Lang Faces Demands to Step Down Over Shakeup at Culture Publication ({{commentsTotal}})

Minister of Culture Rein Lang
Minister of Culture Rein Lang Source: Photo: Ministry of Culture

At a meeting with creative unions to discuss the controversial leadership change at the weekly Sirp, Culture Minister Rein Lang said he would consider resigning over the affair.

"I will certainly consider it; every proposal deserves to be considered. But I would first wait to see what happens with Sirp. The first new newspaper will be published the day after tomorrow," quoted Lang as saying in response to creative industry representatives' call for him to step down for allegedly politicizing events.

The affair was discussed in Parliament today as well, with the opposition Social Democrats demanding Lang's resignation and grilling Prime Minister Andrus Ansip during question time. For his part, Ansip said he wanted to learn the truth behind the scandal, which has been tangled in conflicting rumors. Coalition partner IRL also asked for an explanation of the matter.

Meanwhile, Lang has maintained that he did not order the sacking of numerous notable cultural figures on the newspaper's staff, as was alleged by its publisher Toomas Väljataga.

"There are so many conspiracy theories that it all appears terrible from the outside. For heaven's sake, do what you will to me but this is not a conspiracy," Lang said.

The minister admitted, though, that the firings had been nasty. But he retaliated at those present at the meeting, asking if it would have been better had he intervened to stop the personnel decisions. "Are you angry that I didn't [intervene]?" he asked.