Levits voices support for smart immigration

In an interview with Latvian Radio on July 16, new Latvian president Egils Levits voiced support for a smart immigration policy that would allow immigration for specialists who have a potential to add to the country's economy.

He said, however, that the number one priority in immigration policy is re-migration, i.e. making Latvia an attractive place to return for those who have left the country.

But he would prefer smart immigration policies for third-country nationals.

"It means specialists who we lack or who provide us with significant economic value...Where you absolutely need it you shouldn't be dogmatic with these matters," he said.

Levits also used the interview to explain his view on reducing inequality, which he had named a priority after being sworn in. "A policy of equality does not mean a policy of making equal. Ensuring equality means equal opportunities to achieve a better situation and a larger income with individual work and strife," he said.

He said that policies increasing equality should be directed towards marginalized people and groups of people that have a handicap as regards being able to compete. While tax changes would not be the main instrument, taxes should be shifted if "the lower level is too low".

The general interview also covered questions such as public media funding – which Levits said he would discuss in meetings with politicians – as well as same-sex marriage (the public should decide).

The newly-instated Latvian president also called for people to join trade unions so that they could wield more influence in fighting for their rights. 

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