OPINION | Latvian PM goes on vacation while government is hair’s breadth away from collapse

Ilona Bērziņa, BNN
The decision by Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš to go on a one and a half weeks of vacation amid the confusion in regards to the future of the existing government seems rather illogical. More so because it was his own idea to expand the coalition at any cost that had destabilised the government in the first place.
If he hopes that during his vacation the entire political storm will pass on it own, then he is wrong. This is no common cold that goes away in seven days.
Of course the PM is only human – he needs rest like anyone else. However, it would have been a better idea to pick a better time – when the government is united and works as a team, for example. Now he has above his head, like the Sword of Damocles, is the president’s deadline for resolving the problem with the government’s stability.
The criticisms President Edgars Rinkēvičs addressed to the prosecution office makes it clear to everyone, especially the pillars of power in Latvia, that

the new president does not mince words.

This is why it would not be a bad idea to remind the PM about the president’s promised “surprise” if nothing is resolved by mid-August, when the government will have to start working on the state budget project for 2023.
Kariņš, meanwhile, does not seem too worried about the mess he himself created. Even society as a whole – except for political observers – do not seem too interested about the situation in the government. But the unresolved issues are not going anywhere and they have the most direct influence over the lives of all residents in Latvia.
Where is the government supposed to find the missing EUR 27 million that are necessary to ensure continued and uninterrupted activities of the healthcare sector? What should the government do to make sure medical services aren’t halted entirely? How and will the education system be reformed? Will the state companies be allowed to be privatised or not? Will there be a tax imposed on banks’ excessive profits?
These are but some of the questions that have to be tackled by the government and which require a united outlook of the future. Ministers sitting on their baggage and politicians too focused on the divisive coalition expansion topic simply have no time or strength to resolve these issues.
But the government’s leader still decides to go on vacation, adding that he is prepared to come back in the event of an emergency. But, Mr. Kariņš!

This “emergency” is already upon us.

It appeared the moment the stability of the government was shaken by your own hands!
And let’s not forget that Kariņš is now the PM and the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs at the same time. This means leaving neither of these two posts should be left empty during these trying geopolitical times.
This is why the question stands: is this not severe negligence on the part of one of the country’s top officials to go on vacation without having resolved the problems the official has caused?
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