Hospitality sector requests Finance and Health ministers to step down

Ten Latvian tourism, guest accommodation and catering, beauty and sports industry associations are calling for the resignation of Finance Minister Jānis Reirs and Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts who have completely lost the trust of the companies, said business representative Evija Ansonska January 25.

The letter with a request to encourage a vote of confidence was sent to the President, the Prime Minister and Ministers, as well as to all Saeima factions and deputies.

As reported, the industries had decided to request the resignation of the ministers due to the issues in Covid-19 crisis. The associations said that there had not been sufficient state aid in circumstances where many cannot operate to an adequate extent.

In the letter, industry organizations point out that the relatively low figures of 2021 of different sectors of the economy clearly show that the reason is not the inability of Latvian businessmen to work or adapt to the situation. The reasons are the unpredictable, unjustified, and long-term constraints that have a direct impact on the solvency and liquidity of businesses.

"There are too many criteria for existing state aid mechanisms, the aid comes late and very often does not reach businesses. As a result, many companies have gone bankrupt or bankrupt in the coming months. Latvia is the only country in the European Union that has shown a drop in tourism in 2021 compared to 2020. The industry categorically rejects the Minister for Finance's claim that tourism will only return to Latvia after two years, because the experience of Lithuania, Estonia and other countries is already proving the opposite," said Jānis Jenzis, president of the Latvian Restaurant Association.

The associations reiterated their call for an urgent decision on the three main aid measures applicable as of 1 December 2021:

  • government subsidies for the payment of the remuneration of the employees of the sector until the end of the state of emergency and until restrictions are completely removed;
  • support for the flow of working capital to the limited sectors until the end of the state of emergency and until restrictions are completely removed;
  • support for increased operational costs and energy resources.

The letter was signed by the Association of Latvian Travel Agents and Operators (ALTA), Latvian Hotels and Restaurants Association, Latvian Rural Tourism Association “Rural Traveller”, Latvian Restaurant Association, Latvia Convention Bureau, Latvian Cosmetics and Cosmetologists Association, Latvian Association of Beauticians, Latvian Irregular Passenger carrier association, Latvian Traders Association, and Latvian Health and Fitness Association.

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