Estonian daily Eesti Päevaleht wrote today that while Estonia conducted its largest ever military maneuvers 'Siil', which saw 13,000 soldiers, reservists and allied troops practicing the defense of the country, Defense Minister Sven Mikser was on holiday.
The daily's opinion editor who participated in the drills as a reservist, wrote that while everyone present was keen on military training and the Chief of Defense Forces Riho Terras was “visible at temporary defense staff office as well as on the field,” Mikser only emerged on the last day of the exercises - a VIP showcase day – along with visitors and diplomats.
“What would we think about a Santa Claus who takes a holiday during Christmas? He may even turn up by the Boxing Day and pose for few Facebook pictures, but it's unlikely that anyone would care by then,” the editor said, adding that everyone who took part, including many prominent members of the Estonian society, such as Olympic silver medalist Heiki Nabi, really put an effort in, sacrificing their time and comfort.
Eesti Päevaleht's opinion editor went as far as to suggest that a defense minister who disappears during one of the most important security-related events in Estonia, should not continue in his job.
Mikser wasn't available to comment on the matter, when asked by ERR News, but his spokesman said that the minister will respond with an article in Eesti Päevaleht.
Editor: S. Tambur