Contractor which built National Library claims €11.45m from state

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The company that was contracted to build the National Library of Latvia building on the left bank of River Daugava, has taken Latvia to court over €11 million, reports Latvian Radio March 8.

The Culture Ministry insists it has paid the contractor, Nacionālā Būvkompāniju apvienība, all it was due, with the last payment of €104,904 made in late December last year.

The state has paid a total of over €195 million for the building over the past eight years, which theoretically means each Latvian has paid more than €100 for the landmark that was designed by the late Gunārs Birkerts.

Nacionālā Būvkompāniju apvienība took Latvia to court in mid-January at the Riga Vidzeme District Court with a claim of €11,449,483 that, the company says, is made up of debts and penalties, and late payment fees. 

"We've submitted our statement to the court and we're waiting for the court meeting, scheduled for September," said Culture Ministry representative Lita Kokale.

The ministry and its construction consulting firm, Hill International, say the constructors' demands amount to an unjustified request for extra money. 

Nacionālā Būvkompāniju apvienība tried, for several times, to renegotiate the agreement sum, which was set in 2008 when construction costs were at an all-time high. It was finished in 2014.

In August 2016 the construction company tried to claim a €22 million compensation, without however providing the Culture Ministry and Hill International to prove their claim was legitimate. 

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