- Riga City Council plans to establish the Refugee Coordination Centre
- Donation account for urgent needs of asylum seekers is opened
The Riga City Council is planning to grant funding for the establishment of the Refugee Coordination Centre. The task of the Centre will be interinstitutional coordination of issues concerning accommodation of refugees in Riga. It is planned that the Centre will begin its work in 2016. News agency LETA
Voluntary activists helping asylum seekers in cooperation with an NGO Kanepes Culture Centre opened a donation account for urgent needs of asylum seekers. According to the coordinator of volunteers, the donations will help to respond to the urgent needs in centralized and more effective way. News agency BNS
- Four persons were granted asylum in Latvia during 2015
According to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, four persons were granted asylum and 20 persons were granted alternative status (subsidiary protection) in Latvia during 2015. In total, there were 317 asylum seekers in 2015. In the meantime, the Parliament is planning to approve the new Asylum Law, which among other provisions, stipulates that the government will have to receive the Parliament’s approval in adopting decisions on accommodation of asylum seekers in Latvia in response to exceptional influx of refugees. Latvijas Avize, Vesti Segodnya
- First group of asylum seekers presently located in Greece and Italy might arrive to Latvia in January 2016
The State Secretary of The Ministry of Interior Ilze Petersone-Godmane in an interview with Neatkariga says that the first part of asylum seekers who presently are located in Italy and Greece might arrive to Latvia in January 2016. 531 asylum seekers that Latvia agreed to accommodate will arrive gradually during next two years. Mrs Petersone-Godmane believes that the majority of these asylum seekers will be granted asylum in Latvia, but most likely some of them will leave the country and travel to the others EU countries.
- Public opinion survey: 74% of Latvian residents consider themselves as patriots
According to the latest public opinion survey about Latvian residents’ attitude towards national celebration days and patriotism conducted by “DNB Latvijas barometrs”, 82% of Latvian residents who speak Latvian language in a family and 62% of Latvian residents who speak Russian language in a family consider themselves as patriots of Latvia. In total, 74% of Latvian residents consider themselves as patriots. As compared with 2014, the number of patriots grew for 7 %. 60% of Latvian residents are ready to protect Latvia from enemies, for instance, from foreign invaders. The most important celebration days in Latvia for Latvian and Russian speakers are Christmas and New Year. 81% of Latvian speakers and 60% of Russian speakers take part in the Independence Day celebration events. Besides the official celebration days, 22% of Russian speakers consider 9 May (unofficial celebration of the end of the WWII or Victory Day) as one of the most important days. Full survey in Latvian is available at: https://www.dnb.lv/sites/default/files/dnb_latvian_barometer/documents/2015/dnb-latvijas-barometrs-petijums_nr85.pdf
- Union of Greens and Farmers proposed the draft amendments setting that the sole language of advertisements on all radio stations is Latvian.
Vesti Segodnya reports about the draft amendments to the Electronic Mass Media Law proposed by the Union of Greens and Farmers stipulating that the sole language of advertisements on all radio stations, including those broadcasting in the Russian language, is Latvian. According to a representative of the Latvian Advertising Association, it is important to evaluate whether such amendments contradict the freedom of speech and the effective Latvian legal regulation. The MP Boriss Cilevics, in his turn, stressed that the tendency to lower the proportion of radio broadcasting in Russian in Latvia contradicts the ratified Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe.