Failed EXPO organizers demand nearly half a million euros

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The row over Latvia's failed effort to get a stand ready for the EXPO2015 event in Milan Italy - which opened to the public in May - drags on this week with managers responsible for putting the stand together requesting nearly half a million euros from the goverment.

Managers of the EXPO project have submitted a request for €464,732.43 euros to the courts for expenses they say they have incurred, with the Economics Ministry - which oversaw and then cancelled the project - named as the payee.

Furthermore in a press statement, the managers say accuse the Ministry of spreading false facts about them in an effort to shift blame for the fiasco from its own shoulders.

"The State Audit Office and the State Revenue Service conducted an inspection in connection with the Expo project and no criminal offenses were identified. The partnership "Expo 2015" has presented a new action before the courts, and the total loss amount of the claim now reaches €464,732.43," the statement said.

In light of the claim, a lengthy and expensive court battle looks increasingly likely.

As previously reported by LSM, the Latvian cabinet took the decision to suspend Latvia's participation in the EXPO in late January as it became increasingly clear the ambitious wooden pavilion envisaged for the project would not be ready in time for the May opening of the event.

Organizers claim this put them in the position of having signed contracts with numerous performers to provide entertainment and other content on the stand which had to be torn up.

In response the Economics Ministry has said the sums being spent were wasteful and extravagant, claims angrily refuted by the organizers who accused the Ministry of Monday of acting in a "barbaric" manner for a civilized country.

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