Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hotel Occupancy Problem Solved

"In one cell block," reported the Financial Times this week, "50 to 60 men share a single wash-basin and four toilets." Bosnia-Herzegovina's prison system is under strain, and it's Latvia to the rescue. "To borrow an airline expression, 'They have asses, we have seats,'" said Riga Mayor Janis Birks of his decision to force hotels in Riga which are operating below 85 percent occupancy to house prison inmates. "The governor of Zenica prison has agreed to pay several lats per night for the housing and feeding of his excess prisoner population." Thousand of criminals walk the streets of Bosnia-Herzegovina, including 420 in Sarajevo alone. "Can you imagine if we could get just half of those?" said Birks. "What a difference it might make for Riga!"
The city plans for the prisoners, when not sleeping and dining in Riga's five-star hotels, to work hand in hand with the tourism police squad. "This will add even more languages to our arsenal and allow the city to help even more of the foreigners who frequent the clubs we patrol," said the squad's spokesman, Arnis Pulvakis. "In Riga, we're all about helping. And who doesn't like to be helped?"

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