New Latvian PM takes office, faces budget crisis

RIGA, March 12 Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:31am EDT

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RIGA, March 12 (Reuters) - Latvia's new prime minister won a parliamentary vote on Thursday confirming him in office but immediately faced the task of more budget cuts and talks to win leeway with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

Valdis Dombrovskis, 37, a former finance minister and member of the main centre-right opposition party New Era, has formed a six-party coalition, including the four parties in the government that collapsed last month because of the economic crisis.

He won a confidence vote, the final hurdle before taking office, by 67 votes to 21 in the 100-seat house.

Dombrovskis hopes for leeway from the IMF and the EU for smaller spending cuts than agreed when Latvia received a 7.5 billion-euro ($9.57-billion) rescue package last year. (Reporting by Patrick Lannin; editing by Andrew Dobbie)

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