Lithuania has a three-tier division of local government: the country is divided into 10 counties (Lithuanian: singular – apskritis, plural – apskritys) that are further subdivided into 60 municipalities (Lithuanian: singular – savivaldybė, plural –
savivaldybės) which consist of over 500 elderships (Lithuanian: singular – seniūnija, plural – seniūnijos).
The counties are ruled by county governors (Lithuanian: apskrities viršininkas) appointed by the central government, and effectively oversee the two lower tiers of local government.
Municipalities are the most important administrative unit of local government. Each municipality has its own government and council, with elections taking place every four years. The council elects the mayor and appoints elders to govern the elderships.
Elderships, numbering over 500, are the smallest units of local government. They provide public services such as registering births and deaths and identifying individuals or families in need of welfare.
Situated on the Baltic coast, Latvia is a low-lying country with large forests that supply timber for construction and paper industries. The environment is rich in wildlife
Latvia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
The 100-seat unicameral Latvian Parliament, the Saeima , is elected by direct, popular vote every four years. The president is elected by the Parliament, also every four years.
Among the best-known Latvians are the expressionist painter Mark Rothko and the contemporary composer Peteris Vasks.
Characteristic specialities of Latvian cuisine are speķapīrādziņi (bacon pies) and a refreshing, cold sour cream soup.
This weather map is meant to give you an understanding of the difficult conditions under which many abandoned, homeless and neglected animals are forced to live in - many die of heat stroke, dehydration or freezing temperatures in Europe.