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Transport Ministry still considering buying new trains from CAF

 RIGA, Dec 17  - The Transport Ministry has drafted proposals for reaching an agreement with Spain's train manufacturer "Construcciones y Auxiliares de Ferrocariles S.A." (CAF) during a mediation process at the Mediation Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the Latvian State Television program "De facto" reports referring to unofficial information.
The Transport Ministry wants CAF to agree to the failed train procurement's initial provisions, not the amended contract, and cut the number of trains to be supplied by 15 percent.
Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) declines to reveal whether he will support such an agreement. According to the Transport Ministry's stance, the number of supplied trains must be reduced regardless of whether it is set during a mediation process or a new procurement. Therefore it is important to wait for mediation results and only then comment them, said the prime minister.
"De facto" reports that, at the beginning of the mediation process, CAF urged Latvia's passenger train operator "Pasazieru vilciens" to continue their deadlocked talks and return to specifying the contract's amendments. However, the Latvian side declined the proposal. "Pasazieru vilciens" must come up with its proposal by December 18. The sides will meet again at the beginning of January.
However, it is still possible that the talks may fail. According to unofficial information obtained by "de facto", two of five "Pasazieru vilciens" board members strictly oppose purchasing new trains from CAF. They believe that the contract should be signed with South Korea's "Hyundai" and Switzerland's "Stadler". Nevertheless, a new procurement will prolong the process significantly.

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