Roads should be repaired prior to reforming schools, say municipalities

Latvia's roads should be brought to order prior to reforming schools, said Andris Jaunsleinis, head of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments in an interview with Latvian Television on March 17.

"I am not against the education reform, but can you see on what roads [children have to be taken to school]?" he said.

Some children have to spend up to an hour or two to get to school following the closure of schools during the reform, he claimed.

He said that 40 schools have been closed in Latvia within the past few years, however the road conditions prevent them from getting to school in due time, he said.

As snow is melting, the sorry state of many regional roads has become a topic of public debate.

On March 15 locals planted potatoes in a muddy road at Drustu parish and published a video (since gone viral) over the sorry state of the road, used by emergency services and local buses alike.

While Transport Minister Uldis Augulis has proposed using second- and third-pillar retirement funds for repairing Latvia's roads, but Finance Minister Dace Reizniece-Ozola said that excise tax could be raised and subsequent profits invested into Latvia's roads instead.

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