The Latvian government has officially nominated Valdis Dombrovskis to be the country’s European commissioner. The decision had been expected despite the 42-year-old’s resignation as prime minister in November following the partial collapse of a shopping mall in Riga.
The current four-party government, created in January to lead the country through to parliamentary elections this October, continues to be led by Dombrovskis’s Unity party. Dombrovskis’s status as the nominee-in-waiting was reinforced by the results of the European Parliament elections on 25 May, when he led Unity’s list of candidates to a resounding victory, gaining 46% of the popular vote and four of Latvia’s eight seats in the assembly.
Dombrovskis was called before the parliamentary committee for European affairs on Thursday (28 May), emerging with the committee’s support, though he faced questions about alleged conflicts of interest involving his wife.
Dombrovskis has said that he would be interested in an economic or financial portfolio. In putting Dombrovskis forward for the post, the prime minister, Laimdota Straujuma, cited the praise that Dombrovskis has earned for bringing Latvia through the economic crisis and into the eurozone on 1 January, while he was still acting prime minister.
Unity’s popularity has risen and fallen sharply over the years of austerity, but Dombrovskis won the highest number of personal preferences in the European Parliament elections.
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