In an article published on June 29, the daily reported, citing an anonymous source, that Palo said at a government meeting that the TV tower should remain in state ownership because “you can see the enemy approaching from there”.
According to the ministry’s statement, the article breached good journalistic conduct and damaged Palo’s reputation, and also threatened internal security by instigating ethnic hatred - a Russian language version of the story went a step further and referred to "Russia."
Palo asks that Eesti Päevaleht and the linked online portal Delfi publish an apology, stating the article contained incorrect facts about the minister. “The Minister of Economic Affairs Urve Palo did not state the ridiculous argument about seeing the enemy approaching, cited by Eesti Päevaleht, at the meeting.”
Urmo Soonvald, editor-in-chief of Eesti Päevaleht, said in a letter to uudised.err.ee that he made all efforts to determine the circumstances and publishing the report was not illegal. He sent a letter to Palo’s representative on Wednesday, stating that in addition to the sources, he also asked for Palo’s comment on whether the reported quote was a joke.
The minister responded that in her view, the TV tower has strategic importance because it is a communication center, which, according to Soonvald, “left open all possibilities for interpretation.” He claimed the decision to publish the report is not against the law and offered Palo a chance for another statement.