Zatlers critical of pig ignorance

  • 2008-02-25
  • In cooperation with BNS

RIGA -- Latvian President Valdis Zatlers has criticised InteriorMinister Mareks Seglins over an outburst during which he called Britons "pigs."

Speaking on public radio, the president said the behaviour of some specificindividuals would never make him speak critically of a country and itsresidents in general. "Of course, they represent a country, and maybetheir behaviour is not in line with what is acceptable in their own or ourcountry. They have to respect our laws, but that does not mean we can call themnames," Zatlers said.

He also pointed out that the Freedom Monument is Latvia's most sacred symboland "we must make sure that nobody insults our symbol and our patrioticfeelings."

Offensive statements, however, cannot be helpful in any way and the issuehas to be dealt with by choosing "correct words", Zatlers added.

The latest case of boorish behaviour resulted in a five-day sentence for aBriton who relieved himself on the monument.

Last week, the British embassy in Riga released a statement expressingresolve to continue their "Responsible Tourism" campaign to rein inrowdy British tourists in the Latvian capital.