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Saturday 24.08.2019 | Name days: Boļeslavs, Bērtulis

Newspaper: MPC businessmen in Latvia have made generous donations to parties

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUSince 2006, when the foundation was set for the mandatory procurement component (MPC) system, MPC businessmen have donated to political parties EUR 1 333 122, as reported by Ir newspaper.

The independent newspaper compiled information on all gas CHP plants, as well as renewable resource (biogas, biomass, HPP, wind and wood chip) power plant owners and officials whose donations are listed in the database published by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB).

As concluded by Ir, the EUR 1.3 million donated by those businessmen is a considerable amount, because the total amount of donations received by parties in that period of time is EUR 35.3 million.

A large portion of this EUR 1.3 million was donated to political parties associated with Andris Šķēle and Ainārs Šlesers. EUR 415 000 was donated to People’s Party, For a Good Latvia, LPP/LC, Honour to Serve Riga, Latvia’s First Party, United for Latvia and Latvian Way.

The Union of Greens and Farmers together with its members – Latvia’s Green Party and Latvian Farmers Union – received EUR 303 000 from businessmen associated with MPC system.

EUR 270 000 was donated to New Unity and its predecessor Unity, New Era Party, Civic Union, Society for Political Change.

The National Alliance and its predecessor TB/LNNK were donated EUR 62 000, whereas Attīstībai/Par and its predecessors were donated EUR 73 000.

Harmony received donations as well, even though now the party positions itself as the one who uncovered the MPC scheme, Ir newspaper writes. Harmony and Harmony Centre received from businesses associated with MPC system EUR 81 000. Slightly less – EUR 70 000 – was donated to Latvian Social Democratic Workers’ Party.

Among the top donators are bankers and businessmen closely associated with politicians, Ir newspaper concluded. Prior to 2010 elections, businessman Donāts Vaitaitis donated EUR 102 000 to For a Good Latvia party, Union of Greens and Farmers, Civic Union and New Era Party. A couple of years later he was found among the board members of NBT5 Energy, which develops wind turbines.

The second most generous donator was businessman and forest owner Uldis Mierkalns, whose indirectly owns Saldus energija received a permit to build a biomass CHP plant in 2011. He donated EUR 98 000 to political parties. The lion’s share of this amount was received by For Latvia’s Development in 2013. In 2008, Mierkalns also provided financial support to New Era Party.

Owners of the now liquidated ABLV Bank Ernests Bernis and Olegs Fils are also among the most generous donators. Both have donated EUR 174 000 to political parties. Other non-resident-focused banks are noticed behind subsidized energy producers – either among their owners or creditors, Ir newspaper adds.

Businessman Andrejs Dozorcevs is among the top donators. His owned firms Biosil, B-nergo, Dienvidlatgales Īpašumi, RB Vidzeme and Latneftegaz have sold electrical energy to the state for more than EUR 69 million in the past seven years.

Since 2010, when Dozorcevs’ owned firms received permits, he has donated at total of EUR 53 000 to political parties. Half of this amount was donated to Latvia’s ex-Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis’ represented party LPP/LC, another EUR 14 000 was donated to the Union of Greens and Farmers, whereas the rest of the amount went to For a Good Latvia and Honour to Serve Riga.

When asked if donations from subsidized energy producers to parties that were in power then had influenced decisions in relation to MPC system, the once prime minister of Latvia Aigars Kalvītis said, opposite to facts, that during his time ‘there were no donations’.

His successor, Godmanis, answered similarly. «Definitely no. I have no information in relation to any generous donations to me or my party from businessmen part of MPC system,» he said.

Godmanis’ successor – Valdis Domvbrovskis – decided to not answer this question. It is worth mentioning that his government was the one that hit the brakes on this system. Ex-Economy Minister Artis Kamparts notes that his decisions as minister were not influenced by any external factors.

National Alliance’s politician and economy minister during Kalvītis’ government Jurijs Strods said he was never interested in donations, so he offered no comments. Once the Agriculture Minister Kaspars Gerhards, who also served as economy minister during Godmanis’ government, denied any influence from donators.

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