We need to talk says Prime Minister

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The preservation of European values depends on people being able to listen to each other, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma told the Workers’ Group of the European Economic and Social Committee in Riga Wednesday.

The premier stressed how essential the role of dialogue between various social groups in contemporary Europe is, reported the government’s press release.

Citing the tragic year-opening terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen as Latvia began its Presidency of the Council of the EU under new European security priorities, Straujuma expressed her conviction in the imperative to uphold basic human rights and values.

“It is my faith that all of Europe’s basic values and rights must be preserved and we can do so only if we listen more to each other, when governments hear their social partners and civic society, when social and cooperation partners listen to the government’s expressed proposals. Without mutual cooperation or the ability to listen back and forth only conflict can ensue,” said the Latvian head-of-government in her opening remarks of the EU-level meeting being hosted at the nation’s flagship new Library Building.

Straujuma urged the gathered workers’ rights experts and responsible officials to pay heed to the need for quality jobs. “We know it’s not just a question of jobs, but of good jobs in Europe, as it’s been proven that’s the way to reduce poverty and social alienation,” she said.

She went on to say that investment and export-support programs would be essential for Europe’s future growth and hailed the regulatory frame laid for the Strategic Investment Fund during Latvia’s Presidency.

In conclusion the Prime Minister affirmed that Europe must continue talks on free trade with the US to raise competitiveness globally.

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