RIGA - Saeima Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee decided today to give the new Welfare Minister Gatis Eglitis (New Conservative Party) a reprimand for his recent tweet in which he implies that when it comes to distributing European Union funding, Latvia's ruling parties will "primarily take care of their own municipalities".
The new minister has been reprimanded for violating Article 8 of Saeima's Code of Ethics, which stipulates that MPs may not make statements or support actions that may be interpreted as instigation to illegal activities.
As reported, Eglitis said in his Twitter post that the Latvian Alliance of Regions, the Union of Greens and Farmers and Harmony should not become too happy about their victories in local elections because "the June 3 restart of the government means that the large government funds, EU funds and European Recovery and Resilience Facility will be controlled by the four coalition parties (National Alliance, New Conservative Party, New Unity, For Development/For) who will primarily take care of their own municipalities".
This statement received harsh criticism of many tweeters. Providus thinktank director and researcher Iveta Kazoka, for example, asked Eglitis whether his own party had not promised to fight against such policies.
Later Eglitis deleted his tweet and made it softer, saying that it will be interesting to see how the election results will affect the flow of the government and European funds.
Eglitis told LETA that he just wanted to voice his opinion about the earlier practice in distribution of funds when most of the funds went to municipalities controlled by the Union of Greens and Farmers. He promised that there will be no such practices in the future.
Meanwhile, the Union of Greens and Farmers said in a press release that they call on Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) to assess whether Eglitis is fit for the minister's position as his statements are unacceptable.