The sale of the Mortgage Bank and Land Bank cannot be considered non-transparent and rushed, notes Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, while commenting the statements of politicians of the opposition, bnn-news.com reports.
In his interview to Latvian Radio, the Prime Minister admitted that giving comments on the price of the bank is within the competency of the Finance Ministry, but «if they chose not to do it, while the deal is being prepared, then, most likely, it should not be revealed». He also pointed that the bank was given financial aid twice in 2009; therefore, a solution was needed to determine its future.
As it was previously reported, the poll of the Saeima to increase the Mortgage Bank’s capital up to 25 million LVL, possibly, played a bigger role in making Unity review its beneficial relations with its coalition partner Reform Party and deciding to turn to political compromises, promising not to slow the reforms at Ventspils and Riga ports.
When asked about the Latvenergo tariffs that were cancelled by the Administrative Regional Court, Dombrovskis admits that he does not exclude the possibility of this decision creating new pleas about other tariffs approved by the Social Services Regulation Commission. According to him, it is important to wait for the assessment of the court’s decision by the Commission and the Economy Ministry.
When asked whether this is a good reason for the government to assess the work of the regulator, Dombrovskis admitted that the government cannot do it because the SSRC is an independent institution. Whether Latvenergo should be obliged to pay the residents their excess payments, if the judgment is favorable to the public even after its challenging, Dombrovskis answered evasively.
The court cancelled the Latvenergo tariffs approved by the SSRC on Monday, June 25; therefore, previous tariffs are back in force. The decision has not yet become in force because it is allowed to be challenged within 30 days. Latvenergo promised to do it.
When asked about Latvia’s participation in the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant project, the Prime Minister said: «We are prepared to say no to the project, if Latvia’s economic interests are ignored. Even though a concession contract is being coordinated with the partners of the project, currently Lithuania is still being unilateral about it. Questions important to Latvia are not included in this project. Many questions are being asked, but Lithuania is not in a hurry to answer them.»
BNN previously reported that the current project of the concession contract provides that Latvia’s Latvenergo could receive 20% of shares in this project (its investment would reach one billion EUR). Estonia could receive 22%, Lithuania – 38%, Hitachi, the strategic investor, – 20%. Poland could return to the project, even though it suspended its participation in 2011. If Poland does return, the division of shares could change. The construction of the NPP could potentially continue up to 2020-2021.