All eyes on Latvian central bank governor Rimšēvičs ahead of press conference

Latvia was awaiting a press conference midday Tuesday from central bank governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs at which he is expected to respond to allegations he has solicited large-scale bribes and to announce his future plans.

Despite calls from President Raimonds Vējonis, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis, Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Economics Minister Arvils Ašeradens and speaker of the Saeima Ināra Mūrniece for him to stand down, there is no word yet that he has done so.

It is possible - likely, even - he will choose the press conference to make just such an announcement, but if he decides to stay in place and fight on, it will be very difficult to remove him from office, creating a situation of acute embarrassment not only in Latvia but at the European Central Bank where Rimšēvičs is a member of the governing council of Europe's most powerful financial institution.

In addition to the press conference the embattled governor has already agreed to appear on the top-rated interview show One On One Tuesday night, with a huge audience expected to tune in to hear his attempt to justify himself.

Rimšēvičs has been at the central bank since 1992 and has headed it since 2001. HE is into his third six-year term as governor. Coalition parties on February 19 agreed it would be wise in future to limit the number of terms a governor can serve, as in many countries.

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