I was already writing on June 11 about the amendments in the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and legalisation of illegal financial funds. According to the press announcements the new amendments had to be presented by July 7. Member of the opposition New Era (JL) party Ms Linda Mūrniece in her blog informs us today, that the most important parts of the law are still changed according to whims of the Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) financier from the town of Ventspils, and thus, it still provides a safe heaven for criminals in Latvia.
The law had to be passed by December 12, 2007 because the EU governance requests that the EU directives are to be included into the national legislation within certain time frame but without EU institutions telling the means of achieving it. However, due to to the particular interest groups in the Latvian parliament implementing the demands of the directive into the Latvian legislation was delayed, and finally the ill famous amendments of Vilnis Edvīns Bresis (ZZS) screwed the bill that was discussed for three long years.
Now it is the time to pass the bill the way that it would be acceptable not only to the governing clique, but also to the Saeima opposition parties, the EU institutions, and the EU partner countries. After all the essence of the law is not just domestic political brinkmanship, but foremost preventing Latvia to continue its "fame" of becoming a "black hole" for gangsters, petit criminals and tax evaders. The voting of the Saeima about this ominous law is expected on July 17, 2008, and all this regardless of the festive atmosphere in the XXIV Song&Dance festival. I am just curious whether the incumbent president follows the procedure of passing this bill into law as attentively as he is watching the Song Festival participants?