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Government postpones decision on train procurement until next week

 RIGA, Feb 13 - The government decided yesterday, after acquainting itself with passenger train operator "Pasazieru vilciens" report on the mediation process in Stockholm, to postpone until next week its decision on continuing the failed train procurement or channeling the earmarked funds to other projects.

"Pasazieru vilciens" currently continues talks with Spain's train manufacturer "Construcciones y Auxiliares de Ferrocariles S.A." (CAF) on changes to their contract, "Pasazieru vilciens" CEO Artis Brikmanis told reporters yesterday.

The sides continue to work on a settlement. Nevertheless, it is not clear whether it will be ready within a week. After the government's session yesterday, Transport Ministry State
Secretary Anrijs Matiss said he had doubts about the chances of concluding the process within a week.

Birkmanis in turn explained that "Pasazieru vilciens" had productive talks with CAF this past Friday and added that their outcome is currently being formulated as an appendix to the April 2 contract.

Matiss told reporters that the ministry must come up with potential directions for redistributing the project's funding within a week if the mediation process concludes unsuccessfully, so as to not lose the European Union's funding. These plans must be harmonized with the Finance Ministry.

He explained that all potential projects are connected with railway infrastructure, which is the only area where the available funding must be spent.
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