On Thursday, September 24, the Minister for Finance Jānis Reirs, Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit Ilze Znotiņa and the U.S. Ambassador to Latvia John L. Carwile signed the Terms of Reference between the Republic of Latvia and the US Department of Treasury, prescribing the provision of technical assistance of the US Department of Treasury in the field of anti-money laundering and countering terrorism and proliferation.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has submitted for the review to the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers the assessment report prepared in cooperation with the Bank of Latvia and the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) on merging the FCMC with the Bank of Latvia. Risk-benefit analysis confirms that merging the FCMC with the Bank of Latvia is a meaningful step, because a public benefit is gained as a result thereof. At the same time, the identified risks are manageable, by implementing corresponding risk hedging measures, inter alia, appropriate allocation of rights and responsibilities.
The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved a €150 million loan to Latvia to support the government’s policies to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 and ease budgetary pressures on the public health care sector.
On Thursday, April 30, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Latvia’s Stability Programme for 2020 - 2023 prepared by the Ministry of Finance (MoF). The Stability Programme incorporates the measures for containment of COVID-19 pandemics and support of population and enterprises, which were adopted up to 17 April 2020. At the same time, it must be noted that the Stability Programme does not provide for additional changes of the policies.
On Friday, April 10, 2020, the international credit rating agency Fitch affirmed Latvia's long-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings at the 'A-' level, but the outlook was revised to negative (previously - Stable). The revision of the outlook to a negative Fitch credit rating agency based on the deterioration of Latvia's fiscal outlook for 2020-2021, which is a result of the temporary contraction of economic output and rising expenditures as a result of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nordic-Baltic Ministers, Governors of the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), have today invited the Bank to take swift action to help alleviate the effects from the corona crisis. The Governors urge the Bank to increase lending to the maximum level to businesses in the region affected by the crisis. In this way, the Bank can support stabilization of the economy in the Nordic-Baltic countries.
On 21 March, President of Latvia Egils Levits fast-tracked promulgation of laws adopted by the Saeima (Parliament) on 20 March to better manage the state of emergency declared by Latvia in response to outbreak of the Coronavirus Covid-19, as well as mitigating the impact of the virus. The regulation will take effect as of March 12, when the state of emergency has been declared in the State.
On Thursday, March 19, the Cabinet of Ministers (CoM) ratified a special fixed-term draft law prepared by the Ministry of Finance on the measures for preventing and overcoming the national threat and the consequences thereof related to the spread of COVID-19. The purpose of the draft law is to set measures for preventing and overcoming the national threat and the consequences thereof, special support mechanisms, as well as crisis expenditure directly related to financing the containment of the spread of COVID-19. The regulation will take effect as of March 12, when the state of emergency has been declared in the State.
On Tuesday, March 17, the Cabinet of Ministers (CoM) resolved that for the prevention of consequences caused by COVID-19 in the social and entrepreneurial field it is necessary to act in four directions. The Ministry of Welfare is preparing proposals on how, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide in a solidary manner a fixed-term State aid to employers for the purposes of the payment of sick-leave certificates, performing this from the special budget funds. At the same time, tax solutions are also planned, as well as support to entrepreneurial activity in the form of financial mechanisms.
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