PM Kariņš: New government must not go into reverse

It should not be allowed that the next government goes in reverse and alters the reforms that have been put in place so far, said the current Prime Minister, New Unity leader and the head of coalition talks, Krišjānis Kariņš, in an interview on Latvian Radio October 18.

Kariņš said he had heard discussions in the public space about the wishes of some political forces to review the port reform and the administrative territorial reform, as well as the construction of the LNG terminal in Skulte. It has been stated that the terminal should be built elsewhere. “It's not serious. You could just as well say you don't want to [implement the project],” said Kariņš, adding that this project needs to be advanced and implemented, otherwise the question will arise whether Latvia does not want to reduce its energy dependency on Russian gas.

According to Kariņš, the initiative of reviews of what has been done so far comes from the newly formed “United List” of parties, which have converged from various earlier forces.

“It could be said that there are elements from the People's Party, there are elements from the Union of Greens and Farmers, there are elements from the regional party, and there are some others who have come from the sidelines. And it is not clear for me what this political arrangement thinks and what their real objectives might be. To me, one concern is that I cannot allow the next government to reverse a multitude of reforms that have already been done. [..] Some might still think that politics is a place for narrow interests to express themselves,” said Kariņš.

According to him, there are a number of specific things to be done in Latvia, which are in the interests of society as a whole, including education, economy, the rule of law, and internal and external security.

“I just want to make sure that narrow economic interests would not prevail and that we do not start reversing,” Kariņš said.

“Because we as a country have stayed where we are. Many are, I too am, worried why our economy is not as strong as our northern neighbors. One of the reasons is that in Latvia, for years, the narrow [economic] interests have been, if not dominant, then with very great influence. We are gradually moving away from it, and under my leadership, we will not go back in that direction. We have to go forward.”

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