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The President of the Republic met with the leaders of National Opera

Chairman of the Board Peeter Olesk, General Manager Paul Himma and Director Arne Mikk from the National Opera "Estonia" today at Kadriorg presented to President Arnold Rüütel the development plan of the theatre. They also called on the President in his capacity as Patron of the National Opera to help find a solution to the theatre's severe financial problems.

The leaders of "Estonia" informed the Head of State that a budget deficit amounting to five million kroons might cause the theatre to implement a crisis programme meaning pay cuts, forced vacations and even redundancies. Yet, according to the theatre leaders, a situation like this would jeopardize the fulfilment of the National Opera's mission.

In President Rüütel's words, we could not accept the role of "Estonia" in our national culture to be underestimated or diminishing. Moreover, irreparable damage to Estonian culture might also be done by a situation where talented members of the company were made to leave the theatre because of lacking confidence in the theatre's future. Therefore, the President held crucial that the implementation of the crisis programme be avoided, and possibilities to provide the National Opera at the cost of satisfactory tax revenue of the state with supplementary funds be found.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, February 6, 2003

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