Local authority pledges 130 mln euros subsidy to keep Riga's transport company afloat

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-02 03:13:57|Editor: yan
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RIGA, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Rigas Satiksme, the municipal transport company of the Latvian capital, will be granted a 130 million euros(147.8 million U.S. dollars) subsidy this year to keep it afloat, Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs announced on Friday.

The municipal transport company's 2019 budget was approved after its acting head Anrijs Matiss warned earlier this week that he considered resignation because Rigas Satiksme might soon face solvency issues.

Matiss called for increasing the municipal subsidy from 122.7 million euros in 2018 to 136 million euros this year.

Usakovs said, however, that the 130 million euros would be enough to finance the transport company's discount system and raise salaries for Rigas Satiksme employees as planned.

The Riga mayor also tasked the Rigas Satiksme management with seeking ways to make the company more cost effective and streamline its operations. Also, two members of the Rigas Satiksme management board were replaced Friday.

Opposition members of the Riga city council have constantly been raising alarm over the large subsidies allocated to Rigas Satiksme each year, but the situation in the transport company has grown really serious in recent months after the Corruption Prevention Bureau started investigating an allegedly corruptive deal concluded between Rigas Satiksme former managers, the city council's officials and Polish and Czech companies supplying passenger vehicles to the Riga transport company.

Six suspects in Latvia and two in Poland have been detained and anti-graft operatives have searched the Riga mayor's office and residence as part of the ongoing probe. (1 euro = 1.14 U.S. dollars)