This morning the People's Party (PP) fuelled speculations about the fragility of the existing governing coalition. The Latvian Cabinet met today in emergency session and agreed on previously agreed budget cuts amounting LVL500 mlj. Now the Minister of Finance must present the 2010 budget for the special interest "hacking" in the Lettish Parliament. At the same time rumours have been circling for some time now about the PP, which still has the biggest representation in the parliament, engineering the fall of the government after the 2010 budget being passed in the Saeima. These rumours were partially supported by today's news announcing possible comeback (the fourth one!) of one of the most odious Latvian former prime ministers Andris Šķēle.
The news about the PP board begging Andris Šķēle to be their leader and prime minister candidate are bad enough for the government's stability. As if it would not be enough another "coalition partner" made laughingstock out of themselves today. The Union of Greens and Farmers (UGF), whose PM candidate for the forthcoming elections is no one else but the Maire of Ventspils, announced that UGF would vote against the projected school reform which would have made the Latvian schoolchildren to start the school from age six (it is seven now). What makes the laughingstock out of the UGF is the fact that the author of the reform is the Ministry of Education. The latter ministry is ruled by the UGF ministers since 2004 and also Tatjana Koķe represents the UGF. As if this ludicrous decision to undermine their own minister's work would not be enough also the Latvian Book Publishers Association announced that they would not manage printing books for the young pupils in due time. I do not understand something here, does the minister T. Koķe coordinate policy process with her party? If not, and this is exactly what the UGF announcement shows, why the head of the UDF faction in the parliament does not call for her resignation?
And while I finished this blog entry Apollo made it official, the former PM is back in politics! Some experts rightfully argued that his comeback is actually contradiction of terms, because he never actually left political string pulling. So Mr Šķēle is elected as the chairman of the PP board and it would make the Latvian political environment more than interesting the coming autumn.
Also the deputy head of the PP parliament faction Vents Armands Krauklis reiterated that PP does not support LVL500 million budget cuts, because ''they (PP) are not ready to sign hasty agreements Latvian government was forced to sign with the Western financial donors'', and the ECOFIN Commissioner is not the God Almighty''. I am watching the 100.pants TV show on LTV1 Channel and Mr Krauklis was presented the question, whether the PP agrees on LVL500 million budget cuts. Mr Krauklis answered, that they agree with the government policy now, but the PP believe that the level of budget cuts must be negotiated with the IMF because those budget cuts are detrimental to the IMF ıtself.
So far the PM Valdis Dombrovskis has not commented on the constantly changing PP position regarding the 2010 budget, just adding that the comeback of A. Skele might affect relations between political parties.
P.S. I could not resist using thus revelatory Gatis Šļūka cartoon again. The story behind the cartoon is the plan of the Military Police coordinated with Saeima officialdom to ensure security of the Lettish parliament building with the 25m security perimeter.
[Latvian MP giving command to another MP] Protesters approaching! Rise the bridge now!