President has confidence in new Latvian central bank governor Kazāks

President of Latvia Egils Levits had a meeting with new central bank governor Mārtiņš Kazāks January 6, using the occasion to to voice his confidence in the man who will also be Latvia's voice on the governing council of the European Central Bank. 

After the meeting at Rīga Castle, Levits said:

"I already have high regard for you as a recognized expert in your field and now I am confident that the Bank of Latvia will have good and competent management."

During the meeting, both sides agreed on a close dialogue, focusing on the need for a long-term national perspective, analysis-based proposals and conclusions on national growth and the current economic and financial situation, according to an account of the meeting from the Presidential Chancellery.

"When discussing the economic, financial and financial situation in Latvia, Europe and the world, the emphasis was placed on the areas where it is important to invest in the long-term productivity of Latvia - including life-long learning and new skills, combating the shadow economy, etcetera," said the statement.

The conversation also focused on AML (Anti-Money Laundering) measures in the Latvian financial sector. According to Kazāks, it would be useful to develop common European guidelines for the financial sector in this area.

Kazāks' predecessor, Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, is currently on trial, accused of solicitiing large bribes from retail banks. He denies the charges and has vowed to clear his name, but the nearly two-year controversy related to the case has placed the central bank itself under a cloud.

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