Jaunzeme - Grende ready to listen

  • 2012-05-16
  • From wire reports

RIGA - Culture Minister Zaneta Jaunzeme-Grende (All for Latvia!-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK), reacting to the strained relations and criticism she is facing from people in the arts world, has already released her office manager Valters Bolevics and PR advisor Iluta Berzina, reports LETA.

On Monday she told the media that in seeking new advisors, she will hear what people in the arts world want, and a new chief of staff, or office manager, will hopefully be on board in one to two weeks, one that will satisfy both sides.
The minister said that the previous chief of staff - Bolevics - was “geared toward results, measurements and indicators.” Now she hopes to find someone who focuses on strategy, priorities and funding and the arts and culture.
Jaunzeme-Grende pointed out that she now has only one advisor left - Janis Dripe - on construction of the new National Library, and that she has the support of her party.

As for the release of advisors Sarmite Elerte (Unity) and Ints Dalderis (Unity), it was not connected to the “strategy for literature and authorship,” but to the financing of the arts. She pointed out that Elerte and Dalderis had advocated pegging it to excise tax, even though the prime minister and finance minister had called this model “impossible.”
In a statement, Elerte said that in fact neither she nor Dalderis were involved in such a strategy, underlining that “every minister forms his team, and selects advisors, people whose advice he takes.”

“My duties at the ministry were to implement the government’s basic guidelines for national identity, civil society and integration policy. I would have been willing to give my advice on developing relations with writers and other people in the arts, were there such an opportunity. But neither myself nor Ints Dalderis were involved in setting the strategy for literature and authorship or any discussion thereof; we were not invited to be part of a dialogue with writers, no one asked our advice.”

Elerte said that most necessary right now is “competence and intelligence in order to regain the trust of the arts community.”
Dalderis was more reserved in his reaction to the news, saying that he had not been informed by the minister of his pending release.