Finance Minister chooses chess over ECOFIN

Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola was continuing her campaign at the Baku Chess Olympiade Friday as her counterparts from other European Union and eurozone member states were due to meet in Bratislava, Slovakia, for two days of high-level Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meetings. 

Reizniece-Ozola recorded a notable victory earlier this week over women's chess world champion Hou Yifan.

The Baku Olympiade released a video of the minister talking about chess and how she mixes her career with her interest in the checkered board and vice versa.

"Chess structures the brain and helps you in every area, especially in politics," Reizniece-Ozola said.

"Remembering the rules of fair play helps a lot in politics," said the Greens and Farmers Union politician.

"Chess also helps as it gives the impression you are a smart person," she joked.

"I see it as my mission to be successful in politics in order to promote chess in Latvia," she said.

She was also full of praise for Azerbaijan as the organizer of the tournament saying: "The hotels, the food, the atmosphere, it's just great... sometimes it's bad to have these too good conditions, you get too relaxed."

She had saved up her holiday and prepared the state budget before leaving for Baku she said, so she was confident there was no urgent business left unattended at the ministry.

Due to Reizniece-Ozola's absence at the tournament which runs September 1-14, Latvia will be represented in the Bratislava meetings by the state secretary Baiba Bane and a representative of the Latvian central bank.

The Bratislava meetings on September 9-10 are due to discuss "the future of the EU's economic policy" and "the current unprecedented challenges such as migration, Brexit or security challenges."

Saturday's discussion, featuring OECD secretary general Angel Gurria (Latvia recently joined the organization) will be on "striking a balance between an effective fight against tax evasion, fraud and crime including terrorist financing, and the need to ensure a stable and predictable tax environment."

 

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