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Tuesday 21.11.2017 | Name days: Andis, Zeltīte
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Lembergs' first priority in coalition formation talks is division of EU funds

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAivars Lembergs of Ventspils has participated in the first talks regarding the formation of a new government in Latvia. According to Laimdota Straujuma, who was recently offered by President Andris Berziņš to for the new government, the topic he was most interested in was the division of EU funds.

When asked if Lembergs could become a regular guest at coalition meetings, Straujuma mentioned in her interview to Latvijas Radio that this question should be addressed to Union of Greens and Farmers.

Lembergs was particularly interested in the division of EU funds. Straujuma admits that the matter of division of EU funds will remain an important matter in the next seven years. According to her, acquisition of EU funds may be one of the rare areas of Latvia’s economy where the government could try to perform serious reforms. She believes the EU funds should be concentrated in one place in the next seven years. This would make them more available for entrepreneurs. Straujuma believes there is no real point in performing reforms for the sake of reforms – this would only create chaos.

The next couple of days will be spent by government partners in talks regarding the formation of a new government in Latvia. According to Straujuma, potential coalition partners have not presented any ultimatums. Nevertheless, issues on which they have conflicting opinions have been noted. These include: residence permits, preamble to the Constitution and the official teaching language in Latvian schools. Straujuma believes it is necessary to hold a number of political consultations in order to reach a compromise on these issues.

Coalition partners agree that conflicting matters that cannot be resolved through an agreement should be left until the next Saeima elections.

Straujuma has made a priority not to allow the state budget to be ripped apart. Another priority she set for herself is finding those responsible for the Zolitude tragedy.

It was previously reported that Aivars Lembergs had found a way to use the tragedy in Zolitude to make himself a ‘political safe house’. The roof of Maxima supermarket in Zolitude caved in November 21. The next day, November 22, neither Aivars Lembergs nor his deputies Jānis Vītoliņš and Guntis Blumbergs participated in the meeting of Ventspils City Council. They had allegedly gone to Riga that day.

Even though this new Cabinet of Ministers will have a short life (it will only remain until the next Saeima elections) it was nonetheless vital to overthrow the government at this point. Rumours behind the scenes state Lembergs is gradually running out of money to ‘feed’ politicians, fund his PR campaign and maintain the infrastructure in Ventspils. On top of that, law enforcement authorities are slowly getting closer to him.

According to officials close to Ventspils’ political kitchen, not only does Lembergs spend nearly LVL 2 million of funds taken from Ventspils Freeport on his personal needs every year, it is vital for him to have the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry under his control, so that he can stop the initiative to expel persons that are under criminal investigation from the government. On top of that, given that Edmunds Sprūdžs had challenged the ruling of Liepaja Court in the care regarding Lembergs’ dismissal, there is a possibility that this situation may unfold in a negative way for Lembergs. Control over EPRDM and Transport Ministry are necessary for Lembergs in order to make sure people loyal to him are appointed to manage Ventspils Freeport.

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  1. Ilmars says:

    So Lemsberg is running out of money , and is now showing an interest in EU funds.
    The EU Commission should be notified that the local mafia is out to get its hands on EU funds. No money should be given to Latvia until the EU auditors are satisfied that the money is being legitimately spent.
    The anticorruption commision should also keep a close eye on exactly what happens to the EU funds.
    Lemsberg is a blood sucking leech who should rot in the worst prison in Latvia.

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