WHAT A SHAM: Enda Kenny (left) and Valdis Dombrovskis discuss the problem of sham marriages.
RIGA - During a meeting with Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) in Riga on June 6, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said that Dublin is dealing with the problem of sham marriages, reports LETA.
“There is a substantial number of sham marriages involving Latvian citizens in Ireland due to liberal legislation in this area and lack of controls,” Dombrovskis said, adding that this is a problem issue between the two countries.
According to the Latvian prime minister, sham marriages are a form of human trafficking, thus he wished to emphasize to his Irish counterpart the necessity to solve this problem. “The Irish prime minister confirmed that he is aware of this problem, and that they intend to deal with it.”
Kenny also said that he does not wish to see a situation in which young women from Latvia are offered money to enter a sham marriage. He said that such cases are being investigated, but that changes to legislation are necessary for more positive results. The Irish PM promised to keep Latvia updated on this matter.
At the same time, the two sides also talked about the large Latvian community living in Ireland. Seeing that Ireland itself has much experience with emigration, Latvia could learn from Ireland’s experience how to encourage those who have left to return.
Dombrovskis and Kenny also discussed current EU affairs, including Latvia’s desire to join the eurozone and the positive convergence report recently received from the European Commission and the European Central Bank. “We truly hope that Ireland, as the EU’s presiding country, will support our desire to join the eurozone,” Dombrovskis said.
Both prime ministers acknowledged that cooperation between Latvia and Ireland is good, and that they have similar positions on many EU matters. Kenny pointed out that Latvia has worked hard to get out of a tough period, and that tough decisions were also made.
Kenny arrived on a working visit to Riga, during which he also met with President Andris Berzins.