RIGA - Outgoing Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Maris Sprindzuks has launched a procedure to remove Aleksandrs Bartasevics (Together for Latvia) from the post of Rezekne mayor, but the final decision on this matter will have to be taken by the next regional development minister.
Sprindzuks told LETA that he has sent Bartasevics a letter asking to provide clarifications about the financially troubled city's situation within five days. Bartasevics' answer to the letter will have to be assessed by a special commission which will then advise the minister on what decision he should take. The Rezekne local government has come under increased scrutiny because it is struggling financially and is unable to meet all its obligations.
Given that the Saeima is scheduled to approve Latvia's new government on Friday, the decision on Bartasevics' removal will most likely have to be taken by Inga Berzina (New Unity), who has been nominated for the post of environmental protection and regional development minister. Berzina has been a long-standing head of the Kuldiga municipality.
A news conference is scheduled to take place at the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry on Thursday to inform about the procedure.
As reported, as of August 1 the municipality's arrears amounted to EUR 0.9 million.
Bartasevics has informed the Finance Ministry in a statement that he has called on the Rezekne municipal council to submit to the Finance Ministry a request for a financial stabilization process.
The purpose of the stabilization process is to enable a municipality in exceptional financial difficulties to ensure the long-term performance of its permanent functions as laid down by law and not to incur liabilities without financial cover.