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  • VALENTINA premieres at the Latvian National Opera
    opera s eponymous heroine The biography of Valentina Freimane is inseparable from that of Latvia and Europe and opens up a fresh perspective on a period of history shot through with colour and contradiction The most dramatic moments in her life story coincide with momentous events such as the country s loss of independence an experience that left Latvians physically and emotionally drained Yet Valentina is more than simply a political work shimmering through the events depicted is a story of profound sentiment and great love The opera Valentina could become a sort of historical growing up story for Latvia said Gints Grube of the Riga 2014 Foundation and curator of the Freedom Street programme chapter Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric wrote German philosopher Theodor Adorno his statement arousing extensive discussion After the annihilation of Europe s Jews a part of the world in Riga also disappeared for ever It is more than seventy years since those tragic 20th century events which Riga was also witness to The fact that the opera Valentina is being staged at the Latvian National Opera is an event in itself as it addresses a time that has sustained an unarticulated and fear filled syndrome sometimes we don t actually understand why there are subjects about which we cannot speak openly said Grube For many the opera Valentina is music to help remember tragedies and heroes keeping alive the memories of Holocaust in Latvia The history of the 20th century is the mirror in which we the Europeans see terrible reflections of ourselves violence and terror mass killings of European Jews was reality only some 70 years ago Today we must remember the tragedy of Jewish people because it is the tragedy of the Europeans our common tragedy To remember the Holocaust means also to remember heroes of resistance those who were ready to overcome fear to say their decisive No to the ideologies which legitimize the power of hate The opera Valentina is the story of a multi ethnic society in Latvia where various people turned into heroes and saved the life of a Latvian girl Valentina This is the story of ordinary Latvian citizens who remained human beings in inhuman regime said Dr Werner Rechmann coordinator of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in the Baltic States But the opera shines with the message of the light of humanism which is inextinguishable even in the most critical of circumstances and conditions Its message is clear according to librettist of the opera Liana Langa in that by our life we are awarded the opportunity to be the agents of this light and to realize it in our acts and ideas Langa continued saying that this opera is dedicated to the victims and heroes of Nazi and Communist regimes who were saving people s lives We who are heirs of the light of Atlantida we carry forth your sacrificial chalice It is our bread our songs our light of reason Our blood stream is rendered free

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/valentina_premiere__at_latvian_national_opera_during__riga_2014/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Baltic Literature Roundup
    the first centering on an 18th century Baltic German noble family and the second the tumultuous history of Latvia in the 20th century Baroness Valtraute von Bruegen is fervently looking for her husband who was lost in the Turkish Wars After a sudden twist of fate whereby her husband s lower half has been attached to the upper half of a a local capitan named Ulste she concieves a child with the reattached lower half Suddenly her husband comes back in one piece and a conundrum ensues The links between this and the second narrative gradually make themselves known throughout the book Truth and Justice Andres and Pearu By A H Tamsaare Translators Inna Feldbach and Alan Peter Trei Publisher Haute Culture Books Truth and Justice Andres and Pearu is the first installment of the sweeping five volume epic by Estonian writer A H Tamsaare Having already seen a wave of translations into others most recently in Finnish and French this is the first modern translation of one of his works in English Tamsaare who is one of Estonia s most celebrated writers of the early 20th century deals not only with the fate of the Estonian nation but with such eternal concepts as love the meaning of life and whether there are such things as truth and justice This volume depicts the life of a farmer named Andres and his hardships tilling his ground of stones and bogs while at the same time dealing with his difficult neighbor Pearu Comments Related Articles Vilnius gets vision Gingerbread Mania 2015 Latvian State Choir launches ambitious project for nation s centenary Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles ARTS EVENTS GUIDE Estonia A nation shaped by the sea The Capital of Empty Spaces

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/baltic_literature_roundup_39788354054aeaf0b6b899/ (2016-02-13)
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  • “It was chaos, but this chaos was freedom”
    published a few short stories this year with one of them Telephone among the most read pieces on the website www satori lv this year is your approach to writing a short story different than writing a longer piece or novel Sure But how I m not so experienced in fact to tell you clearly I wrote this story in two hours or so but I was thinking about it some two weeks before In comparison what was it like with Jelgava 94 When did you get the first idea to write something and how long did it take you to put into the form of a novel It was very slow with Jelgava I had no deadline nothing Almost no one even knew that I was writing something The idea came after an unplanned visit to a death metal concert Suddenly I saw again my life that I have quit Or maybe rather understood how time has passed And then it seems that a lot of people in Latvia had similar memories as your book was warmly received It seems that a lot of people were sensitive teenagers And again we felt that we were unique and once again it turned out that we were wrong You see I can find some light sadness in everything that s my superpower Though it seems that this light sadness is told with a sense of humor at times would this be an accurate observation I hope so But not sarcasm I don t like sarcasm Sadness just happens to be funny often and fun happens to be a little sad even more often One thing that stuck in my mind in one of your interviews was when you talked not only about underground culture in Latvia but about the minor horrors of the country do you remember that It seemed you were referring to the chaos of that period but were you thinking of something in particular Minor horrors of the 90s Yes Yes it was chaos but this chaos was freedom I m not telling that it was better But there was some beauty in it worth talking about And embarrassment and poverty and dreams The country was like an impersonation of a teenager I am happy that you wrote a novel about this period because it s a period few authors in the Baltic have written about Is there an aspect of the early or late 90s that you think might be worth writing about in the future I think the people of the 90s have just sit down at their desks There are big aspects left The beginning of our state for example A mysterious sensitive romantic and bitter matter It seems like a topic that would certainly provide fascinating stories Yes I consciously avoided touching this topic in my book It s another story which demands great research and great love I know that there are parts of the novel translated into English and Estonian so far

