LPA to go into the sunset on New Year's Day

  • 2000-03-09
  • Valters Medenis
RIGA - The Latvian government can see the light at the end of the tunnel in its effort to privatize state-owned property and companies. Janis Naglis, the Latvian Privatization Agency's general director, said at a news conference Feb. 29, that the Latvian government will liquidate the LPA on Jan.1. Naglis' term as general director of the LPA expires March 12.

Romunds Melnieks, a spokesman from the Ministry of Economics, said that there will be no problems in winding down and then liquidating the LPA.

"The LPA now has to submit all paper work by Oct.10 on any further projects of privatization so these projects can be finalized before Jan. 1," said Melnieks. "I see no problems in having all documents on privatization submitted by the dead line and then proceeding with the liquidation of the LPA."

On the topic of Naglis' end of tenure as general director of the LPA, Melnieks said that Naglis has handed in a detailed report to Minister of Economics Vladimirs Makarovs that needs to answer questions Makarovs has about the work Naglis has achieved.

Makarovs said he hopes that a professional and politically neutral person will be appointed to replace Naglis. The economics minister thinks Naglis is well looked after by his party, Latvia's Way, and any criticism he directs at Naglis receives sharp counteraction from Latvia's Way party members.

Submissions of nominations for the LPA general director from the government coalition parties had to be submitted to Makarovs by March 3. The economics minister's party Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK. was believed to be nominating Normunds Luste, but no proposal from the two parties was submitted before the deadline.

The other government coalition party, Latvia's Way, has nominated Naglis as their candidate. The party wants Naglis to see out his third term as general director of the LPA and finish the work he has started at the agency.

The Ministry of Economics spokesman Melnieks said that since Naglis is the only candidate nominated for the position, he will have to convince Makarovs that he is capable of fulfilling the work left to be done before the LPA is liquidated.

"Makarovs will be proposing his nomination for the LPA general director to the government on March 7," said Melnieks "and he wants Naglis to answer specific questions about the work Naglis has completed at the agency if Makarovs is to nominate him for the job."

The Minister of Economy decided March 6 that he is not pleased with the privatization of certain state owned organizations and Makarovs will be proposing acting board chairman of Interbaltija Invest, Edgars Jansons, for the position.

Makarovs said he believes that Naglis has not explained adequately the loss of employment and problems that have occurred at companies that have been privatized. Makarovs will now put forward Jansons as his candidate for the position occupied by Naglis when the government meets to make their decision.

If by Jan.1, the LPA has not finished privatization, the Latvian Development Agency and the Central Housing Privatization Commission will be reorganized to carry out any further work.