BNN summary of the week: Average wage growth. MPC drop. Life on the border

This week most of Latvia’s residents turned their attention towards the large volumes of snow, which surprised many. Meteorologists, too, agree this is an unusual amount of snow for Latvia for this time of year. For the first time in history meteorologists were forced to declare a state of emergency in Riga due to heavy snowfall.
But it wasn’t just the amount of snow that was surprising this week. The Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia reported average wage growth in Latvia. However, the news was dampened somewhat by the rapid inflation and OECD’s reports of Latvia’s expected slow growth among Baltic States.
Meanwhile in Belarus, specifically the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, there are still many people remaining on the border line, unable to pass. Lithuanian journalists report meeting a group of migrants with a sick child in dire need of medical assistance.
BNN gives you a summery of the most relevant events of the past week in the following topics: Growth; Reducing payments; NATO; Wages in Latvia; Life on the border; Compulsory vaccination and New republic.
Latvia’s GDP increases 5.1% in Q3 2021
Photo: UnsplashIn Q3 2021, compared to Q3 2020, gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 5.1 %, according to seasonally and calendar non-adjusted data at constant prices.
In Q3 GDP at current prices was EUR 8.9 billion. As compared to the previous quarter, GDP went up by 0.6 %, according to data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau.
In Q3 2021, compared to the same period of the previous year, drop in value added in agriculture sector was estimated at 9.3 % (of which, drop in crop production of 12.5 %, but in livestock production – rise of 0.4 %). In turn an increase of 2.0 % was observed in forestry and logging, but in fishery there was a drop of 2.0 %.
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Latvian government conceptually passes proposal for 60% reduction of MPC
Photo: Evija Trifanova/LETAFrom 1 January 2022 onward it is planned to reduce the mandatory procurement component (MPC) for electricity by about 60%, as decided by the government on Tuesday, 30 November.
According to the Ministry of Economics, during a closed meeting the government reviewed the ministry’s report and conceptually passed the proposal to reduce the average MPC rate by about 60% from 1 January 2022 onward. This means reducing it to 7.55 EUR/MWh. This is intended to provide support to all electricity users – households and legal persons.
According to the decision published by the Public Utilities Commission (SPRK), if the government passes the proposal from the Ministry of Economics, MPC for electricity produced using gas by CHP plants will reduce to 0.00020 EUR/kWh. This is nearly five times less than now. MPC for electricity produced from renewable resources will reduce to 0.00176 EUR/kWh, which is 4.7 times less than now.
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NATO wants to restore peaceful dialogue with Russia
NATO Secretary General Jenss Stoltenberg. Photo: Edijs Pālens/LETASome time ago Russia decided to terminate diplomatic ties with NATO. Now the alliance urges the country to reconsider and once again engage in a NATO-Russian peace dialogue, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
He says discussions were held by NATO ministers of defence on 30 November. Three topics were discussed – the concentration of Russian military forces near Ukraine, Aleksandr Lukashenko’s regime in Belarus and NATO’s role in arms control.
Stoltenberg said the situation in and around Ukraine remains unpredictable. He also said there is no clarity in regards to Russia’s intentions.
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Average wage increases 10.4% in Latvia
Photo: PexelsIn Q3 2021, the average monthly gross salary in the country for full-time work was EUR 1 280. Compared to Q3 2020, the average monthly salary increased by EUR 121 or 10.4 %, but the hourly wages before taxes – by 4.4 % (from EUR 8.09 to EUR 8.44).
In Q3 2021, the average monthly gross salary increased by 3.4 % compared to Q2, while hourly wages decreased by 1.6 %, according to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau show that.
Average net wages and salaries (calculated based on labour taxes applicable on workplace) comprised EUR 940 or 73.4 % of the gross salary. It increased by 10.3 % during the year. The real increase in net wages and salaries, taking into account the rise in consumer prices, was 6.3 %.
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Lithuanian journalists hear out migrants about efforts to cross border, child health
Photo: Sergei Bobylev/TASS/Scanpix Illustrative image of migrants in Belarus, near the country’s border with the EUOn Lithuanian-Belarusian border, journalists have met a group of migrants, including five children. People coming from the Middle East told their story of trying to enter Poland, then Lithuania and troubles in seeking medical care to an ill child, Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT and journalists Domantė Platūkytė and Benas Gerdžiūnas report.
One of the children is sick and will receive medical assistance in Lithuania, according to the journalists.
«Most of the migrants identified themselves as Iraqi citizens coming from Iraqi Kurdistan. There were at least five men, three women, and at least five children. […] Two women from Somalia were also with them. One child was sick,» said LRT journalist Benas Gerdžiūnas.
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Greece: Senior citizens will be vaccinated or pay fine
Medical staff stand outside a mobile Covid-19 vaccination team set up by Health Ministry in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Photo: AP/SCANPIXGreece has decided to make Covid-19 vaccination a mandatory requirement for people 60 years old and older. The unvaccinated elderly will face a fine, British news portal The Independent reports.
«We are focusing our efforts on protection of our fellow citizens and for this reason their vaccination will be mandatory from now on,» Greece’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a cabinet sitting on Tuesday, November 30.
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New republic declared in Caribbean region – Barbados
(From left) Britain’s Prince Charle, Barbados President Sandra Mason and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley in Bridgetown, Barbados. Photo: via REUTERS/SCANPIXThere is a new republic in the world from this week – Barbados. The island country in the Caribbean region has decided to separate itself from the post-colonial British Commonwealth system with the Queen of the United Kingdom as its head, British news portal The Guardian reports.
On Tuesday, November 30, in the country’s capital Bridgetown, the inauguration of the first President of Barbados, Sandra Mason, took place.
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