Saeima again tries pushing Credit law amendments

The controversial amendments to the Credit Institutions Law sent back to the parliament for revision by President Raimonds Vejonis will again will be sent to the parliament without any changes, the Saeima budget committee decided on July 13.

The committee explained that at present the situation has changed and is not the same as at the time when Saeima revised the amendments for the first time.

Returning the amendments to the parliament Vejonis had said that the norms which the Saeima adopted pertaining to conflicts of interest "make one suspicious about the desire to affect specific processes", particularly the liquidation of the Trasta komercbanka.

On July 13 MP Imants Parādnieks (National Alliance) said he had analyzed the president's letter and had asked the president's legal office whether US Embassy representatives had not contacted the president over the amendments. 

The president's legal office did not comment this. 

The rejected amendments state that people who, within the preceding two years, were authorized to represent a creditor in relations with a credit institution may not be appointed to liquidate it. A similar restriction would have applied to insolvency administrators in credit institutions.

These amendments would have prevented Armands Rasa from being approved as the new insolvency administrator of Trasta Komercbanka. Rasa enjoys the backing of Latvia's finance authority, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK).

Rasa was appointed as the new insolvency administrator of Trasta on June 19, replacing Ilmārs Krūms, who was detained by the police on June 8.

The Saeima approved the amendments on June 8 with 56 MPs voting 'for'. These were members of the Union of Greens and Farmers, National Alliance, Harmony, and For Latvia from the Heart.

Twenty MPs were against the amendments. Another seventeen did not vote.

Also on June 8 the police detained high-profile insolvency administrator Māris Sprūds, as well as insolvency administrator Nauris Durevskis and finance expert Jorens Raitums.

On June 8 LTV aired a report showing that Durevskis, Krūms and Sprūds had been donating to the Greens and Farmers Union as well as National Alliance.

In 2016, after Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnačs promised on air that his party will do so, the National Alliance returned €10,000 that it received in donations from Sprūds' father Valdis. 

As reported, according to a study by the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia and the auditing firm Deloitte, malicious insolvency processes and the overall abuse of insolvency has led to the Latvian economy losing €665 million between 2008 and 2014, and this number could increase to €852 million in the next ten years.

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