Latvian government to back territorial reform, after tweaking plan

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Latvian government coalition parties have agreed to support proposed territorial reform, adding three more municipalities to the initial model presented.

The KPV LV party proposed changes in the planned administrative reform to separate Liepāja city from Lower Kurzeme region, while the National Alliance called on coalition partners to agree on separating the regions of Liepāja, Daugavpils and Rēzekne from their respective cities as part of the planned administrative-territorial reform.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity party) told the press after a coalition parties meeting October 14 that the parties agree that this proposal should be supported and the proposal will be reviewed at the Cabinet of Ministers meeting October 16.

Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce (For Development/For) said that a detailed draft bill will be prepared for the government meeting to present 39 municipalities - five cities and 34 regions.

New Conservative Party leader and Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns said that his party in principle supports the bill. "We are looking at it not only from the economic point of view, but also from culture geographically, based on historical experience," the minister said.

Economics Minister Ralfs Nemiro (KPV LV) said that huge work has been done in preparing the reform. "The reform is very important for the country's development," he said.

The initial reform plan proposed by the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry provides for reducing the number of municipalities in Latvia from 119 to 36. 

Meanwhile consultations between the responsible ministry and residents of local municipalities continue.


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