Egils Levits Domestic policy
Valsts prezidents: ārkārtējās situācijas ieviešana ir nepieciešama gan lai ierobežotu pandēmiju, gan lai pasargātu ekonomiku no straujākas lejupslīdes
Today’s decision of the Cabinet of Ministers to declare the state of emergency was a necessary and adequate step. Latvia has been hit by nothing short of the second wave of the pandemic. Government response is timely. Any further hesitation would have led to undesirable consequences.

State of emergency allows the government to take necessary extra measures recommended by experts to prevent uncontrolled spread of the virus in our country.

I am certain that there is more to be done rather than responding to the developments. Government should be more proactive. We need a smart strategy that gives clear answers on what to do with economy, culture, education and other areas under different scenarios of restrictions imposed to contain further outbreak of the virus. I highly welcome government’s commitment to focus on such modelling.

I do not think it is right to pit the economy against various restrictions aimed at reducing the virus outbreak as some do with their public comments. Pandemic will have adverse effect on the economy and virtually every area of our lives under any scenario. Unless contained, rapid spreading of virus will quickly bring the economy down as workforce will either contract the virus or will have to stay at home due to direct exposure to infected persons. That, of course, will not be good for the economy. So, logically, countries with higher infection rates are likely to suffer the biggest economic damage. Latvia managed to contain the virus quite efficiently until autumn and compared to other countries went through relatively mild economic shock.

Measures aimed at containing virus are therefore also aimed at protecting our economy from sharper downturn.

Measures aimed at containing virus are in the best interests of the people. We must comply with rules for our and others sake.

Government must also consider mitigating measures, which should make this stressful time easier for the most vulnerable groups of society.

Together we will overcome this crisis.