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Straujuma: next government in Latvia must follow the same course as the outgoing government

BC, Riga, 07.01.2014.Print version
The next government will have to follow the same course as the outgoing Cabinet, and the new government must not destroy the state budget for this year, prime minister designate, current Minister of Agriculture Laimdota Straujuma (Unity) told reporters last night, reports LETA.

The next government will have to ensure stability, stressed Straujuma. One of the key priorities, that is "of major importance for businessmen and society", is preparing a program on absorption of European Union funds for Latvia. The European Commission should approve the program by mid-2014 so absorption of the funds could begin in the second half of the year, emphasized Straujuma.


Another matter of key importance is the investigation of the Zolitude tragedy and establishing the guilty parties, believes Straujuma. Construction regulations and, possibly, regulations on rescue operations could have to be revised, she said, adding nevertheless that she personally had a very high opinion of firefighters and emergency medical services' work.


Yet another priority is education, as well as reducing social inequality.


By Tuesday evening, members of the pending coalition must nominate their candidates to task forces that will work on the new government's declaration; the delegates will meet on Wednesday to reach agreement on the main tasks for the next government, said Straujuma.


She added that new coalition partners had different opinions on several issues, for instance, residence permits, making Latvian the only instruction language in all schools, the preamble to the Constitution.


Tomorrow, the coalition partners will begin discussions on what matters may be solved through consultations and what matters should be postponed until after the Saeima elections, said Straujuma.


As reported, President Andris Berzins yesterday offered Straujuma to form the next government, and Straujuma is set to become Latvia's first female prime minister.


It currently appears that the next ruling coalition will be made up of the current government parties - Unity, All For Latvia-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK, the Reform Party and the group of independent MPs, as well as the Union of Greens and Farmers, currently an opposition party. All these parties have expressed support for Straujuma as the next prime minister.


Saeima is to confirm the new government in two to three weeks.

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