Regional reform should have economic impact: President

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Plans to streamline Latvia's regional administrative structure by reducing the number of separate councils and districts should focus on providing economic stimulus, President Raimonds Vejonis said Monday.  

Speaking after talks with Environmental Protection and Regional Develoment minister Kaspars Gerhards, Vejonis stressed that reform for reform's sake was pointless and that officials should make sure the proposed changes generate results.


"We need to discuss not just the number of districts or combining cities and district councils but primarily how to shape areas in order for them to develop economically, to ensure the necessary infrastructure and services to citizens, so they can live and work in Latvia, educate their children and participate fully in our country's development," Vejonis said.

Gerhards informed the President that at present none of the discussed administrative and territorial reform options are supported by all coalition partners, but that by the end of the year a Government commission would likely be formed to look at the issue in more detail and come up with further proposals - suggesting the whole process is likely to be extremely lengthy.

The pair also discussed attracting EU funds and curbing pollution.

As previously reported by LSM, it is not envisaged that proposed local government reforms will take effect until 2021.

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