PM Kariņš says Latvia should see through the crisis and beyond

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, after Saeima budget debate December 2, addressed the Saeima and the nation with a speech on the current situation in the state, as well as the view towards the future.

"We as a state are currently in a crisis situation, this time it is the virus pandemic crisis. It is an unusual situation for everyone, as we have to comply with many restrictions," said Kariņš.

The Prime Minister mentioned that along with rules and restrictions, the government has developed an array of economy support measures, including downtime benefits depending solely on revenue decline, as well as aid for parents staying at home with their young children. 

"We will overcome this situation by observing very simple safety rules. Nothing has changed: we keep distance, wash our hands and wear face masks indoors."

The Prime Minister said that "the light at the end of this crisis tunnel" is the vaccines which will hopefully be available to Latvia next year.

Speaking of the future, the Minister said that "we must look at what we as a state will do after this crisis. We are moving towards a welfare state. Despite the pandemic, we have had a good and healthy [economic] growth. Unemployment level (..) has fallen lower than it was before the pandemic."

Karinš said that the state must focus on employee re-qualification so that the newly acquired jobs "are not useful only during the pandemic but afterwards", in order to continue the growth that has started.

The Prime Minister also said that Latvia will receive funds from the European Union of around €10 billion over the next seven years. These will be grants and there will be additional private investments.

The government will have to think to invest these resources “wisely.” To that end, the government is working with the social partners, said Karins.

In his speech, the Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of health, each individual, as well as all health care systems. In this area, reforms are under way to centralize the provision of healthcare services.

Security is also essential, which is the basis for the existence of each country, said Karins. Next year, more than 2% of gross domestic product will be channeled to defense in Latvia.

 

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