New Latvian tax service chief named

The identity of the new head of Latvia's State Revenue Service (VID) was announced June 1.

The new top taxman will be Māris Skujiņš who from March 2013 until the spring of 2016 was a member of the Latvian Television board on financial and technological issues.

Before that he was a board member and finance director at cable TV operator Baltcom TV and a member of the board of the Latvian-Dutch joint venture "HVE Balt-Com Fiber AB" registered in Sweden. 

In 2008, Skujiņš earned a master's degree in business management at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga where he wrote thesis on fraud in the leasing market.

He has had various other positions too, including last year a stint as "Senior Manager Strategic Projects & Development" at Azerbaijan's Access bank.

He was also a founder of the Latvian Transatlantic Organizsation, LATO, which organizes the annual Riga Conference geopolitical talking shop and other events throughout the year.

The announcement of his selection was made at a government press conference after receiving the backing of Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

His main priority would be making it so that paying taxes was "easy, convenient and understandable," said a relaxed-looking Skujiņš, adding that improving the reputation of the tax authority was also important.

"I'm very pleased to be here and to have this opportunity," he said

The vacancy arose because of the sudden death of his predecessor, Ilze Cirule. There were 19 applicants for the post which is one of the most important - and stressful - in the public sector.

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