Urve Palo, a Social Democrat picked to be the economy minister in the new cabinet, says recent comments about Estonian Air were misinterpreted as an assessment of the company's financial condition when they were more about her predecessor's policy.
Palo said her statements were not a blunder.
"What was my gaffe? That I mapped the risks lying ahead of us. The fact that the state has poured 40 million euros of taxpayer money into the carrier and we are still taking about whether the company will remain afloat or not is the real reason for the problems, not my sentence assessing the situation," Palo said in Eesti Päevaleht.
"The article's headline didn't convey the content of the interview. I didn't threaten anyone with bankruptcy," she said.
The remarks, which Palo made in a video interview on Delfi, reportedly cost the carrier 65,000 euros in foregone earnings. "If we talk about Estonian Air, it has been essentially on the brink of bankruptcy for the seven years that Juhan Parts has been minister. It is very likely that the European Commission will not give consent for state assistance, and it can be presumed that it will go bankrupt."
The Social Democrats were initially more apologetic, issuing damage control statements that same Friday.