While common inhabitants of Riga watch the USA President George Bush’s visit on the TV, several hundreds of especially chosen persons will have a possibility to see the high guest in person. Their identities however are kept secret.
RB found out that the state has ordered 400 USA standards with which Bush will be greeted by the Freedom Monument by representatives of various state institutions and organizations. Neither representatives of the State President’s Chancellery nor the Premier’s Office give any more specific information. The State President’s Press Secretary Aiva Rozenberga informed that state institutions employees have been invited to the Freedom Monument together with their families, and also people who have had and still have close relationships with the USA. Among them are those who have studied in the USA or been involved in any joint projects with the super power. The lists of persons have been made in cooperation with the Premier’s Office. Its manager Jurģis Liepnieks did not give any details to RB, keeping secret the names of the chosen persons. «Managers of Ministries and state institutions were given a possibility to send lists of persons who would like to greet the President,» told J. Liepnieks. We only know that employees of the Foreign Ministry, State Chancellery and the State President’s Chancellery will make use of the opportunity. RB also found out that representatives from the University of Latvia (UL) would also have a possibility to see G. Bush in person. While verifying initially unofficial information that invitations to see the USA President Bush in person have been distributed at the Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, RB found out that some of it was true. The Faculty’s Executive Director Aivars Markots confirmed that he had heard information about «a limited number of people being able to watch over a distance and slowly wave to the President ». This information was also confirmed by UL Public Relations Department representative Gundega Krakopa. She was not able to give an exact number of invitations, since in the middle of day yesterday they had not been received yet. «Anyway, there will be no more than fifty invitations. The invited guests will have a possibility to be present at flower putting by the Freedom Monument,» said G. Krakopa.
RB came into possession of information that the Ministry of Defense and Headquarters of the National Armed Forces are also preparing lists of flag wavers. National Armed Forces Press Officer Uldis Davidovs neither confirmed nor rejected information that militaries, their families and ministry employees would be waving to Bush with flags. «I don’t know who would be invited, we are not preparing any invitations, so I cannot confirm the fact. Its neither yes nor no,» he snapped.