Latvija in brief - 2013-06-13

  • 2013-06-12

In an interview with the business news agency Bloomberg, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis expressed confidence that a majority of Latvian residents will support the introduction of the euro by January. The government will continue its informative campaign about the benefits of the euro to Latvia residents, while at the same time attempting to dispel the various myths on the possible consequences of euro introduction. On June 5 the European Commission and the European Central Bank officially gave the green-light for Latvia join the eurozone. With the positive convergence reports from the EC and the ECB, Latvia will continue cooperation with eurozone colleagues to ensure political support for Latvia’s official entrance into the single currency zone, Dombrovskis said. The financial crisis in some eurozone countries is not a “eurozone crisis,” as the euro as a currency is doing well, said the prime minister.

The Union of Greens and Farmers gained the most seats in local governments throughout Latvia, followed by Unity in second, All for Latvia!-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK (VL-TB/LNNK) in third, and Harmony Center in fourth, reports LETA. According to the election results, the Greens/Farmers gained a total of 369 seats in local governments throughout the country, compared to 346 seats it gained after the 2009 elections. Unity is in second place, gaining 203 seats in local governments, compared to 174 after the 2009 elections. VL-TB/LNNK won 156 seats in local governments, followed by Harmony Center with 150 seats. The Alliance of Regions also had a good showing, winning 140 seats in local governments. Meanwhile, the Reform Party did not do so well, winning only 51 seats in local governments. A total of 1,618 candidates were voted into local governments during the June 1 elections.

Interviewed by the daily Neatkariga, Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs (Harmony Center) says that the ruling coalition parties will have relatively limited representation in local governments following the elections, such that after the next Saeima elections, the government should be set up by those forces that run municipalities and regional governments, reports LETA. “Unity and the ‘reformers’ failed to show significant results in any big Latvian city. So the government can now care less about what goes on in large municipalities. The ruling coalition’s attitude toward them will certainly show no improvement. Unity will remain outside coalitions in Liepaja, Rezekne, Daugavpils, Ventspils... I want that after Saeima elections in 2014, the government is made up of those forces who understand something about local governments,” the mayor declared. Speaking about the Dombrovskis government, Usakovs stated “it will muddle through with its half-dead members until October next year.” He said there will be no cooperation between Harmony Center and Unity.