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Saturday 22.02.2020 | Name days: Rigonda, Adrians, Ārija
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Privatization Agency: Latvian Railways chairman is baselessly speculating about privatization

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Privatization Agency’s board chairman Vladimirs Loginovs

«A lot of speculations and incorrect statements containing the word ‘privatization’ are coming from Latvian Railways (LDz) board chairman Edvīns Bērziņš. He is trying to divert attention in his corporate conflict away from the company board’s relations with shareholders,» BNN was told by Privatization Agency (PA) board chairman Vladimirs Loginovs.

The expert stresses that the law makes it clear that LDz can neither be privatized nor alienated. «Both words are stated there very clearly. This is why PA pays so much attention to Bērziņš’s public statements – because he is actively misleading society into believing such actions can be performed in relation to LDz.»

«I someone wants to sell LDz shares, it is first necessary to amend the law, hold discussions in the Saeima and approve everything in three readings, considering how sensitive this matter is. You’ve seen it – one word and we’re all talking about it for a week. I do want to see how such a topic can be held in Saeima in secret, especially when all of the parliament’s meetings are broadcasted publicly.»

Loginovs also explains – if this is about sale of a subsidiary, it requires permission from the Cabinet of Ministers. «Once again this is a public discussion – a very important process. And there is none. Thus we are concerned as to why LDz even bothers speculating about alienation of some subsidiary,» said Loginovs.

As for what Bērziņš said, that the new board may attempt to privatize and cause damages to the state, Loginovs reminds that the board of LDz does not have such authority. «No new board or any person on their own can simply privatize a state-owned company included on the list of non-privatized companies.»

At the same time, Loginovs adds about the public statements made by the chairman of LDz: «Giving privatization negative connotation and basically aligning it with theft he is causing considerable damage to us as a state joint-stock company. His statements cast a shadow over Privatization Agency’s expert group.» Loginovs says people in such high posts should choose their words more carefully.

«We ask others to not mislead society. References should also be correct – privatization is not possible for LDz and nor is alienation. If a company wants to sell something, this is a matter of management. If they plan to sell something, let them talk about it. If they don’t plan to sell anything no one can to it for them.»

Privatization as a boogeyman

As for the privatization term without Bērziņš’s misleading statements, Loginovs says: «I don’t know why but the term privatization has a very negative connotation. Nowadays privatization is considered something very bad. All residents have privatized their apartments. I don’t think they consider it a negative thing. Many people have also bought shares from stock markets following our offer.»

Loginovs stresses: «Let’s not forget that on one hand we are afraid of selling of privatizing something. We hope the state is a good manager. On the other hand, we say all together than the state is a very poor – there are always scandals, conflicts and political influence. Now we need to decide who the better manager is. Perhaps this is the key towards the golden middle ground.»


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