Head of Maxima fired after controversial comments on supermarket tragedy

  • 2013-11-28
  • From wire reports, RIGA

The head of Maxima supermarket in Latvia has been fired following controversial comments about the supermarket disaster.

Maxima Latvia CEO Gintaras Jasinkas told reporters on Nov. 28 "It is those who feel guilty who resign," after replying to a question whether some of the company's executives would follow Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis' example to step down.

Jasinskas said he felt "responsible, but not guilty."

The comments have been taken as offensive in some quarters.

The Lithuanian Ambassador for Latvia Richardas Degutis has been called up following the comments. Latvian Foreign Ministry State Secretary Pildegovics expressed disbelief at the comments, calling them  'irresponsible, reports LETA.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said he was shocked by the comments.

 ''His arrogance is inexcusable. This man has probably forgotten that these comments only hurt the company he represents,'' Rinkevics said.

Speaking at a press conference, Jasinkas told reporters Maxima would not be withdrawing from Latvia whilst he said the company would be reviewing planned boycotts against its stores as reported on social media. 

At least 54 people died and dozens were injured after the Maxima roof collapsed in Riga Zolitude region on Thursday, Nov. 21. The disaster is the biggest loss of life in Latvia since its independence in 1991.