More money needed for Latvia's EU Council presidency

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The government is set to rule Tuesday on expenditure increases in preparation for Latvia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union by January 1, 2015. Most of the funding hikes are connected with rising costs in ministry budgets related to the preparations.

Regardless of the purported lack of wiggle-space in the national budget, the Cabinet agenda says that additional finances must be sought in order to get ready for the planned EU Presidency, which Latvia shares in trio with Italy (currently presiding) and Luxembourg for the next 18 months.

Altogether the proposed increases amount to €155,000 euros – primarily intended to cover the costs of additional staff and technical equipment. The Foreign Affairs Ministry needs the bulk of the supplemental funding - €86,000 euros – while the Defense and Education Ministries each hope to receive an additional €35,000 and €28,000, respectively.

Latvia has previously earned criticism for earmarking €38 million euros more than its southern neighbor Lithuania’s budget for its presidency last year. The current budget for Latvia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union stands around €70 million euros.

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