We pay not only for Leps for Lukashenka, but also for Darafeyeva for combine drivers.
I wonder why everyone is discussing Leps and Baskov at the Lukashenka's office party. It's just Leps. And his "shot of vodka on the table". His performance costs $100 thousand. It's just Baskov. His fee is a bit less and his "hand-organ". I think both of them correspond to the taste and the intellect of the office party of the collective farm "Krasnye Drozdy". They mutually complement.
However, people are furious about the fact that fees for Russian singers are paid from the budget. That is, Belarusian people are sponsors of bureaucratic wine party. Why not? After all, according to Lukashenka, dairy-women earn $800. And one can invite Leps to the office party of bureaucrats-benefactors. The whole brigade of dairy-women can chip in for Koroleva, and the collective farm can pay for Baskov.
Does it happen for the first time? Every year Lukashenka holds such parties. And it happens not only in winter. He does not even try to agree on a price. Do you remember the summer story about the Mahilyou tender? The local Philharmonic Hall offered $84 thousand from the budget for performance of Leshchenko, Gazmanov and Vorobyov on City Day. On average, every song cost $5 thousand.
And what about the road tour "For Belarus" of 2006? For a month and a half, the very Gazmanov, Meladze, Babkina, Milyavskaya, Orbakaite, Leontiev, Malinin and others had a tour across the country. There were concerts in each regional center, plus three concerts in Minsk. Let's estimate - $10-30 thousand by 8. By the way, we also paid for it. And then Lolita Milyavskaya told on TV how much Lukashenka'd paid, and what a greedy guy Yanukovich was.
God, their preferences never fail to amaze me. And I'm not surprised that their feasts are paid from our purse. We pay not only for Leps. We pay for Darafeyeva for combine drivers. After all, all these pop-stars get high fees paid from local budgets. Of course, officials like to talk too much that cereal growers work much better after such performances on a truck. But it would be the best option to give this money to cereal growers and not to pop stars lip-syncing to a pre-recording.
This is a domestic bureaucratic tradition, a long-standing one. They think the budget money belong to them. Starting from minor officials to Lukashenka. And they do to the budget whatever they like. And then we pay for Leps and Baskov. Who is to blame that officials failed to read books and listen to music? Well, the war, perhaps, is to blame.
I do not know how Leps and Baskov arrived in Minsk, but Kirkorov was once delivered by the Lukashenka's plane. The ruler then dreamed that his granddaughter should film with Kirkorov. That was the reason to send his plane. And once in the evening this sponger decided to send his plane for Miss Russia Svetlana Koroleva to have dinner with the beauty. He is a good fellow, isn't he?
Sometimes it seems to me that Lukashenka and his inner circle consider themselves patricians of the golden age of Rome and do their best for their parties to resemble the Lucullan Feast to make common people and neighboring nations be envious. But the reality is that this is the Belshazzar's Feast.
Iryna Khalip specially for Charter97.org