Latvian gov't coalition strikes deal on municipal reform

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 15, 2019
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RIGA, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Latvia's center-right government coalition on Monday agreed on the Baltic country's plan to reform local municipal administration after the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry consented to increase the number of municipalities to 39 from the originally planned 36, local media reported.

The number of municipalities in Latvia's new administrative map will increase because several coalition partners insisted on separating the cities of Liepaja, Daugavpils and Rezekne from their surrounding districts, which have large enough populations to function as independent municipalities.

The coalition partners debated the municipal reform, proposed by the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry, for several hours on Monday, with the Cabinet of Ministers expected to formally pass it on Tuesday. After that, the reform plan will be put before parliament for final approval.

The coalition government reached the deal after Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Puce made some last-minute concessions, agreeing to separate Liepaja, Daugavpils and Rezekne from their districts, so the three cities can keep their present status with their own governments, just like Riga, the capital.

The minister indicated that the municipal reform plan aims to ensure that local governments in all regions of Latvia are able to provide accessible services to their residents in accordance with existing laws. The minister added though that the borders of municipalities and some other aspects of the reform can still change. Enditem

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