Latvian PM says it’s time to stop putting friends of politicians in charge of companies

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It is time to put an end to the practice of putting people close to politicians in leading posts of companies, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview to public broadcaster LNT programme 900 seconds, commenting on the future of Latvenergo after the suspension of its council.

«If any changes to the composition of another council are performed, it is important for there to be an open selection process that picks professionals, not some people that are close to political parties. That kind of approach is a road to nowhere, because we will only argue. It is far more important to think about development of companies,» said the prime minister.

He allows that until a new council has been composed, institutional officials not associated with political parties could be put in charge of the company or it could temporary function without a council.

Kariņš admits he does not understand why Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro decided to sack Latvenergo council, adding that he intends to wait for the minister’s explanations until the end of the week. The prime minister said, however, that KPV LV remains a trusted partner of the coalition.

The prime minister also notes that all ministers have agreed on adoption of good management principles.

«My and my government’s vision is that Latvia should become a normal, prosperous northern country,»
said the prime minister, adding that this goal provides for adopting the practice for professional, politically-neutral company councils.

Hope for unified excise tax for alcohol

In his interview, Kariņš said he would like all Baltic States to have a single, unified excise tax rate.

«In my opinion, all three Baltic States should have a unified alcohol excise tax rate so that we do not have to go to war with one another and excise tax revenue could be used as a tool to help improve public health,» he said.

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