RIGA - I am surprised your paper was opposed to Riga Council's decision to ban the beer gardens in Livu Square this summer. As a resident of the Old Town, I was ecstatic on hearing the news. The beer gardens are literally a public menace. They are mostly filled with drunken, aggressive and obnoxious foreigners, which make it impossible for a young woman to enjoy a quiet drink there.
They promote violence rather than culture, and inspire idiocy rather than pleasantry. Does Riga really want to foster the reputation it has already gained as a centre for sleaziness? The city has so much more to offer than cheap beer, prostitution and sing-along karaoke. You argue that the city can't have it all ways. You are wrong. Riga can quite easily attract respectable tourists in the numbers it has become accustomed to, and would be far better off without the rowdy, mindless masses that fly over here for a weekend of extreme drinking via Ryanair. Well done Riga Council. Keep up the good work.