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Ceturtdiena 02.04.2020 | Name days: Imgarde, Irmgarde
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Environment Ministry to decide on Riga City Council’s dismissal this week

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waste management, Riga, Environment Protection Ministry, dismissal, Juris Pūce, Riga City CouncilLatvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s lawyers will prepare a report this week on whether or not it is necessary to initiate dismissal of Riga City Council, as journalists were told by Environment Protection Minister Juris Pūce on Tuesday, 3 December.

At the same time, the minister says this is the second time the municipality has failed to fulfil its autonomous functions – ensure household waste management. This is why there are legal justifications to making the decision on the city council’s dismissal.

The ministry’s representatives will soon decide on measures.

The minister admits the ministry has no hopes the city council will be able to continue working in its current composition after 12 March. This is why the institution’s experts are hard at work developing solutions to resolve this problem.

One option may include the ministry interfering with the municipality’s work by setting specific priorities to help sort the situation. The second scenario may be composing an interim administration that would work with sorting important topics. At the same time, Pūce stresses these solutions are not associated with the city council’s dismissal, because it is a different legal process.

More on this topic: Saeima committee head: Riga City Council openly lobbies existing waste managers

Pūce mentioned at the government meeting that there had been no activity prior to him voicing his warning regarding possible dismissal of the city council. This means there is a risk of the situation observed in September also repeating in December – when residents and legal persons may not have their waste management contracts in force because the city council would sign new contracts.

According to the minister, the decision to extend the state of emergency has not only provided the city council the duty to re-sign contracts with waste management companies but also creates a legal justification for residents to pay for this service regardless if there are any active contracts.

According to the minister, in spite of the city council’s letter, which stated that the extension of the state of emergency is not needed because an agreement has been reached in regards to continuation of cooperation with existing service providers, the city council has failed to provide any legal reasons for this solution.

«The Law on Waste Management states the operator has a duty to carry waste only if there is a contract signed between the operator and the resident,» said Pūce.

Although the city council says residents will have the option to sign contracts before 31 December, this term is not covered by any law – people should be given at least two months, the minister stresses.

«The city council cannot change or ignore the law with its decision, nor can it make it compulsory for residents to do this. Their arguments are wrong,» explains the minister.

According to him, the city council’s administration ‘is politically worried’ the topic of dismissal might end up on the government’s table. This is why claims about the situation having been resolved, according to him, is nothing more than a defensive reaction.


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