Levits: A two-speed Latvia is in the making

A two-speed Latvia is in the making right now, therefore it's important to develop the regions to have a comparable quality of life, said Latvian President Egils Levits appearing on LTV's One on One September 3.

"There are Latvias with two speeds in the making. One is where people already live in a 5G regime with wages close to the EU average and a developed environment. Meanwhile we also have regions that lag behind substantially," he said.

But solidarity requires developing the regions so that quality of life is comparable in Rīga and 200 km away from Rīga, the president said, adding that it's one of the goals for regional policy.

He said that the territorial reform currently under discussion is necessary to create municipalities with more people. "Because the tasks that municipalities have right now are easier to do for the ones with more people. Therefore if you live in a smaller municipality that doesn't have a particular factory or another economic object, it may be that municipal services are worse than elsewhere where there's a sufficient number of inhabitants," said Levits.

At the same time he said that it's important not to lose local patriotism and the people's attachment to a local identity. Therefore there are still matters that can be solved locally, in smaller units, he said.

The new administrative territorial model proposes to reduce the number of municipalities from 119 to 36. 

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