RIGA - During a forum dedicated to Latvia’s regions on Nov. 30, Bank of Latvia economic expert Agnese Bicevska, speaking about their strong and weak points, expressed her concern about the sustainability of Riga’s budget, reports LETA. She said that Riga’s main problem is that social spending has increased substantially.
According to her, a big problem is that a large portion of persons who work in the Latvian capital live in the surrounding areas outside of the city, but they wish to register their children in Riga so that they could be accepted into pre-schools or one of the city’s schools. “Thus, Riga’s main problem is that the number of working age persons is less than the number of persons below and above the working age. This leads to ask whether the city’s budget policy is sustainable,” said Bicevska.
She also noted, during the discussion, the strong points of every region. She said that Vidzeme Province’s strong point is its forestry and timber industry, and Kurzeme Province’s strong point is its ports. She said that Zemgale Province’s strong point is the fertile land, while Latgale Province has breathtaking scenery that continues to attract tourists to the region.
The regional forum is the first such dedicated to Latvia’s regions, where the role of regions in the country’s development was discussed, relations between local governments and the state, as well as how these regions can survive.