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Economy Minister asked to fix increasing electricity bills; parties threaten with dismissal

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens has to fix the mistakes that have caused electricity bills to increase, said chairman of Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia Egils Baldzēns in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

He believes the government should give in to the needs of households and farmers, as well as electricity consumers with a seasonal electricity consumption, to make the fee for connection that remains unused no higher than a couple of euros.

Baldzēns adds that the trade union does not intend to request the minister’s dismissal, because the goal is not punishing someone. Everything depends on how well or poorly mistakes are fixed.

Latvian Association of Regions (LAR) asks Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens to resolve the situation with unjustifiably high electricity bills within two weeks. If nothing is done, ten members of LAR intend to request the minister’s dismissal at the 1 March meeting of the Saeima.

LAR supports farmers requirement to cancel mandatory procurement component’s fixed fee. «The increased cost of electricity by 40-80% is inadequate and could potentially affect businessmen’s ability to continue working and competing on the market, because electricity prices for the foundation for Latvia’s national economy.»

It should be said that Saeima member Ivars Zariņš (Harmony) has turned to the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau with a request to assess decisions made by the minister and the institutions in regards to supervision over production of subsidized electricity and whether or not those decisions contain signs of a possible conflict of interests and corruption.

On Friday, 16 February, Ašeradens intends to organize a meeting to discuss with different involved sided possible changes to the mandatory procurement model, as well as possible concerns in regards to the reform’s influence on certain consumer groups.

The minister says: «The goal of the MPC reform is breaking free of schemes and chains that were put in place during the People’s Party era and had introduced unbalanced support mechanisms for green energy. Under my leadership Economy Ministry is busy coming up with a policy that would ensure lower electricity costs for residents and help support local industries. This is why I invite representatives of different industries to help us identify the flaws of the reform and come up with appropriate solutions.»

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