The corruption scandal in Rīgas satiksme caused a revision of many contracts

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The corruption scandal in Rīgas satiksme caused a revision of many contracts, and the project of the tramway to Skanstes could be frozen for a year, said former Minister of Transport Anrijs Matiss

According to the chairman of the provisional board of the municipal enterprise Rīgas satiksme Anrijs Matiss, the construction of a new tram line on Skanstes Street can be postponed for at least a year.

Matisse explained that the corruption scandal in Rīgas satiksme caused a revision of many contracts, since banks and financial institutions always closely monitor their loans – they are careful about their money.

Therefore, at this stage, the project of building a tram line on Skanstes Street will be discussed again with the bank.

“We have already dismissed the procurement department, carried out all the necessary actions. But now we need to solve the issue of grants for the trams line to Skanstes, where funding was suspended. We will need to repeat the procedure, so the project can be postponed for a year. Now we need to understand what happened how to prevent such situations in the future. The company itself is very good, but now this situation has arisen. We will prevent, it is possible, “said the chairman of the provisional board of Rīgas satiksme.

The project of the tram route to Skanstes, nicknamed “cemetery”, was submitted in 2016, and then caused widespread dissatisfaction of citizens. The fact is that one of the sections of the tram line must pass along Sencu Street, which separates two memorial complexes, the Orthodox Pokrovskoye Cemetery and the Lutheran Great Cemetery. Riga residents feared that the expansion of the roadway to Sencu Street would lead to the destruction of some graves.

Politicians opposed the new route, about 1,500 signatures were collected on the portal of public initiatives on a petition against the construction of a new tramway line, but ultimately the main obstacle to the “cemetery tramway” was the liquidation of ABLV Bank. Because of it, the development of the Skanstes area was in doubt, 11% of which was to be the New Hanza quarter, which was financed by the bank. At present the Museum of Modern Art, which was supposed to be one of the pearls of the area, has also unknown fate.

Now, due to the corruption scandal that broke out in the Riga City Council, the Central Finance and Contracting Agency (CAFD) suspended payments from the European Union funds for the Skanstes tram line project and for two projects of the Daugavpils City Council to improve the infrastructure implemented by Rīgas satiksme.

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