«Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has caught Ugis Magonis red-handed. His case is considered one of the biggest bribery cases in KNAB history. This piece of news is then followed up by another – Russia may halt its cargo transit through Latvia. This has been reported by multiple Latvian politicians (Andris Ameriks, Andrejs Mamikins and Anrijs Matiss). This may serve as a signal that touching Magonis could potentially have negative consequences for Latvia’s national economy. Shortly after announcement of this news, the government decided not to allow multiple Culture Ministry’s enterprises (including Latvian National Opera and Ballet, New Riga Theatre and Doll Theatre) to keep their revenue, making them transfer the money to the state budget. This effectively prevents them from resolving problems that have been present for some time now. Finally, there is our Finance Minister’s decision to announce that ministries are to reduce their base expenses by 1%, 3% or 5% in next year’s budget,» – said Landmanis.
«Definitely. Maintaining our country’s budget afloat is the duty of the opera, theatres and everyone else except for capital enterprises, freeports, municipalities, state officials and the government, who are allowed to do anything they desire. All of us should consolidate, tighten our belts in order to let magoni, lembergi, matisi and others enjoy corruption to the fullest extent and spend our country’s wealth,» – said the politician.
«Isn’t it time for ministers, port managers, railway owners – Matiss and others to resign? Gentlemen! Will you once again say you have created a proper system in which law enforcement institutions’ attempts to take down big thieves put in danger the country’s transit industry? What kind of country is this if it is not allowed to touch the biggest thieves, because that would lead to us losing cargoes? Who is responsible for creating such a system? Is it not the coalition and ministers responsible for the industry and simultaneously controlled by the big thieves? And what about your responsibility for delaying port reforms? Is everything alright there as well?» – Landmanis rhetorically asks.
He continues: «People working in culture have the right to protest, because not once in any point of their existence did the freeports ever transfer money to the state budget, aside from co-financing one EXPO. They are not in any way controlled by the state. As a result, the state intentionally allows freeport boards to freely misappropriate millions. This especially applies to individuals like Lembergs, Loginovs and their associates.
Before the state budget once again is forced to tighten its belt, the people should know the amount of money freeports and other capital enterprises working in Latvia’s transit industry have contributed to the state budget over the past 25 years and how much of our money they have wasted on sponsoring certain people’s desires. The people should know the names of people who misappropriate budget funds and why the country’s culture sector is to be made a scapegoat to save the state budget,» – says the deputy.
«First of all, people accused of serious crimes and officials with questionable reputation should be refused rights to make decisions on the use of multi-million budgets. Only then will you be in any position to request the population to tighten their belts,» – said Landmanis, addressing high-rank officials.