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/___it_was_chaos__but_this_chaos_was_freedom___/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Dutch MEP demands explanation for Latvian President's "homophobic statements"
    2014 She went on to ask Will the President of Latvia withdraw his statements and publicly reaffirm his commitment to equality for all European citizens She also asks Will the Latvian Presidency put the deblocking of the Equal Treatment Directive on top of the Latvian Presidency s priorities In t Veld said in an interview with LETA that the government of Latvia ought to disassociate itself from Berzins statements and assert that Latvia advocates minority rights The MEP told LETA that she does not know what the President s intentions are but that she felt statements of this kind would only increase interest in the upcoming EuroPride an annual LGBT pride event held in a different European city each year which in 2015 will take place in Riga Events that gather thousands of people are praiseworthy as they also improve the economy of the given country she said In t Veld represents the Dutch socially liberal centrist party Democrats 66 in the European Parliament When asked whether Berzins will revoke his statements his press secretary Liga Krapane said that the president s opinion in the interview was formulated precisely and properly The president has not changed his opinion As previously reported Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics Unity announced on his Twitter profile in the autumn of last year that he was gay thus sparking public debate on the subject of homosexuality and legal regulation for partnerships This was the reason for the questions the newspaper asked Berzins although the interviewer also seemed to share his disapproval of the EuroPride event calling it nonsense and asking if people should go to the countryside to escape it Comments Related Articles Linkevicius to replace Grybauskaite at London conference Ukrainian NSDC Secretary Russia waging hybrid warfare on EU Lithuanian Health Minister to resign over

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/dutch_mep_demands_explanation_for_latvian_president_s__homophobic_statements_/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Last Folio comes to Daugavpils
    century and even for someone who has an interest in the region for me a large majority of the things you are telling me are new I knew about the person who revived Hebrew but I did not know he was in Dvinsk Well Eliezer Ben Yehuda was not born here but he came to Dvinsk to get his education and he spent his years studying here It was during his studies he got the idea to revive Hebrew His son was the first man speaking Hebrew as a mother tongue Another person Sarah Menkin Foner was the first woman to publish a novel in Hebrew The Love of the Righteous Vilna 1880 How did the Last Folio movie about Slovak photographer Yuri Dojc documenting old synagogues and books touch you I got an early viewing of it and I was so touched by what he s done At the very beginning when I started my journey on the Rothko project in 2003 we celebrated the centennial of Mark Rothko his children Christopher Rothko and Kate Rothko Prizel came to Daugavpils for the first time and they wanted to attend the synagogue There was only one functioning synagogue left in Daugavpils from the 48 which were here in Mark Rothko s time and it was in terrible condition The first thing they did they found old books under the benches were people were sitting while they were praying Those books were very old some from the middle of the 18th century They touched the books and started crying It was very emotional Two World Wars and Nazi destruction drained the soul of the city and eradicated the Dvinsk Jewish community From the 55 000 Jews that were here only 12 000 managed to survive There are about only 200 people of Jewish origin now living in Daugavpils You understand now that I couldn t miss the chance to bring Last Folio to the Mark Rothko Art Centre Very touching And have you met Yuri Dojc No not yet But I met Katya Krausova yes we met for the first time in London and she came to Daugavpils to see the space Is there anything you can tell us about the opening on January 17 We have one very beautiful thing during the opening because we invited the Ginsberg family who also have roots in Dwinsk and they will come and it s not directly connected to this subject of the exhibition but it s connected to the Dwinsk Jewish community They lived right in front of the only remaining synagogue They split into two branches and one went to Moscow and the other went to South Africa The one that went to South Africa set up a tea making business and developed Rooibos tea They will bring documents of the family here It will be very touching I think this is about life not just about wars or disasters It touches the life of ordinary people This city had such

