BNN INTERVIEW | Harmony leader: it is hard to explain my opinion of PM’s take on transit without cursing

Transit is one of the sectors that brings Latvia profits, promotes international competitiveness and provides jobs to thousands of people, but our Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš believes only a select few individuals who profit from it. Jānis Urbanovičs says it is hard for him to comment such a stance without cursing.
Saeima opposition deputies notes that if this happened in any other country, people who work in a sector badmouthed by the PM would organize mass protests. «The PM would not be able to walk on the street safely – he’d need an armoured car.»
As and example he mentioned France and the yellow jacket protests that took place there.
He adds: «Are the dozens of hundreds of thousands of people employed in the railway, transport and sea port sectors are the ‘wealthy individuals’ who have driven Latvia to poverty?»
«The people are happy to be alive. They have gotten used to the thought they will never see better leaders than they have now, so they have no other choice than living as is. It is clear the quality of life will decline. Simpler clothes and footwear, less heating at home – people know all this from before, and will see more of it in the future. People get used to that sort of thing,» Saeima opposition deputies says about the future welfare of the nation.
Read also: BNN INTERVIEW | Kabanovs: PM’s statements on unimportance of transit sector may result in social degradation for Latvia
«Religiosity is so deeply rooted in us, we believe power comes from God, which is why our government feel as though they are god and why he [Kariņš] can afford to say whatever he wants without fear of consequences.»
«What the PM has said essentially means he is happy that this particular industry is dying, not that he understands something is wrong. All of the people employed there can do whatever they want, basically,» says Urbanovičs.
In addition to concerns about the PM’s claims on transit being an unnecessary industry scaring away potential foreign investors, Urbanovičs adds: «They have already turned towards Vilnius and Tallinn. Their respective governments fight for every job. They cannot afford saying ‘let it die’. I cannot imagine what people would Poland or Estonia would do if this happened.»
The opposition deputy says it is possible to organize the transit sector under one condition – changing the neighbouring policy. «We need cooperation with Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and Estonia. They go there instead of here. If they don’t carry their cargo through Latvia, they will carry through Tallinn or other sea ports.»
«The government consists of the same ministers – they have no objective to bring Latvia any benefits. I don’t know what’s on their minds, but it is definitely not Latvia’s best interests.»
BNN had previously reported that Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš believes the desire to develop the transit sector «is outdated thinking that has kept the country from development for decades». Kariņš said the freights handled by sea ports make only a select few individuals rich, whereas the state sees no benefits at all.
More on this topic here: Disturbing lack of logic. PM thinks Latvia has no need for transit business