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Budget Committee picks Swedbank economist for Bank of Latvia Council

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Tuesday, 19 June, Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee unanimously decided to submit to the Saeima a decision project regarding approval of Mārtiņš Kazāks for the post of member of the council of the Bank of Latvia, as confirmed by Saeima’s press-service.

The new candidate was needed because the term has ended for the central bank’s council member Edvards Kušners.

Kazaks is currently the chief economist in Swedbank, as well as a member of the Fiscal Discipline Council. He graduated from University of Latvia with a Bachelor’s degree in economics. He also graduated from the University of London with a Master’s degree in economics, as well as a diploma in economics from Cambridge University.

Kazāks’ was proposed as a candidate by vice-governor of the Bank of Latvia Zoja Razmusa.

The decision project states that Kazāks is to commence working in his new post from 1 August onward.

The budget committee has decided to ask the Saeima to review the decision project on Wednesday, 20 June.

BNN had previously reported that the majority of the Saeima have decided to not approve Edvards Kušners for a repeated term in the Bank of Latvia Council.

36 Saeima members voted in favour of Kušners’ re-approval in this post, 14 Saeima members voted against, and 28 abstained in the vote. Eight other deputies did not participate in the vote. Members of the Union of Greens and Farmers and Harmony voted against Kušners. Certain members of the National Alliance also voted against him.

The majority of members of the Budget and Finance Committee had previously decided to not recommend Kušners for re-approval.

The budget committee had previously interviewed Kušners about his involvement in certain events of 2005. At the time, he was deputy chief of the Legal Affairs Office of the Bank of Land. He was later appointed as an authorized person to Delaware-registered company Carew Estates LLC.

Kušners told deputies that Delaware is not an offshore from the perspective of Latvian legislation. He explained that an attack was performed on some company and he became involved to help some people. Kušners mentioned multiple times that this situation did not create any negative consequences for the country. The case itself was not associated with tax avoidance. He said he performed his duties diligently.

Kušners says the holder of the controlling package of shares in the company he mentioned found a person who tried taking it over. A civil conflict prevented that person from doing that in a simple way. Because of that, an intervention was needed. He also said that he was stated as an authorized person in the public state registry and never tried to hide this fact.


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