Latvia

       
St. Peter's Church, Riga

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is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia (border length 343 km), to the south by Lithuania (588 km), to the east by the Russian Federation (276 km), to the southeast by Belarus (141 km), and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden. With 2,067,887 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi) it is one of the least populous and least densely populated countries of the European Union. The capital of Latvia is Riga. The official language is Latvian and the currency is called Lats (Ls). The country has a temperate seasonal climate. The Latvians are a Baltic people, culturally related to the Lithuanians. Together with the Finno-Ugric Livs (or Livonians), the Latvians are the indigenous people of Latvia. Latvian is an Indo-European language and along with Lithuanian the only two surviving members of the Baltic branch. Indigenous minority languages are Latgalian and the nearly extinct Finno-Ugric Livonian language. In terms of geography, territory and population Latvia is the middle of three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Latvia and Estonia share a long common history: historical Livonia, times of German (Teutonic Order), Polish-Lithuanian, Swedish, Russian, Nazi German and Soviet rule, 13th century Christianization and 16th century Protestant Reformation. Both countries are home to a large number of ethnic Russians (26.9% in Latvia and 25.5% in Estonia) of whom some are non-citizens. Latvia is historically predominantly Protestant, except for the region of Latgalia in the southeast which is historically predominantly Roman Catholic. Latvia is a unitary parliamentary republic and is divided into 118 administrative divisions of which 109 municipalities and 9 cities. There are five planning regions: Courland (Kurzeme), Latgalia (Latgale), Riga (Rīga), Vidzeme and Zemgale. The Republic of Latvia was founded on November 18, 1918. It was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union between 1940–1941 and 1945–1991 and by Nazi Germany between 1941–1945. The peaceful "Singing Revolution" between 1987 and 1991 and "Baltic Chain" demonstration on August 23, 1989 led to the independence of the Baltic states. Latvia declared the restoration of its de facto independence on August 21, 1991. Latvia is a member of the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, NATO, OSCE, IMF and WTO, and is part of the Schengen Area. It was a member of the League of Nations (1921–1946) and the Baltic Free Trade Area (1994–2004). Latvia is also a member of the Council of the Baltic Sea States and Nordic Investment Bank, and is together with Estonia and Lithuania involved in trilateral Baltic States cooperation and Nordic-Baltic cooperation. After economic stagnation in the early 1990s, Latvia posted Europe-leading GDP growth figures during 1998–2006. In the global financial crisis of 2008–2010 Latvia was the hardest hit of the European Union member states, with a GDP decline of 26.54% in that period. Commentators noted signs of stabilisation in the Latvian economy by 2010, and the state of the economy continued to improve, as Latvia once again became one of the fastest growing economies of the EU in 2011. The United Nations lists Latvia as a country with a Human Development Index (HDI) of "Very High".

Capital RIGA
Currency Lats (LVL)
Country code 00371
Spoken languages ​​ Latvian, Russian
Passport

Passport/valid identity card needed for border crossing. The village forms part of the EU and shall accede to the Schengen Agreement. The countrymen must travel with an unexpired identification document (passport or identity card valid for the expatriation). For any changes related to the survival of the Passport request, you may want to inquire in advance at the Embassy of Latvia in Rome (Viale Liegi, 42, 00198, Tel. 068841227/37 (consular); embassy.italy@mfa.gov.lv; website www.mfa.gov.lv/rome) or from your travel agent. Honorary consulates are located in Florence, Venice, Milan, Bari and Catania. It is suggested that passengers in possession of a valid identity card needed for border crossing of view than reported under the heading "FOCUS" on the home page of this site.

Health

Generally acceptable, but medical facilities, particularly hospitals, public standards are lower than those normally found in EU countries. Being a Country of the European Union to obtain local health care, you will need the European health insurance card (TEAM) (or "health card"), which entered into force on 1 November 2004 and replacement of the mod. And 111, which is distributed in Italy by the Ministry of economy and Finance to all subscribers to the National Health Service. Please note that the TEAM is not a substitute for health insurance, but grants the holder the cure "medically necessary", in the same measure in which Latvia recognizes its own nationals. There is therefore right to cover the expenses for repatriation in case of serious illness or death, as well as expenses for medical treatment. The card cannot be used abroad for treatment of high specialization. To obtain information on type and methods of performance actually paid, the visitor must necessarily apply to temporary facilities in public health. It is strongly recommended that you obtain, prior to departure, a health insurance valid for the duration of your stay to guarantee coverage of medical expenses and repatriation of ill health, as well as all-encompassing for possible risks arising from the trip. There are cases of diphtheria and tick borne encephalitis, widespread enough insects in forests and green areas around the capital. Are therefore recommended, after consulting a doctor, vaccines against these diseases. Is growing rapidly, the number of new AIDS cases, though the phenomenon is still limited.

Telephony

in Latvia there are 3 mobile operators (LV LMT GSM TELE2 and BITE).

Climate

The climate is humid, semicontinentale determined by the proximity of the Baltic Sea. Average annual Temperature: January-2/-7 (rarely and for short periods, temperatures can drop to-30); July +11/+24. Rainfall: 700/800 mm per year with 120/140 low-pressure fronts.

Viability

The utmost rigour with which local police enforces the rules of the highway code. If you plan to visit Latvia by car, please remember to: -always have your driver's licence and vehicle documentation; -close the doors of the vehicle and do not leave any objects of value in sight; -Park your vehicle in well-lit areas; -do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Latvian law provides particularly strict penalties. The alcohol content licensed must not exceed 0.2 milligrams per millilitre of blood; If you encountered an alcohol content higher than 1 mg/ml it incur criminal penalties, a fine may be up to LVL 1000 and the possible withdrawal of the licence for 4 years. Useful Info on the site www.csdd.lv. Latvian Police website: http://www.vp.gov.lv Licence Italiana. Car documents The Latvian Authorities do not recognize the validity of the provisional movement Italian libretti. Italian motorists holding provisional document circulation may be denied entry into the country. Car insurance A visitor driving a vehicle with permanent registration plates issued in Italy does not need a complementary insurance document to its national policy and will not be required to submit a proof of insurance upon arrival. Compulsory equipment Triangle fire extinguisher (2 for vehicles over 5 tonnes), ambulance (2 per bus with more than 25 seats). Lights on even during the day for all vehicles on the road. Autoriflettente: va vest worn at night or in poor visibility. Winter equipment From 1 December to 1 March the winter tires are required on all wheels, while the studded tires are permitted from October to April. In winter an additive should be added to diesel fuel because it remains fluid at low temperatures. Transport The urban public transport service is carried out by means of buses, trolleybuses and trams. There are rail or by bus with all major Latvian cities. There are international connections via bus or train with neighbouring States (Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Belarus) and with Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium and United Kingdom. The link was restored with Stockholm by ship. Airports The Riga airport is 13 km away. from the city centre. Shuttle every 30 minutes (journey time 20 minutes), (No. 22 bus from the central train station). The national airline, Air Baltic (www.airbaltic.com), performs at the time two daily direct connections with Italy (Riga-Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate-Line), while the connection with Venice is offered during the summer. The low-cost airline Ryanair 4 times a week flight offers-Bergamo and Rome Ciampino-Line Line. The flight schedule is seasonal and the present one is in force until the end of March 2012. Useful addresses: Riga Airport: Airport inquiries service: +371 29311187; Admin: +371 67207135; internet: www.riga-airport.com; Air Baltic: internet: www.airbaltic.com

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