Emsis: green as pulp

  • 2004-03-18
  • Aaron Eglitis
In the one week that Emsis has held the office of prime minister, the former biology professor has spoken out on a number of issues that will define the strength of his minority coalition.

Emsis said he would support a wage-reduction for Cabinet members, advocate reopening talks on the controversial pulp mill project and call for an audit of the state to determine how well the government has been functioning.
The pulp mill project, potentially the largest financial project in Latvian history, may come about if the Green PM has his way.
"I look at this project from an economic perspective," Emsis told the Baltic News Service. "I wonder how, and to what extent, Latvian businesses and forest-owners would be able to participate in the project, whether the forest-owners and the state as the largest forest-owner would have any say at the plant," Emsis said.
The idea that a Green prime minister would support the construction of a pulp mill, which was previously derided as an environmental catastrophe in the making, struck many analysts as contradictory.
"There is nothing particularly green about this party," political scientist Valts Kalnins said.
As far as Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs, who is believed to be one of the main financial backers of the Green Party, Emsis said he would not interfere in the ongoing investigation by the prosecutor's office into the Ventspils mayor.