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Latvian lawmakers vote for head of scandal-hit central bank to quit

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Riga (dpa) - A majority of lawmakers in Latvia‘s parliament passed a non-binding resolution on Thursday for the head of Latvia‘s central bank to step down, two weeks after Ilmars Rimsevics was detained on suspicion of accepting bribes.

Under Latvian law, the head of the central bank must either step down or be found guilty of serious breaches of conduct by a court.

Rimsevics, 52, was detained last month on suspicion of having demanded and accepted bribes of at least 100,000 euros (125,000 dollars). He has been released on bail and has denied the charges.

On Thursday, the bank chief issued a statement through his lawyer.

"The Saeima [Latvian legislature] decision can be seen as documented political pressure on Rimsevics and the European Central Bank," Rimsevics‘ attorney said.

Rimsevics did not appear at the ECB‘s regular meeting in Frankfurt on Thursday, nor has the ECB commented on the case.

Rimsevics has headed the Baltic state‘s highest financial institution since 2001. He has also been a member of the European Central Bank‘s governing council since Latvia joined the eurozone in 2014.

Several high-ranking officials, including Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola, have called for him to step down.


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