LONG TERM THINKING: Valdis Zatlers wants answers from parliament on job creation and energy independence.
RIGA - President Valdis Zatlers expects the newly-elected deputies of the 10th Saeima to create a new political culture in Latvia, the magazine Ir learned during an interview with the head of state, reports news agency LETA. The president believes that if the government has a stable majority in the Saeima, it could continue to work for its entire four-year term. “It all depends on the politicians themselves - to what extent they are united and decisive, so that this coalition, whether it consists of two, three or four parties, does not fall apart at the first sign of internal discord. The main conditions are internal unity, common goals and a unified belief in the method by which these goals can be achieved.”
Zatlers believes that at present, the greatest threat is posed by the view that the newly-elected parliament could soon be dissolved, and by the fact that immediately after the appointment of the new government, some are already predicting its fall. “The sooner we shake off this stereotype and turn our attention to the work of the government and its analysis, the longer this government will be able to function; in this way, we will provide it with more strength,” indicated the president.
In the short term, Zatlers expects the Saeima to rapidly develop the budget for 2011. “The most positive result which the new government and parliament can achieve is to give a clear signal that our budget for 2011 has a deficit of 6 percent and will come into force on January 1. This should also be accompanied by a clear taxation policy for both the short and medium term,” said Zatlers.
The president also expects signals soon from Saeima regarding employment and Latvia’s energy independence, but notes that these are tasks not just for four years, but also for eight and 12 years. “This is also confirmed by the parties. The party alliances, which usually contain many contradictory viewpoints, must be formed into single parties with unified programs. This job must begin immediately,” believes the president.
Zatlers also maintains that the parties should move away from ethnicity as a defining factor in politics. “It is now clear that ethnically-based voting leads us only to political and economic stagnation,” said the head of state.
“Today the Saeima starts again with a clean slate, and as such has an opportunity to make many positive changes in the political environment. It is important that from the very first days the Saeima holds active debate on new ideas, as this is the center of our country’s ruling force, and this is the only way to ensure that the electorate is not disappointed and begins to feel more trust in the state,” believes the president.