Latvia edges towards launch of new centre-right government

Valdis DombrovskisRiga - Latvia moved closer to getting a new government Wednesday when prime minister-designate Valdis Dombrovskis announced that his centre-right coalition had agreed on its legislative programme.

Priorities will include the promotion of entrepreneurship, a reduction in bureaucracy and the efficient use of EU funds, Dombrovskis said, ahead of the release of the full text of his government declaration.

"This is the solution we have reached," said Dombrovskis, who last month was called back to Latvia from his work as a member of the European Parliament in order to head a new government.

Latvia may need revised bailout, says prospective prime minister

Riga - Valdis Dombrovskis, who is likely to become Latvia's prime minister next week, said Friday the troubled Baltic state would probably need to negotiate a revised deal with the international lenders that have already offered it money.

Updating reporters on his efforts to establish a working coalition, Dombrovskis said that the worsening economic outlook would make it difficult for Latvia to stick to a commitment to limit its budget deficit to a maximum of 4.7 per cent of GDP in 2009.

In December 2008, the government of Ivars Godmanis secured a 7.5- billion-euro (9.5-billion-dollar) economic bailout package from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, European Union and other international bodies.

Disillusioned residents of Latvian second city deliver shoe protest

Disillusioned residents of Latvian second city deliver shoe protest Riga - The latest instance of using shoes as a means of political expression occurred in the Latvian capital Riga on Thursday, when demonstrators from the Baltic state's second city, Daugavpils, delivered 100 pairs of used shoes to members of parliament.

"We're here today because we don't agree with the situation in our country. Prices are becoming higher but our wages remain low so it is impossible to survive," a demonstrator named Veronika told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Shaky start for proposed new Latvian government

Latvia Riga MapRiga- The next Latvian government started to take shape Wednesday when Prime Minister-designate Valdis Dombrovskis listed most members of his proposed cabinet.

At a morning news conference in the Latvian capital, Riga, Dombrovskis was flanked by members of five parties including his own New Era party.

Three members of the outgoing coalition were included, from the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS), People's Party
(TP) and For Fatherland and Freedom (TB/LNNK), plus the opposition Civic Union (PS).

Latvia's "two" prime ministers differ on state of the nation

Prime minister Ivars GodmanisRiga  - A difference of opinion became evident Monday between Latvia's outgoing and incoming prime ministers when acting prime minister Ivars Godmanis, who resigned on February 20, denied the Baltic state was on the verge of bankruptcy, as claimed by prime minister-designate Valdis Dombrovskis.

Speaking at a news conference held jointly with acting finance minister Atis Slakteris, Godmanis said Dombrovskis' statement was "just rhetoric" with purely political motivations behind it.

Valdis Dombrovskis named as new Latvian prime minister designate

Valdis Dombrovskis named as new Latvian prime minister designateRiga  - Latvian President Valdis Zatlers named Valdis Dombrovskis as the troubled Baltic state's likely new prime minister Thursday.

Speaking at Riga castle, Zatlers chose the 38-year-old from the New Era party over regional affairs minister Edgars Zalans of the People's Party, the other candidate remaining in the race after days of political wrangling by Latvia's patchwork of parties.