PM explains minister's sacking

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Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma on Thursday explained her reasons for sacking Transport Minister Anrijs Matiss and insisted her government still had big plans to fulfill.

Speaking to a luncheon hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (AmCham), Straujuma identified the main cause of her frustration as being forced into a decision about airBaltic's future in an untimely manner.

"airBaltic works well, there is a great team and they will likely end this year with a profit. Unfortunately airBaltic is still recovering from the crisis and they have not been able to turn around the negative equity situation they have which is why it's been important to find a strategic investor," Straujuma said.

"What I'm blaming the minister of transport for is his inability to find this strategic investor in a timely way."

"The story is not really about the losses of airBaltic or its position in the market, which is fine, but about the whole process. We were basically forced to take this decision in a rush about this investor... it's about being pressured into making rushed decisions," she explained.

On a more positive note the Prime Minister pleased her hosts by indicating that plans were afoot to appoint a new trade representative to the Latvian Embassy in the United States, just days after AmCham called for the opening of a new representative office for trade in the US.

"I understand from the Minister of Foreign Affairs we are ready to appoint another person for economic relations... for sure it's under discussion that there will be someone at the embassy for economic relations," she said. 

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