Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reconstruction of the government facade

The PM has published the plan to slim down the cabinet, and Ivars Godmanis party (LPP/LC) has agreed on retaining only two - PM and the Minister of Transportation posts. In the meantime the Minister of Culture resigned and the PM accepted her resignation. Probably PM accepted the resignation thus swiftly due to the fact that prime minister´s plan is to merge ministries of culture and education. Unofficial reason for Ms Demakova (TP) resignation is her signing of the Ls 6 mlj. contract for building the New Riga Concert Hall, and that agreement was signed on December 30, 2008. PM was not informed about this contract and because all the civil service has to `` be on diet`` it created the media uproar and the PM demanded clarifications. In the same manner PM´s alter ego or the Transport Minister followed the best traditions of nepotism. Mr Slesers agreed on having the son of his driver as the member in the Latvian Passenger railway PlC board of directors, while the same driver had to leave the post of minister´s advisor last year due to the media pressure.

The plan to slim down the government is rather technocratic and proposes to merge ministries of justice and interior affairs, to merge ministries of welfare, health and children's´ affairs, ministry of economics and regional affairs ministry, as well as to unite ministries of agriculture and environmental Affairs. Prime Minister wants now answers from all stakeholders by January 25, 2009 and we shall see how smoothly the reconstruction of the government will proceed. Because in the meantime the opposition is trying to consolidate and together with multitude of interest groups they should demand the president of the republic to dissolve the parliament today at 17.30 hours.

P.S. those of you reading Estonian may read my Delfi piece here.
P.P.S. and here is the Helsingin Sanomat report of the events in Riga tonight


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