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Luc de Clapiers de Vauvenargues
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Government gives PV and CAF time until March 8 to conclude mediation talks

 RIGA, Feb 19 - The government has given Latvia's passenger train operator "Pasazieru vilciens" (PV) and Spain's train manufacturer "Construcciones y Auxiliares de Ferrocariles S.A." (CAF) time to conclude their mediation talks, setting March 8 as a deadline for the talks, PV board chairman Artis Birkmanis told reporters today.

Birkmanis declined to comment the possibility of redistributing the European Union's funds currently earmarked for the failed train procurement. PV has managed to convince the government not to hurry with channeling the funds to other projects, said Birkmanis.

Hopefully, passengers will be able to ride in new trains sooner or later, said Birkmanis and pointed out that a settlement will allow to use bloc's funding for such purposes.

The results of the mediation process must be presented to the government on March 12.

Commenting CAF statements about the conclusion of the mediation process on March 29, Birkmanis said that PV will speak with CAF to speed up the process.

The mediation process will be concluded by March 8, said Birkmanis.

As reported, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) told reporters after the Coalition Council's session yesterday that the Transport Ministry currently does not have a solution to conclude the mediation process "in a reasonable amount of time".

The mediation process has been dragging on and it is necessary to take into account the European Union's redistribution deadlines for funds and absorb the earmarked funds in the current financial perspective, added the minister.
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