Spate of Official Functions in Tallinn Criticized as Electioneering Pseudo-Events ({{commentsTotal}})

Outgoing Prime Minister Andrus Ansip is calling for sanctions against Russia.
Outgoing Prime Minister Andrus Ansip is calling for sanctions against Russia. Source: (Photo: Postimees/Scanpix)

Tallinn officials' unusually busy schedule of ribbon-cutting with just over a  week to go until local elections has been criticized by observers and rival politicians on the national level.  

At the Thursday Cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip blasted city authorities for what he said was a descent into farce, and the media for amplifying the events.

"Opening ceremonies are not all bad, but these openings have become pretty much a farce," he said.

He also singled out ERR for the live feed on its website covering the grandiose, ceremonial opening of the Ülemiste junction this morning.

"Take that plastic Old Man of Ülemiste. A livecast of the opening was produced. Why do you promote wasting taxpayer money by giving media time to people who have managed to do something foolish?"

"Our free press should not cover such media shows. This is not a healthy approach. Constantly amplifying some sick things is not normal. These sieges and other things make one nauseated," he said, referring to a separate rally held by the Center Party today in the name of defending the city's free public transport.  

Ansip said his last appearance at an opening ceremony was in 2009, when the University of Tartu chemistry building was completed.

Sociologist Juhan Kivirähk told Eesti Päevaleht: "It is clear on one hand that the city must take action, new infrastructure built and opened, but how it is all served up is utterly inappropriate for a normal elections atmosphere. The city fathers' good deeds like new playgrounds for children should speak for themselves, but ultra-expensive advertising parties are being rented to show them off." Kivirähk called the Ülemiste ceremony "childish, foolish and expensive."