RIGA - There is enough money in the budget to help the flood-stricken Latgale province, Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) told Latvian Television this morning.
According to Kucinskis, 2017 has thus far been a relatively calm year for Latvia, which is why there is EUR 10 million to EUR 20 million available from the emergency funds. What local governments are asking is far less, while farmers are reporting losses of several million euros.
There is no doubt that Latgale has to be helped - that is the opinion of the other regions and banks. Kucinskis has spoken to banks' representatives, who said that the banks were willing to extend loan repayment periods for farmers. Farmers' projects co-financed by the European Union have also fallen behind schedule, the premier added.
When asked whether the flood has highlighted some problems with drainage systems in the regions, Kucinskis said this was a problem, albeit not the only one. An ad hoc task force has been set up, which includes representatives of three Latgale municipalities and three ministers, who will offer their proposals to improve the drainage systems.
As reported, many areas in Latgale province were flooded following heavy rains last week, which did major damage to crops, several regional and local roads, and buildings.