogozhin he answerd that he was a nice pal and he considers the decision of Latvian Intelligence Agency (SAB) as ludicrous, "because there is nothing to spy in Latvia, because they [Russians] know about everything in here, for example, that Latvian army just bought 6000 pairs of boots."