The Tallinn Capital of Culture program has suffered its first setback with huge budget cuts.
TALLINN - Tallinn's Capital of Culture 2011 program has had its budget slashed by 70 percent amid government efforts to reduce spending in next year's budget.
All eyes in Estonia are on 2011, when the country is expected to adopt the euro and the capital, Tallinn, will be the European Capital of Culture.
The state and the Tallinn municipal government were both slated to contribute 50 million kroons to the event, Eesti Paevaleht reported. The city government will now contribute 20 million kroons, while the state will offer only 10 million kroons.
Spokesmen for the Tallinn 2011 foundation said they would be forced to cancel about half of the programs, mostly larger, international ones, as a result of the budget cuts.
Many in Estonia hope to avoid the fiasco that came from the Vilnius Capital of Culture program last year, when project cancellations, delays and the collapse of the national airline hamstrung the events.
News of the budget cuts came just weeks after the CEO of the Tallinn 2011 foundation, Mikko Fritze, received widespread criticism for his exhorbinant salary, which was larger than the state president's.