President Levits will meet parties to discuss future Covid course of action

On Tuesday, August 31, President Egils Levits meets with the Speaker of the Saeima and the leaders of the various Saeima factions to discuss further action to curb the Covid-19 pandemic and urge them to work more effectively -- but for now is offering few concrete proposals of his own. 

The President told Latvian Radio ahead of the evening meetings that a greater consensus is needed among politicians in order to be able to move forward with countering the virus.

"I have the impression that there is some uncertainty in the Saeima about how to proceed with the Covid-19 control and vaccination policy. Therefore, I would like to discuss and agree on concrete further steps in direct dialogue with the factions of the Saeima," Levits said.

"I have clear principles as to what this future pandemic containment and vaccination policy should be, but first let's try to reach an agreement with the factions to break the deadlock," said Levits, omitting to give any details of his preferred policies as he wants to discuss them with legislators first.

Politicians expressed their willingness to discuss matters, but sociologist Arnis Kaktins told Latvian Radio that the division of society is already too great for any real breakthroughs to be expected from the talks, though in a situation in which political power is not working successfully, he considers the president's intervention to be justified.

The sociologist is pessimistic about the future, telling Latvian Radio: “It would be very good, of course, if the public and politicians could agree on one specific direction, but it seems to me intuitively that this is hardly possible in the current situation. Things have gone too far. We see that society is very divided. Accordingly, if we assume that politicians more or less reflect what is in society, rather than living in complete isolation, inevitably this division of society must also manifest itself in the division of politicians.

"So it's hard for me to imagine that here the president and the political elite can achieve complete unity... In my opinion, nothing good awaits us in the near, medium or longer term future."

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