«I have a certain déjà vu feeling. It’s like in the past, when I was working abroad. I return home, and what do I see? Russian generals are suddenly arrested and the system changed. The same thing happened this time. While I was away with a delegation in Washington, our government managed to collapse. Now I’m almost afraid to leave the country,» – says 12th Saeima deputy Atis Lejins.
«I thought we have overcome the previous diagnosis of not being able to sustain a single government for a full term. Dombrovskis was proof that we could! Unfortunately, Latvia is like an addict – can’t let go of its bad habit. And once again it’s all without any rational reason. There was a reason for it, yet. But it wasn’t the kind we wouldn’t have overcome. Yes, we’ve seen hardships. But is there a government in the world that has it easy? But our diagnosis takes its toll… It’s no longer something we inherited from USSR,» – said the deputy in his interview to Pietiek.
«As I previously mentioned – we were in USA when it happened, myself and Saeima deputies Ojars Eriks Kalnins, Rihards Kols and Artis Rasmanis. We met with US congressmen, senators, think tanks, representatives of the National Security Council. We talked a lot about Europe’s energy policy and relations with Russia. USA is prepared to support the initiative to diversify gas sources in Europe in order to abolish Russia’s monopoly in this field,» – said Lejins.
According to him «it is surprising how much a giant like USA, which deals with nearly 200 countries around the world, knows about our small Latvia – they knew everything in regards to development in our gas sector, Latvijas Gaze and the questionable recommendations of the Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry to put off the separation of LG and the ruling of the Administrative Court in favour of LG.
SAIS think tank of John Hopkins University warned us that powerful forces inside Latvia that do their best to work against the state will most definitely oppose energy independence and progress of the transatlantic relations in spite of the progress that has been made by the Saeima so far.»
«On our way back to Latvia, the plane had difficulties to land due to strong wind. We had to try again and again. But our worries did not end once we landed. Shortly after exiting the plane we found out our government had collapsed while we were gone. Considering the context of our talks with our American colleagues, we started wondering if this wasn’t a move by Gazprom and LG lobbyists, who are interested in slowing down the market liberalization process. That would certainly make us the black sheep in Baltics, Europe and the entire transatlantic bloc. It would also make us Russia’s best servant.
I believe Dana Reizniece-Ozola should remain as Latvia’s Economy Minister. She has the courage to stand up to LG and her ‘colleagues’ in the party. If it was Unity that unseated its own prime minister, I hope Rihards Kozlovskis replaces Straujuma. Otherwise it would create the impression that we have no say whatsoever in the Saeima, and that only money from private pockets has a say in what goes on in the country,» – said Lejins.
«Everything is different in USA: congressmen have influence large financing sources always face competition from other sources. Latvia has to change its established system with its outdated attitude towards politicians. Finally, something I’ve talked about for a long time, the Saeima finally approves the law regarding state financing of political parties. This will root out the reliance of political on private millions of certain influential figures in state politics. Maybe we can do that in the 2017 budget?» – asks the 12th Saeima deputy.