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Tuesday 18.09.2018 | Name days: Liesma, Elita, Alita

Transport Minister plans to leave Latvia

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Aivis Ronis

It is likely that there will be changes in the government this March. After the resignation of Transport Minister Aivis Ronis, the National Union will likely use it opportunity to increase its influence in the government, reports Nekā personīga (Nothing personal) programme of TV3.

Ronis mentioned a number of reasons for his resignation. One of them is the reduction of political influence of Dzintars Zakis. Unity had appointed Zakis as the political supervisor of Transport Ministry. According to the minister, there were several situations when he did not know whom to ask for advice, because the thoughts of other officials differed from those of Zakis and Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis.

Secondly, he saw how the government leader tends to increase his popularity at the expense of his subordinates. According to Ronis, Dombrovskis wrongly laughed at Zanete Jaunzeme-Grende’s visit to Australia, Edmund Sprudzs’ order to dismiss Aivars Lembergs, and Roberts Kilis in the situation with the Higher Education Council.

Unity‘s attitude towards the salary increase was the last straw. Before submitting the plan to increase salaries, Ronis first went to the Saeima Judicial Commission Chairwoman Ilma Cepane. Even though the salary increase draft law was submitted to the parliament, Ronis received a promise from the official not to leave the draft in the Saeima if the government decides on it. After the scandal had escalated, Ronis wall called to a Unity meeting to give explanations; the party had washed its hands. Cepane believes the minister had tricked her. Ronis, on the other hand, believes the managers have earned such salary increases and calls Unity’s objections irresponsible pre-election populism.

It is clear that a new political season has begun; parties are preparing for municipal elections.

After the announcement of Ronis’ resignation, the National Union suddenly became very interested in the ministerial post. Dombrovskis, however, sees no reasons for making changes in the government. He knows about the National Union’s objections, but reminds that the union put its signature on the coalition agreement, which clearly divides the responsibility and sets a two-party ministry management over Transport Ministry.

After the conclusion of his term in March, Ronis plans to leave Latvia. He does not reveal what he plans to do afterwards, but says that increased publicity could negatively affect the evaluation criteria of the salary and social benefits. “I will continue to live and work. There is life after working in the government and I have a good offer. I have reviewed it and I plan on accepting it,” – said Ronis.


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