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Government fails to reach agreement on declaring state of emergency in Riga, orders municipality to act in accordance with Competition Council's ruling
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    Government fails to reach agreement on declaring state of emergency in Riga, orders municipality to act in accordance with Competition Council's ruling

    RIGA, Sept 10 (LETA) - The government today heard the Justice Ministry and State Chancellery's opinions, but still could not reach agreement on declaring a state of emergency in Riga due to a crisis in the city's waste management system; the government nevertheless urged the Riga City Council to act in accordance with the Competition Council's ruling.

    The ministers agreed today that the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry would have to ensure that the Riga City Council acts in accordance with the Competition Council's decision. The Riga City Council will have to inform the ministry about its actions. If necessary, the government will convene for an extraordinary meeting tomorrow, September 11, in order to decide on declaring a state of emergency.

    The ministers today had to review the matter twice, as several ministers questioned the legality of the Competition Council's decision.

    Riga Mayor Olegs Burovs (Honor to Serve Riga) stressed that the Competition Council's ruling was legally of poor quality and could not be implemented by the Competition Council's deadline.

    The State Chancellery and the Justice Ministry nevertheless decided that the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry's bill on announcing a state of emergency of Riga was to be reviewed by the government.

    Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Puce (For Development/For) said that therefore Riga's waste management system would continue functioning in accordance with the current waste management contracts. The minister added that declaring a state of emergency in Riga would in no way affect the Competition Council's decisions.

    Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said that in order to restore competition in Riga's waste management sector, a state of emergency had to be declared, because otherwise competition could not be restored. This view was also supported by representatives of the Justice Ministry.

    Before the vote, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) said that he would like the Riga City Council to do everything in its power to fulfill the Competition Council's decree within 24 hours. If that is not possible, an emergency meeting of the government could be convened to decide on the declaration of a state of emergency.

    Karins said he agreed with Rinkevics, explaining that the Riga City Council had decided to create a waste management monopoly, which was unacceptable from a competition point of view.

    "We must ask the Riga City Council to straighten out the situation," said Karins. If waste management tariffs rise, people may have the impression that this is the government's fault. "We have to force the local government to solve the situation," the prime minister stressed.

    • Published: 10.09.2019 19:37
    • Katrina Karzubova, LETA
    • Raivis Spalvens, LETA
    •  
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