World Expo pull-out still possible

Economics Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Greens and Farmers) repeated her call for the Cabinet to review its ruling to continue funding the construction of Latvia’s installation at the World Expo 2015 in Milan, citing excessive costs and an inconclusive tender process as reasons for a complete pull-out from the international show, reported LETA Monday. The Ministry also announced Monday it is launching an internal probe into who might be responsible for botching the tender, for which more than €1million have already been spent.

The Cabinet is set Tuesday to review the decision taken last week to earmark another €1.6m towards the construction of the pavilion in Milan, with Reizniece-Ozola intending to reiterate her qualms about the €7.3m total cost of the project.

The previous tender ended without results when the ministry suspected overly similar estimates from bidders RBSSkals Būvvadība (Latvia) and Paolo Beltrami S.p.a. (Italy) may have come from collusion on their part and submitted their bids for investigation to the Competition Council.

Expo 2015, a limited partnership comprising Positivus Event, MADE Arhitekti, Rolands Petersons and McCANN Riga, is organizing Latvia's participation in Expo Milano 2015. Expo 2015 is responsible for developing and approving the designs of Latvia’s pavilion, the exhibits and technological support, management of the pavilion, the program of cultural and other events, marketing and communication measures and other related services.

Expo Milano 2015, the next scheduled Universal Exposition, is due to take place in the Italian city Milan from May 1 to October 31, 2015.

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