BNN summary of the week. Major price climb. Deputy prosecuted. New power in Germany

This week residents in Latvia were able to enjoy winter and snow. White and snowy winter has come to Latvia. Skiing tracks have also started opening up for the season. The sudden shift in weather conditions have made life harder for drivers, however.
The only dampener to the joy was the news about inflation. Prices are on the rise for electricity and natural gas in Latvia. The Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia also reports in November inflation in the country was 7.5%.
This week the parliament in Latvia voted in favour of permitting criminal prosecution of deputy Jānis Ādamsons. The deputy in question remains under arrest. He is suspected of spying for the Russian Federation.
A new era has commenced in Germany. After 16 years Angela Merkel has stepped down from the position of chancellor. Olaf Scholz from the Social Democratic Party was picked as her successor.
BNN gives you a summery of the most relevant events of the past week in the following topics: Bills; Position; Price rise; Spying; End of Merkel Era; Boycott.
Latvijas Gāze’s tariffs for households to increase between 54.2% to 93% next January
Photo: UnsplashFrom 1 January 2022 Tariffs of AS Latvijas Gāze for households will increase from 54.2% to 93% depending on consumption volumes, according to the official entry in the Latvian Herald.
For households that consume up to 250 m3 of gas, the differentiated end tariff with VAT and excise tax for the first half-year of 2022 will increase 54.2% – from 0.71472 EUR/1 m3 to 1.10290 EUR/1 m3. For households that consume between 250 m3 to 500 m3, the end tariff will increase 66.9% – from 0.71472 EUR/1 m3 to 0.96649 EUR/1 m3.
At the same time, for households that consume 500 to 25 000 m3 of gas the end tariff will increase 93% – from 0.41668 EUR/1 m3 to 0.80405 EUR/1 m3.
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Latvian parliament approves a new judge for the Constitutional Court
New member of the Constitutional Court Irēna Kucina. Photo: Zane Bitere/LETAOn Thursday, 9 December, the Saeima approved Latvian President Egils Levits’ advisor Irēna Kucina for the post of judge of the Constitutional Court.
In the past Kucina served at deputy state secretary to the Ministry of Justice and as Latvia’s representative in the Court of Justice of the European Union. In the ministry she worked as the director of the EU court department and was in charge of the Human Rights Department and the Department of Private International Law.
In 2016 Kucina was elected as associated professor to the University of Latvia Faculty of Law. The decision regarding Kucina’s approval was planned at the end of September. However, due to discord among parties this topic was excluded from the Saeima’s agenda.
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Inflation in Latvia. Fuel prices up by one-third and potato prices up by half
Photo: UnsplashCompared to November 2020, the average level of consumer prices increased by 7.5 % in November 2021.
The greatest pressure on the average price level changes in November 2021 compared to November 2020 was put by the rise in prices of goods and services related to housing, goods and services related to transport, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, goods and services related to recreation and culture, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, furnishings as well as health care, according to the latest data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
Over the year, prices within the group of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 5.6 %.
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Saeima committee permits criminal prosecution of deputy charged with espionage
Jānis Ādamsons. Photo: Ieva Leiniša/LETAOn Wednesday, 8 December, Latvian Saeima’s Mandates, Ethics and Submissions Committee voted in favour of permitting criminal prosecution of parliament member Jānis Ādamsons, who is accused of spying for Russia, as confirmed by the committee’s chairman Janīna Kursīte-Pakule.
The committee will ask the Saeima to review this topic at the 9 December meeting.
Ādamsons is presented with charges in accordance with Part 1 of Section 85, Part 1 of Section 180 and Part 2 of Section 233 of the Criminal Law.
As previously reported, the Office of the Prosecutor General previously asked the Saeima to permit criminal prosecution of Saeima deputy Jānis Ādamsons, who was detained in June by the State Security Service (VDD) on suspicion of spying for Russia.
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Germany elects social democrat Scholz as new chancellor
Newly-elected German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is sworn in by parliament President Baerbel Bas in the German Parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Photo: AP/SCANPIXGerman lawmakers have on Wednesday, December 8, elected Olaf Scholz from the Social Democratic Party as the new head of government. The change in political leadership means that Angela Merkel leaves the office and her Christian Democratic Union will go into Bundestag opposition, German news portal The reports.
In a secret ballot in the Bundestag, Scholz received the confidence of the lawmakers with 395 out of 707 votes. Germany’s next ruling coalition will comprise centre-left Social Democrats, the ecologist Greens and the liberal Free Democrats.
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American officials to boycott Beijing Olympic Games
Photo: REUTERS/SCANPIXWashington has stated that its diplomats and officials will not attend the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in the face of human rights abuse and atrocities in China. Beijing has criticised the move, British public broadcaster BBC reports.
«US diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang,» the US White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced on Monday, December 6. «We simply can’t do that.»
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