Latvia. In January, the EU parliamentarian and former
finance minister Krišjānis Kariņš was nominated from the
Liberal New Unit as Prime Minister. It was three months
after the parliamentary elections, and two politicians had
failed to form government. Kariņš formed a center-right
coalition with five of Parliament's seven parties. He said
the government's goal was to fight corruption and cleaning
up the country's financial system.
CountryAAH, the Governor of the Central Bank Ilmārs Rimšsvičs was
suspended from his post and was investigated for bribery in
Latvia. But the European Court of Justice said in February
that there was insufficient evidence against Rimšēvičs and
that his suspension was contrary to EU rules. Rimšēvičs was
able to resume his post as well as his seat on the European
Central Bank, ECB Council.
Later, however, Rimšēvičs was prosecuted for bribery and
participation in money laundering. It was the first time a
central bank governor from the euro area and a member of the
ECB's council were charged with corruption. He denied the
charges, but at the end of the year, the trial, which was
expected to last a long time, began.
Rimšēvič's case hampered Latvia's work on financial crime
in the banking sector, which was in deep crisis of
confidence. The major bank ABLV was in liquidation following
allegations from the US about money laundering, PNB Banka
had to be wound up following a decision by the ECB, and
Swedbank in Latvia was suspected of involvement in Russian
Under pressure from the United States, Latvia had
abandoned the Swiss-like banking secrecy that had attracted
customers from former Soviet states to bring illegal money
into the EU market. But the US was pushing for new
anti-money laundering legislation. In June, Parliament
decided to strengthen its control of the Financial
Supervisory Authority, prompting its chief to resign.
According to Eurostat, Latvia was the worst in the EU in
terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions in twenty
countries decreased, in eight they increased and most in
Latvia. In 2018, emissions increased by 8.5% compared to the
Parliament elected Egils Levits as the country's new
president. Levits has been a parliamentarian and minister of
justice as well as a judge of the European Court of Justice.
As a child, his family was expelled from Latvia when the
Soviet KGB saw the parents as the state's enemies.
Therefore, Levits grew up and educated himself in West
Russian TV channel Rossiya RTR was banned from
broadcasting in Latvia for three months, accused of hate
propaganda against Ukrainians and Ukraine. Later, nine other
Russian channels were banned on the grounds that a partner
has ties to the Kremlin and is subject to EU sanctions.
In October, Parliament decided that children born in
Latvia to non-citizens should automatically be granted
citizenship in the country, if the parents approve it. About
270,000 residents, 11%, are without citizenship close to
three decades after Latvia's independence. Almost everyone
In December, Parliament decided on a new head of the
Central Bank of Latvia, the economist Mārtiņš Kazāks.