Kučinskis tells Saeima government is making progress

Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis addressed the Saeima Febrary 22 in his summary of the government's progress over the last 12 months.

Tackling the current strife in the banking sector at the beginning of his speech, he informed lawmakers that there was no cause for alarm and all necessary measures were being taken by responsible authorities, characterizing the measures as "cleaning the roof".

"There are definitely problems that require solutions and the government is ready to talk about them, but this is definitely not something that can be solved in one day," he said.

He moved on to wider economic matters saying that after several years of stagnation the economy was growing fast and underlined the stimulating effect he expected last year's tax reforms to have.

"Unlike during the pre-crisis years, this time the macroeconomic stability of the Latvian economy is on a secure basis and there are no signs of economic overheating," he said.

On security matters he reiterated that defense spending had increased considerably to pass the 2% of GDP threshold recommended by NATO.

Predictably, opposition members of parliament lined up to say things were far from as rosy as Kučinskis had depicted them with the education and health systems in particular held up as examples of how the lives of ordinary people in the regions are far removed from those inhabiting the corridors of power in Rīga.

Independent MP Edvards Smiltens (formerly of the Unity party) said: "Many people in Latvia are asking: where is our prime minister? Where is our government?"

Julija Stepanenko of the Harmony party blasted Kučinskis too, saying: "No troll army could do as much damage."


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