Ministry head says LPA head Naglis out in March

  • 2000-01-27
  • The Baltic Times staff
Whether he is being fired or quitting is still unclear, but either way the days are apparently numbered for Latvian Privatization Agency head Janis Naglis.

Six years the head of the agency tasked with orchestrating the transition of state-owned businesses into private ownership, Naglis has met with stiff political opposition in recent years while tackling the privatization of some of Latvia's largest companys.

Naglis' current contract expires in mid March and Economics Ministry head Vladimirs Makarovs said he will not renew it.

In a press conference discussing the future of the LPA, Makarovs criticized Naglis for his political ties to Latvia's Way, where he's a board member.

"The new head of LPA must be a non-political individual," he said.

Naglis could not be reached for comment.

However, Prime Minister Andris Skele was quick to say his party, People's Party, which currently has no representation would nominate a new agency head.

Skele and others have criticized the privatization agency in recent months for dragging its feet in privatizing a handful of Latvia's biggest state-owned companies, the only ones remaining in state hands.

Possible successors mentioned early this week included agency board Deputy Chairman Viktors Sadinovs.

A change in leadership would come just as the LPA is in the midst of negotiating privatization of Latvijas (Latvian Shipping Company), electric company Latvenergo and Latvijas Gaze, a main supplier of natural gas.

Linda Puke, a Latvijas Kugnieciba spokesperson, said Naglis will be missed and that a new director should be chosen from within the agency.

"It will be very difficult for a new person to start from the beginning," she said. "To keep the same pace, the same tempo," she said.