RIGA - Latvia has done "everything and even more" to prevent proceeds from crime being laundered through its banks and it would therefore make sense for the European Union (EU) take over these standards, President Egils Levits said in an interview with TV3 channel on Friday.
The president said that nowhere else in Europe money laundering is being fought with such an effective regulation as in Latvia and that Latvia could therefore share its experience in this field with the EU.
"Latvia should propose and insist on the adoption of common European standards. In Latvia, they are very high, but it is not enough when standards in other European countries are lower," Levits said.
The president noted that Latvia's strict anti-money laundering regulation can sometimes impede lending to law-abiding businesses. "Here, we need to adjust the regulation a bit to make sure loans are available to the economy. This is highly important from the economic standpoint, because the banking system is essentially the lifeblood of the economy and it must not be hampered," the president said.
Levits also stressed the importance of the rule of law for the economy, pledging that all will be done to ensure it, especially focusing on speeding up court proceedings.