PM: Government ready to help if economy suffers further

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In case the spread of COVID-19 in Latvia leads to a steep economic downturn, the government would be ready to provide support measures to entrepreneurs and employees, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) said October 21 in an interview with Latvian Television. 

Asked if the payment of downtime benefits could be resumed, the prime minister said it would be possible in the event of a rapid economic downturn or if tougher restrictions with an distinctly negative economic impact became necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The good news is that the Latvian economy is nevertheless showing "remarkable vitality"  and "healthy trends", including a drop in unemployment, Kariņš said. 

The prime minister noted that the government now has experience in using COVID-19 support mechanisms and it will be prepared to use them if needed. 

In the interview he also advised coalition party the National Alliance not to proceed with a planned torchlight procession in order to express its patriotism given the potential risk to public health this poses in the current environment.


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