RIGA - Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) is ready to continue cooperation with all ministers, Karins told the press, commenting on the arguments in the coalition after the prime minister's statement on the work of Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (For Development).
Karins refrained from commenting on the criticism voiced by For Development/For representatives about his stance during the Covid-19 crisis. At the same time, the prime minister said that the main issue is that the government is able to agree on clear and decisive steps.
"The pandemic is spreading irrespective of what anybody thinks about the virus. Yesterday and today we saw an anti-record of incidence. We have a clear strategy, tomorrow we will hear out experts. If we do not act quickly, we can come to a situation when the disease is spreading uncontrollably with broad negative consequences. The longer we wait, the more difficult the situation will be," said Karins.
Asked to assess the government's stability, Karins said that on Thursday, discussing the 2021 budget and on Wednesday holding discussions at the coalition, partners have proved that difference of opinions is not a bad think, and the main thing is to agree on a common result.
Asked to be more precise in his comment on the government's stability, Karins said that he has been cooperating with all ministers and is ready to continue cooperation.
As reported, in an interview with Ir magazine, Karins expressed his dissatisfaction with Vinkele's slow response to the fast spread of Covid-19 in Latvia.
The prime minister voiced his dissatisfaction with the health minister's performance, adding that he takes full responsibility for his own failure to put pressure on Vinkele and make her speed up the response.
Juris Puce and Daniels Pavluts, the leaders of For Development/For, later slammed Karins' approach to the Covid-19 crisis, particularly his critical remarks about Vinkele.
"I was taught that in managing major crises, it is essential to rely on experts, work in a team and communicate agreed decisions instead of contentious allegations. I would not want us, especially the captain of the ship, the premier, to depart from these principles in dealing with the pandemic," Puce, the Minister of Environment Protection and Regional Development, wrote on Twitter.
Pavluts, who chairs the For Development/For group in Saeima, also tweeted that if in the situation of pandemic he had to choose between relying on the perspective of the health minister, who has a master's degree in public health, and experts or the prime minister's "feeling", he would always put his trust in the health minister and the experts.
"During a storm, we need a captain on the navigation bridge who trusts his team and inspires confidence instead of deals with his fears and helplessness by looking for culprits," Pavluts said.