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Tuesday 22.08.2017 | Name days: Rudīte, Everts
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Residence permit compromise may end up being sabotaged

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s government coalition’s allegedly achieved compromise regarding strict rules for the issue of residence permits in exchange for buying real estate property could fail. This, on the other hand, may impact the peace settled between Unity and National Alliance.

Because of this reason the National Alliance had only expressed its support. The party delays the announcement of its official choice of the next Culture Minister, as reported by Pietiek with reference to a source within this party.

There is a risk that amendments to the Immigration Law that state new restrictions for the issue of residence permits in exchange for real estate property may not end up being adopted.

At the beginning of this week, representatives of State President’s Chancellery held consultations with some politicians from Unity and Union of Greens and Farmers (UGF). It was mentioned during these consultations that amendments to the law may not be adopted. Instead, a second review in the Saeima could be called. Considering that this scenario is likely after the state budget vote, it could turn out that the National Alliance, which proposed the adoption of amendments as a condition for supporting the state budget plan for 2014, could fulfil its end of the bargain without its partners doing the same.

There were already signals about a possible intervention of the president, which allegedly has been coordinated with other political forces, but not the National Alliance. This was picked up by National Alliance’s politicians. Because of this reason, National Union had limited itself to only announcing its support for Dace Melnbarde as the next Culture Minister. No official statement was given. According to some leading politician of the National Alliance, as long as the fate of the coalition is unclear, NA will not make any official announcements regarding the candidate for the post of Culture Minister.

In order to avoid this scenario, Saeima had submitted amendments to the Immigration Law to the responsible commission this Wednesday. In accordance with Section 75 of the Constitution, the State President is to pronounce these amendments without a second review by the Saeima.

Neither National Alliance nor Unity representatives, who should take care of the stability of the coalition, had talked to the opposition about securing two-thirds of votes in favour of making the review of amendments a priority. This was confirmed by UGF Chairman Augusts Brigmanis before the vote.

Many politicians had previously said that the President will not likely pronounce amendments and Unity will thereby use the President against National Alliance. This belief is based on informal concerns of the State President’s Chancellery and Saeima’s Judicial Commission about legal flaws of the proposed amendments. President Andris Berzins and his team are also concerned about this.

Pietiek knows that Unity and UGF politicians have recently held consultations with State President’s Chancellery manager Guntars Daudze. The President has been largely dissatisfied with the compromise between PM and National Alliance, because the PM had previously promised him to review this matter in depth, not “propel through it”. “The President is angry. He opposes certain aspects,” – said an official who had discussed the topic with Berzins the other day.

Berzins’ press secretary Līga Krapāne says that „the only politician with whom amendments have been discussed is the Prime Minister.” After his meeting with PM this Wednesday, Berzins did not give any comments on the possibility that amendments to Immigration Law may not be pronounced and instead be submitted to the Saeima for a second review.

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