Three security services into one doesn’t go, says Levits

President of Latvia Egils Levits said January 31 that in his opinion merging the three Latvian special and secret services would not be a good idea.

Speaking on LTV’s “Morning Panorama” news show, he said that merging the special services could create a potentially problematic “monopoly of information” that could give undue influence to a single service.

“I think it would not be optimal,” Levits said, “Several services is better than one service.”

Currently Latvia has three separate security services: the State Security Service (VDD), the Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) and the Defense Intelligence and Security Service (MIDD).

According to Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, one of the five coalition parties is in favor of merging the services. Though the party in question has not been named, it is understood to be the New Conservative Party.

Speaking about protests by Rīga residents against the plan to build a new headquarters for the State Security Service (VDD) – a plan only revealed when campaigners thought they were on the verge of winning the right to a new public park – Levits acknowledged that further discussion was necessary.

“The protesters must be heard… in recent years Rīga has lost some of its green spaces and it’s in the interest of all Rīga residents that Rīga becomes greener,” Levits said, suggesting that if an open space was built on in one place, “compensation” should be made at another.

LSM.LV

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