Latvian PM Kariņš says red tape must not limit action in emergencies

Latvian society should stop being "servants of the letter" (implying following bureaucratic rules even in extraordinary situations), Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) said in an interview on Latvian Television January 25.

The PM stressed the need to reduce red tape to enable rapid action in the administration of state and local governments.

According to Kariņš, emergency and non-standard situations require swift action, but bureaucratic demands are stopping it in this country. He cited the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, seeking supplies of medical masks, and the construction of a fence on the eastern border of the country as examples.

Similarly, in Jēkabpils this year, rapid action will be needed to strengthen the Daugava embankment, and it is important that it is not slowed by bureaucratic requirements. “We need to enable the local government so that it can do these jobs,” Kariņš said, pointing out that it is planned to talk about “what we should do to enable rapid action, because it is not so simple, unfortunately”.

"This is the process that we have to go through as the whole society – we have to get rid of the fact that we are servants of the letter once and for all. We are a free, independent, sovereign state. We can make independent decisions on our own," the Prime Minister said.

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