Economy & Politics: Why the poverty line determined by Latvian lawmakers is unconstitutional

Image: Economic well-being appears to be more important than social justice in Latvia. Modern office buildings in the Teika district in the Latvian capital Rīga. Recorded in May 2019. Double click on the image to enlarge.

Latvia is undoubtedly not a country for social romanticists. There is no special social assistance system for disability and the elderly. However, those who are not entitled to disability benefits and old-age pensions can, under certain circumstances, receive the basic social security benefit (Valsts sociālā nodrošinājuma pabalsts). A family or individual is only considered to be in need if the average monthly income of each family member in the past three months has been less than EUR 128.06. Social benefits are only given to those who do not have savings, possessions or other support lines. You also have to be registered as unemployed with the State Employment Agency. For people with an employment but a lower income than 64, – EURO per month, there are special regulations, such as housing subsidy or a subsidy for the purchase of food.

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Economy & Politics: What the results of the EU Corona Summit mean for Latvia financially

Image: The global economy is suffering from the corona crisis, including Latvia. Port facility in the Sarkandaugava district in Rīga. Picture taken 2014. Double click on the image to enlarge.

At a special summit on July 21, 2020, the representatives of the EU countries agreed on the largest financial package in their history in the fight against the corona economic crisis. The package comprises a total of 1.8 trillion euros – thereof 1074 billion euros for the next seven-year budget and 750 billion euros for an economic and investment program to counter the economic consequences of the pandemic crisis. For this, debts are being raised on a large scale for the 27 member states, then the money is redistributed and repaid together over decades.

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Economy & Politics: From now on visitors in Latvia have to fill out questionnaires

The easiest way to get from Germany to Latvia is to fly. High above the clouds over Latvia with LUFTHANSA. The Latvian government has decided that travelers crossing the border to Latvia with commercial carriers such as buses, trains and airlines will be required to complete a questionnaire from July 16, 2020. Photo © 2006 by Birk Karsten Ecke. Click on the image to enlarge it.

The Latvian government has decided that travelers crossing the Latvian border with commercial travel companies, such as buses, ferries, trains and airlines, will be required to complete a questionnaire from July 16, 2020. See https://www.mk.gov.lv/en/content/covid-19. According to the Cabinet of Ministers, the data will be used to fight against the corona pandemic. So far, the Baltic States have survived the corona epidemic with only a few sick, although the economic damage is enormous. Travelers from countries with more than 16 sufferers per 100,000 inhabitants are still not allowed to enter or have to go into quarantine for two weeks. This quarantine will be  controlled by the Latvian police.

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