Matīss steps down as Rīgas Satiksme acting head

Anrijs Matīss has stepped down as the acting head of Rīgas Satiksme municipal public transport company.

In an interview with Latvian Radio March 5, Matīss explained this decision with a lack of support for changes in the company on the part of Rīgas Satiksme shareholders, namely Rīga Mayor and Harmony’s leader Nils Ušakovs.

Initially there was great support by the Rīga City Council for changes at Rīgas Satiksme, but it has been lost as Ušakovs will run for the European elections, said Matīss.

"Mr. Matīss' decision is very emotional and I find it difficult to offer comment," said Ušakovs, adding that this step may be related to difficulties at Rīgas satiksme and pressure from the political competitors. 

Meanwhile one Ernests Saulītis, an official from the Riga City Council's Property Department who was recently appointed to the company board, will take over Matīss' position.

Matīss also noted that he had not been previously informed about changes of the temporary board members, he received this information just a couple of hours before the shareholders meeting.

Edmunds Zivtiņš and Janis Ģeduševs, who were appointed members of Riga municipal public transport company Rīgas Satiksme board at the end of 2018, on March 1 were dismissed from the company's board.

Zivtiņš and Ģeduševs have been replaced on Rīgas Satiksme board by Saulītis, Juris Švanders, a high-ranking official from the Riga City Council's Financial Department, and transport expert Jānis Meirāns.

Continuing their work on Rīgas Satiksme board were the board chairman Anrijs Matīss and Armands Kruze, former acting director at the Riga City Council's Urban Development Department. Therefore Rīgas Satiksme board, which used to have four members, is made up of five members now.

Matīss said that on February 19 Rīgas Satiksme temporary board turned to the shareholder because the company showed signs of insolvency. The shareholders meeting was convened on March 1 and temporary solutions were found until this year’s budget will be adopted, and thus, the company is able to operate for now. The company can survive through March, Matīss said.

Matīss said that Rīgas Satiksme should reduce its expenditure, reminding about the inconvenient agreements signed with Rīgas Karte e-ticket operator, Rigas Mikroautobusu Satiksme minibus passenger service operator, fuel procurements. These issues should be solved in cooperation with the shareholder, but nothing can be done if there is no support from the Rīga City Council.

As reported, there's an ongoing corruption probe over possible bribery and rigged tenders at the Rīgas satiksme company.

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