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Tuesday 12.11.2019 | Name days: Kaija, Kornēlija
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Prime Minister: non-taxable minimum is more important than minimal wages

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Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš

Instead of raising minimal wages, it would be better to raise non-taxable minimum, said Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview to public broadcaster LNT programme 900 seconds on Wednesday, 17 July.

He admits the coalition is currently engaged in talks regarding possible increase of minimal wages. At the same time, the prime minister believes it would be better to increase non-taxable minimum because increased wages could potentially increase inflation.

He said all proposals are currently in their idea stage, and none of them are ready for implementation. Kariņš stressed that there is also an informal agreement to review taxes in 2020.

Division of posts

After discussing the initiative voiced by the new chairperson of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in regards to gender equality in the EC, Kariņš said so far the commission has done well with gender equality. However, he added that the same cannot be said with geographical representation. This is why Kariņš wants Latvia to have some important seat in the European Commission.

Commenting on this possibility, that Ursula von der Leyen could invite countries to pick two EC commissioner candidates (a man and a woman), Kariņš said that Latvia will not consider anyone other than Valdis Dombrovskis.

Commenting on New Conservative Party’s dissatisfaction with re-approval of State Security Service head Normunds Mežviets being performed in secret and without discussions, Kariņš said the government had an opportunity to interview Mežviets behind closed doors but Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns ahd not arrived at the meeting. This means there was an opportunity to interview Mežviets and discuss the topic regarding his re-approval, said the prime minister.

The prime minister added that the Saeima is generally positive about Mežviets’ work.

Introduce order to higher education

In regards to election of University of Latvia rector Indriķis Muižnieks, Kariņš noted that the choice of the rector is proof that higher education in Latvia is not organized.

The prime minister told LNT journalists that it is necessary to raise Latvian universities’ competitiveness, because more and more often capable students leave to study in foreign countries instead of Latvia. Universities, according to Kariņš, would do well to raise their reputation, enhance competitiveness and ensure there are also researchers among teachers, so that students do not study under someone who only regurgitates something done by someone else.

Latvia’s prime minister did not comment on the situation with bribery-accused vice-rector Baiba Broka.

Conditional vacation

Commenting on the government not gathering on meetings in the next three weeks, Kariņš said this does not mean the government will not work – if necessary, ministers will gather for a meeting. The prime minister also said the lack of meetings for a period of time is nothing new. The difference is that he has officially announced as much.

«I have always held a philosophy – if you work, you work, if you rest, you rest. As for this half-acting and pretending work is being done – I don’t see any point in it,» he said.


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  1. Justs says:

    Better plant the potato fields again Latvians because you’ll soon be paying German prices on Latvian wages. That is to say you’ll be starving to death. Maybe you can drive caravans to Poland and buy food there using the Zloty because you won’t be able to afford to eat using the Euro in “your” country.

    Except maybe it’s not your country anymore.

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