Cultural institutions, experiencing difficulties due to the sharp rise in electricity and heating prices should be able to survive the year with their current budget, but if the high prices remain, they will require more support, new Minister of Culture Tiit Terik (Center) says.
"I believe that it's possible for them to survive with the current budget, but when the same prices remain, then new measures need to be found," Terik told Vikerraadio's "Vikerhommik" show Tuesday morning.
Terik added that the ministry is collecting data on theaters' electricity expenses to figure the necessary amount and see if it's a one-time, short-term price increase or the prices will remain higher.
"At the end of the day, these increases need to be compensated from the budget. Supplementary funding needs to be found. Culture has received funding during the crisis, and I believe if it's necessary, the sector will receive it. I have been told that theaters won't be left alone, we will carry them through the crisis," Terik said.
The minister stressed that the government has allocated €70 million to the cultural sector since the beginning of the crisis and the sector hasn't been left alone. He also brought out the agreement for a 2 percent increase in the salary fund for cultural employees working under an employment contract and the minimum salary of cultural employees to increase from €1,300 to €1,4000. "These are the current goals," Terik said.
"We have to negotiate and see together what the effects of the crisis are, where the state has to help," the minister said.
"There is tense searching within the budget, indeed, but if we need to have additional meetings, I'm willing to protect these ideas at cabinet level. Another thing is whether we'll be able to reach a breakthrough," Terik who took up the post after the resignation of Anneli Ott (Center) a week ago, went on.
Editor: Roberta Vaino