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Puce not worried about upcoming protests against administrative territorial reforms
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    Puce not worried about upcoming protests against administrative territorial reforms

    RIGA, Nov 6 (LETA) - Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Puce (For Development) said that he is not worried about the upcoming protests against the administrative territorial reforms.

    In an interview on Latvian Radio this morning, Puce emphasized that the demonstrations are basically being organized by political parties, but they have such a right and the minister respects this right.

    ''In fact, the protest is being organized by municipalities run by political forces, who also transport persons to the venue free of charge. It is very good that there are people ready to express their opinion. I support that political forces are also exercising their right under the Constitution to express their views," the minister said.

    He promised he would arrive at Saeima on Thursday to talk to the protesters, but at the same time he urges MPs to support in the first reading the draft territorial reform bill prepared by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and which has also been approved by the government.

    As reported, a "people's meeting" in which residents from various regions of Latvia will express their dissatisfaction with the administrative-territorial reform plan, will be held this Thursday almost simultaneously with a protest planned by healthcare employees, Liga Bulmeistere, a representative of the Latvian Green Party, informed LETA.

    While the healthcare employees will be protesting the government's failure to keep the pay rise promise, those dissatisfied with the territorial reform are determined to stage a people's meeting "against a forced and illogical reform that will leave the countryside empty".

    While, the medics' protest is scheduled to take place from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., the opponents of the territorial reform are planning to start their meeting at 9:30 p.m. However, they intend to arrive at the Saeima building already at 9:00 to demonstrate solidarity with the medics.

    Several local governments have issued appeals to local residents urging them to join the action. Representatives of the municipalities of Mazsalaca, Rujiena and Naukseni informed LETA that the meeting by the parliament house will be preceded by a march through Riga Old City.

    The Latvian Green Party explained that the protest is scheduled for November 7 because Saeima is due to hold the first reading of the territorial reform bill on that day. 

    LETA also reported, Saeima is currently reviewing draft amendments to the Law On Administrative Territories and Populated Areas, providing for the creation of 39 municipalities instead of the existing 119 ones. A number of local governments have fiercely criticized the reform plan. 

    • Published: 06.11.2019 10:40
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