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/last_folio_comes_to_daugavpils/ (2016-02-13)
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  • News search
    for the signing of an Associatio Read More VKG shuts down two oil factories in Estonia TALLINN According to Statistics Estonia in 2013 the expenditure on research and development R D in Estonia equalled 326 million euros Read More The packaging iceberg RIGA The average Baltic citizen produces 300 to 400 kilos of garbage per year amounting to 2 5 million tonnes of waste per year for the three Read More A new hub for Riga s startups RIGA Latvia s tech start up scene received a boost last month when TechHub Riga launched its expanded new premises on Kalku street and a Read More Ukrainian Melior Games to open Vilnius studio VILNIUS The Ukrainian game development studio Melior Games is opening an office in Vilnius Half of the Melior Games team will shortly be tran Read More Estonia had biggest fall in R D expenditure in 2013 TALLINN According to Statistics Estonia in 2013 the expenditure on research and development R D in Estonia equalled 326 million euros Read More Resource potential exhausted for continued growth Latvia must raise productivity RIGA Employment has stopped rising as had been forecast before The gradual rise in participation in the labour market the proportion of the Read More Strong wage growth continues in Estonia In the third quarter average monthly gross wages increased by 5 0 percent year on year in Estonia As prices declined gross wages jumped by 5 Read More Previous 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 Next Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with the latest Baltic news and views enabling you full access from anywhere with an Internet connection Subscribe

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/search/jcms/start/1490/ (2016-02-13)
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  • An Analysis of the Estonian banking sector
    the management on the other hand it acts like a buffer under stress situations In Estonia the equity funding for banks ranges from 7 to 22 of total assets This implies that the funding base of Estonian banks is relatively stable Estonian banks also exhibit relative homogeneity in their customer deposit ratios They are at high levels and range from 58 to 89 of total assets Smaller Banks have slightly higher deposit ratios but overall all Estonian banks have higher deposit taking activity indicators than the benchmark of large European banks typically between 20 and 60 of total assets The efficiency in transforming deposits into loans is analyzed through the loan to deposit ratio The data shows significant variation among Estonian banks from 18 to 158 This leads to an interesting observation namely that banks with the lowest consumer lending activity have the highest deposits from customers Due to this mismatch some of the loan to deposit ratios are quite low For example we see that Versobank AS and Tallinna Äripanga AS had the lowest customer loans exposures and at the same time they were among most active deposit takers At the same time the examples of Scandinavian banks and Bigbank AS show the loan to deposit ratios above 100 It means that they lend more than a euro for every euro they bring in as deposits A good benchmark of loan to deposit ratio is around 80 90 Overall it seems that the deposit market in Estonia is more homogeneous than the lending market The lending market has been occupied by larger banks whose lending activity compared to deposit taking seems to be excessive European benchmark shows 60 20 of loan to deposit ratios Banks interbank exposures as well as balances with central banks indicate that Banks which had the excessive customer lending relative to customer deposit taking collect the missing deposits from credit institutions Whereas Banks whose consumer lending was lower than deposit taking lend to other credit institutions If for the large European Banks the interbank deposit taking activity was larger than the lending in Estonia the situation is vice versa Smaller banks tend to have high interbank loans ratios that reach 76 of total assets Larger banks such as DNB Bank and SEB Bank have solid interbank deposits ratios around 20 From the perspective of the stability of the Estonian banking sector these funding patterns seem to be more stable High interconnectedness through interbank lending for several smaller Estonian banks would probably not have implications for the whole banking sector The consolidated data on the evolution of liabilities for banks in Estonia shows that the increases in liabilities during recent years correspond to the increases in customer deposits and equity traditional banking Thus the concern that banks may excessively grow their funding from more risky sources for example trading of complex financial instruments is not justified Ownership structure and organization of cross border activities As already alluded to the Estonian banking sector is dominated by the

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/an_analysis_of_the_estonian_banking_sector/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Lithuania to launch Cyber Security Centre
    of Lithuania s National Cyber Security Centre in accordance with the the newly passed Law on Cyber Security and a variety of amendments to related legislation The law on Cyber Security stipulates that the Ministry of National Defence has to formulate coordinate and implement the organisation of state cyber security policy and the newly founded centre will be responsible putting this policy into effect The centre will analyse the cyber s The article you requested can be accessed only by subscribing to the online version of The Baltic Times If you are already subscribed to The Baltic Times please authorize yourself Log In In case you don t have a subscription yet please visit our SUBSCRIPTION section Comments Related Articles Kaunas municipality begins refurbishment work on Jewish cemetary Lithuania supports Georgia s NATO aspirations NATO to halve Baltic air policing mission four jets to remain in Siaulai Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles Mixed hopes in Vilnius for Belarus reset Lithuanian MEP migrant crisis will be a lingering issue Refugees to be questioned on religion and previous military activities by Lithuanian authorities Former KGB spy given Lithuanian residence permit Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with the latest Baltic news and views enabling you full access from anywhere with an Internet connection Subscribe Now About The Baltic Times The Baltic Times is an independent monthly newspaper that covers latest political economic business and cultural events in Estonia Latvia and Lithuania Born of a merger between The Baltic Independent and The Baltic Observer in 1996 The Baltic Times continues to bring objective comprehensive and timely information to those with an interest in this rapidly developing area of the Baltic Sea region

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/lithuania_to_launch_cyber_security_centre/ (2016-02-13)
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