10 questions to: Latvia's Russian Union

Ahead of October 6 parliamentary elections we bring you some question and answer sheets from each of the 16 competing parties, listed in the order in which they will appear on ballot papers. First up is Latvia's Russian Union.

 

1. How do you plan to change local government administration?

To reduce the number of municipalities by at least half. Larger municipalities will be able to raise funds more effectively from European funds.

2. What are the three ministries that you would most like to lead?

Education and Science, Welfare, and Justice.

3. Do you believe the role of the Corruption Prevention Combating Bureau (KNAB) should be changed?

KNAB, from the time of its foundation, is primarily a tool for mutual reckoning between ruling coalition forces. We would offer the rotation of the heads of KNAB and the Security services based on an agreement with other Baltic and Nordic countries.

4. Should Latvia remain within the European Union and NATO?

The EU provides us with a means of comparison and sometimes improves Latvia's management mistakes. Our vision for the future is a united Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok. The over-active participation of Latvia in NATO requires high costs and complicates the process of improving relations with Russia. We suggest lowering military spending and returning to the militarily political situation in the region that existed until 2014.

5. Should defense expenditure be increased to 2.5% of GDP in the coming years?

No, no increase. We believe that € 575 million for defense in 2018 is a challenge to the welfare, health and education budgets for the population. 

6. What are three economic measures that could significantly improve the revenue side of the state budget?

(a) Stop the Cold War with Russia; lower military expenditure; restore the full transit business. 

(b) Expand access to the Latvian labor market for educated staff from other countries; to renew the residence permit program for persons who purchase real estate in Latvia; to grant Latvian citizenship in exchange for investments in Latvia in excess of one million euros;

(c) Simplify the rules of the game for foreign investors, including allowing the provision of documentation in Latvian, Russian and English of all private companies in public institutions; Offer electronic tax residence in Latvia to foreigners.

7. What are your overall plans for taxation and tax collection?

We propose harmonizing the tax laws of the Baltic States with a view to uniting the Baltic States' economies in order to be able to compete with other, larger neighboring markets. A further extraordinary measure would be to exempt companies from income tax for five years that provide employment in Latgale, as well as in other regions of Latvia, subsidized by municipalities. 

8. Do you support a Cohabitation Act, which would also provide a basis for legal relations for same-sex couples?

The rights of couples living together are already sufficiently guaranteed in the Civil Law of Latvia.

9. What are the three main measures you would take to improve the health care system?

(a) Establishing a level of wages for medical staff that could prevent emigration,

(b) Provide broad and prompt access to free or subsidized health services,

(c) Extending of the official list of reimbursed medicinal products.

10. Do you support the plans to have education in ethnic minority schools only in Latvian?

We believe that it is a major blow to the fundamental rights of a third of the country's population, which will lead to a complete breakdown of society and the international isolation of Latvia. The main task of LKS is to abolish this transition with all possible non-violent means.

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