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Latvian report Latvian report
by Euro Reporter
2011-09-05 07:35:06
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Rise in dairy products, AirBaltic issues

Coffee and meat became more expensive this past summer, and in the fall, the prices will also increase for dairy products, Nozare.lv was informed by retailers. On the other hand, the price of buckwheat will go down. This past summer, the price of coffee increased by 15% on the average. The price of coffee beans on global markets continues to grow and the largest suppliers predict that coffee prices will increase, but only at the end of the year – in December, points out Rimi Latvia representative Dace Valnere. According to Valnere, the price of fresh meat fluctuates seasonally, while the purchase price of processed meat increased by approximately six% in June and is currently not expected to change in the fall, reports LETA.
Valnere explains that Rimi has received applications from three dairy companies to increase the prices of several dairy products by around seven%. However, Rimi has still not approved these applications. Every price hike has a negative impact on residents' purchasing capacity, which is already low, therefore Rimi individually and carefully assesses every application and, if they are not economically justified, turns them down, pointed out Valnere. Maxima Latvija press secretary Ivars Andins also confirmed that the company's producers and suppliers have informed that the price of coffee could indeed increase. At the same time, Maxima Latvija predicts that the price of buckwheat will decrease by 10 to 20% in the near future.
As reported, Agricultural Market Promotion Centre’s head Inguna Gulbe previously told Nozare.lv that, taking into account the growth of raw material prices on global markets, it is likely that prices of meat, eggs, dairy products and coffee will increase this fall; only the prices of cacao, rice and sugar will not increase. The price of oil on global markets has increased by 20%, the price of grain, coffee, butter and cheese – by ten%, meat and milk powder – by five%, therefore the local market will respond accordingly. Only the prices of cacao and rice have not increased, while the price of sugar has even decreased by 10%. Therefore these products will become cheaper in Latvia as well, pointed out Gulbe.


More budget measures on AirBaltic

Latvia may need additional budget measures next year should it decide to invest in AirBaltic AS airline and should “populist” measures proposed by politicians are passed, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said. “If the state has to invest additional resources in AirBaltic, then this also can affect the size of next year’s budget consolidation,” he said today on Latvian Independent Television program 900 Seconds. Some “populist decisions” made ahead of next month’s parliamentary elections would also raise the amount needed to lower the country’s deficit to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product next year, he said.

Latvia aims to cut the deficit next year so it can qualify for euro adoption two years later. The Baltic country is now better prepared to face a possible deterioration of economy in the EU as it cut deficit and no longer has an overheated economy and a real estate bubble, Dombrovskis said.  “At the moment, we see that the tendency in Latvia’s economy is positive,” Dombrovskis said. “We have to follow the economic processes in the world and in the Europe Union and adjust the size of the consolidation accordingly.”

The Baltic country’s economy has expanded faster than expected, allowing the government to lower its estimate for further budget measures needed in next year’s budget to as low as 100 million lati ($203.7 million) from as much as 180 million lati announced previously. Latvia’s economy grew a preliminary 5.3 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace in 3 1/2 years as household demand increased and exports and industrial production recovered. AirBaltic, the airline majority-owned by the Latvian state, may need at least 60 million lati in recapitalization, its supervisory council said after the company reported a loss of 34 million lati last year.


NATO continues to deliver more capable senior staff and commanders to conduct operations

the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) will conduct exercises “Steadfast Pyramid 2011” (STPD11) and “Steadfast Pinnacle 2011” (STPE11) in Riga, Latvia. The exercises will be built on a fictitious scenario with special operational requirements to model likely crisis situations.  Latvia is hosting these exercises for the first time and it is just another example of strategic partnership. Latvia will develop the joint operational capability as a host nation and benefit from these exercises by improving abilities to work with other NATO nations and other key regional partners what will be useful in participating in ISAF and other multinational contingency operations around the world.

STPD11 and STPE11 serve as building blocks in the preparation of NATO commanders and their staff to exercise command and control during the planning, preparation and conduct of operations. Both exercises are scenario driven study seminars conducted within the context of non-Article 5 driven crisis response situation. STPD11 focuses on the role of the military staff in the operational planning and decision-making process and prepares senior staff officers to better support their commanders during the different phases of operations across the full spectrum of NATO’s military missions. SFPE 11 focuses on the role of the commander at the operational level, preparing senior officers to better lead their commands during the planning, preparation, execution and assessment of current and future NATO military missions.

Both exercises provide opportunities for the participants to increase their understanding of the context and relationships required to ensure NATO’s effective contribution to comprehensive approach. The seminars will also expand the participants’ knowledge about NATO policy, procedures, command and control capabilities, and allied doctrine which governs the planning and conduct of NATO military operations. NATO regularly exercises to maintain readiness to provide the early establishment of NATO military presence. The NATO exercise programme is under continual review. Holding regular exercises – across the Alliance nations – provides tangible proof of NATO’s readiness and capabilities. A Media Day will be held at the Latvian National Defence Academy in Riga on 29 September 2011. A separate media advisory is to follow.

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