Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Changes brewing in Latvia

Changes are brewing in Latvia that might have implications for the stability of the existing government. Already at the end of the workday the Minister of Finance Einārs Repše announced his suspicions about the head of Latvian Internal Revenue Service (IRS) being politically influenced, which is a local euphemism for an official fallen from grace and about to be sacked. Mr Repše has alarming reports from the Prosecutor General office as well as from the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB). It was a public information for a while now about the financial police members who were convicted for illegal recordings of the journalist Iveta Jaunalksne telephone conversations continuing their work in the IRS. Also it was suspicious that Mr Vladimirs de Vaškevičs after being denied access from to the sensitive state secret information still became the deputy head of the IRS. The life of Mr de Vaškevičs was colourful enough, because he is owner of about hundreds of pairs of shoes (does it not remind you Ms Imelda Marcos:). Also he still continues to share the same house with his divorced wife Madam Vilkaste to save costs... . Never mind a fact, that Ms Vilkaste sold a real estate in the prime spot (Mežaparks) to the IRS for about EUR 5 million that she initially purchased for EUR 250 000, and KNAB is investigating her business practices. Also from my own sources I have heard rumours about Mr Vaškēvics (with a nickname Footballer/Futbols) being integral part of the drugs & arms shipments through the port of Riga.

In a vicarious way the announcements of the Minister of Finance proved long whirling rumours about the Latvian IRS serving the needs of the governing People's Party (PP). PP endorsed the present head of the IRS, and rumours about illegal trade on the Latvian Eastern border were politically hushed down with the help of the PP.

In the evening there was the weekly KNL show where also Minister of Finance and the head of the IRS were present. The dialogue between two officials was turning into a heated debate where the Minister of Finance very diplomatically explained why he cannot trust Mr Jakāns. While the moderator of the TV show asked whether the Minister should not consider simply sacking Mr Jakāns from his post, Mr Repše answered that such a decision is within a purview of the governing coalition.

At the end of the program the KNL moderator rhetorically asked that perhaps it would be a time finally to introduce the mandatory tax and property declaration system, thus the Latvian IRS could finally know what belongs to whom, and who is who in Latvia? Now the Latvian governing coalition has announced that the mandatory tax declaration is to be introduced from January 1, 2010. However, if the promise to introduce the mandatory tax and property declaration system is as baseless as the proposed real estate tax we perhaps would earlier see the disappearance of the Republic of Latvia. You may wonder why such an apocalyptic conclusion?

Because, even though, the governing coalition has reached a compromise on the 0,1% real estate tax after PP gangsters were convinced to support its introduction, the mechanism and administration of the new tax according to the Head of the IRS and senior civil servants is impossible earlier than somewhere at the end of next year....Is the possible sacking of the acting head of the IRS going to serve as the precursor of the fall of the existing government, because the former PM is eagerly waiting his retinue producing the momentum for his virtual coup d' entreprise?


Jānis Bērziņš said...

DE Vaškevičs?


TRex said...

Šķēle eh? So the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Veiko Spolitis said...

Hola Janis & Hi TRex! Actually his children r called de Vaskevices, but even though he is without the aristocratic prefix it still sounds grotecque:) BTW Jakāns was sacked today, thus the news developing is a rather swift way:)

Indeed TRex, some changes stay constant - naivete and smartness, however, when the critizal mass is naive then there r smart asses who have learned very well how to use res publica for their own personal benefit:)