On Friday, June 11, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis held a meeting with Guido Westerwelle Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Germany to discuss bilateral relations and EU-related issues.
The Foreign Minister of Germany expressed his appreciation for Latvia’s progress in overcoming the economic crisis and stabilization of national economy. The Prime Minister informed that this week an agreement has been reached with international lenders on fiscal consolidation targets for the 2011 budget and additional investments in national economy by increasing the financing for the projects of EU Structural Funds. The Prime Minister stressed that, as a result of fiscal consolidation and targeted investment of the funding of the EU Structural Funds in national economy the structure of Latvia’s economy has changed. It has become an export-oriented economy
Both officials discussed the stability of the Eurozone and introduction of the euro in Latvia. The Prime Minister confirmed Latvia’s objective to meet the Maastricht criteria and join the Eurozone in 2014. The Prime Minister welcomed the recommendation of the EC on the admission of Estonia to the Eurozone, which is a positive signal about the openness of the Eurozone to new Member States. Both parties discussed the need to introduce control mechanisms to ensure the compliance of the Member States with the Maastricht criteria. The Foreign Minister of Germany stressed that the proposals would include the review of the Member State’s indicators by the EU statistical organization – EUROSTAT and establishment of the EU rating agency.
As to the cooperation of Germany and Russia, and the EU-Russia cooperation, the Foreign Minister of Germany stressed that positive steps have been made in the EU-Russia cooperation. Prime Minister V. Dombrovskis agreed on the necessity for a pragmatic dialogue and cooperation with Russia by informing on the progress in work of the Latvian-Russian intergovernmental commission and drafting of different cooperation agreements.
The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Germany also discussed the bilateral economic relations and cooperation between both countries in the area of education and culture. Prime Minister V. Dombrovskis expressed his interest in welcoming German business delegations in Latvia emphasizing the investment opportunities in Latvia in such sectors as transport and logistics, tourism, industrial manufacturing, engineering, energy. Both officials positively assessed the cooperation between German and Latvian universities in student exchange programs, as well as the contribution of the Goethe Institute to cultural promotion of both countries
The photos of the meeting of the Prime Minister of Latvia and the Foreign Minister of Germany are available in the photo album of the State Chancellery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/sets/72157624128446969/
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