Postal services might be moved to shops and libraries

The Ministry of Transport will consider the possibilities to provide postal services in libraries, shops, and other places, Transport Minister Kaspars Briškens (Progressives) said on February 7.

He emphasized that the rapid closure of regional post offices in the second half of the year has not been properly communicated with the society, employees of “Latvijas Pasts”, publishers of the printed press, or the Latvian Association of Local Governments. That's why post office reform has been put on hold.

"I have also informed coalition partners that we are looking at various options to improve postal work by ensuring continuity of services. For example, we consider combining post offices with single customer service centres of municipalities, or placing them in libraries, or also setting up post offices at railway stations, or agreeing with local shops or service stations on the possibilities of providing these services there. In addition to the fact that the postman on-demand service will be provided," Briškens said.

There is no clarity yet on how this idea would work. Briškens said he will request additional funds from the State budget if necessary, though the whole idea of the postal service reform is to save money.

The Latvian Postal Service (Latvijas Pasts) had decided to close or reorganize 105 of the 176 post offices across the country but later suspended the plan. Beāte Krauze-Čebotare, head of Latvijas Pasts, said that as the number of letters and subscribed press decreased, the postal service was in a financially difficult situation. 

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