The Latvian Culture Minister Dace Melnbārde has suggested using revenues from taxes on casinos, tobacco and alcohol to fund culture. The daily Diena (February 4) comments:
“The culture minister’s goal is understandable. She is striving for financial security, and wants cultural funding to be independent of political games. From the point of view of the public, it seems entirely plausible that culture should be financed by smokers, gamblers and drinkers: it’s only logical to want to fund culture through forms of consumption that degrade people intellectually….
“At the same time, the culture minister is getting caught up in a web of contradictions. Does she really want the Latvian people to drink more, smoke more and spend more time in casinos?”