Entrepreneurship minister candidate: business is over-regulated ({{commentsTotal}})

Liisa Oviir, who has been named as the next minister in charge of entrepreneurship by the Social Democrat board, said the business sector in Estonia is over-regulated.

The board approved party head Jevgeni Ossinovski's proposal to name Oviir as the entrepreneurship minister after current minister Urve Palo resigned in protest over the party continuing in the coalition with the Reform Party and IRL.

Oviir, 38, said she was ready to become a ministry already when she ran for Parliament at the March 1 elections. She won 493 votes then, running in the same district as the previous entrepreneurship minister Urve Palo (2,028 votes) and former party head Sven Mikser (4,969 votes).

“The offer was a surprise, but since I entered politics with the idea to contribute to changing Estonia's environment, then there could be no answer other than to accept the challenge,” she said, adding that she will focus on projects began by the previous ministers, including finding new export markets and clearing up the rental market.

She said business regulations also need to be reviewed.

“One of the bottlenecks, which I saw thanks to my education, is that everything surrounding businesses is currently clearly over-regulated. If the aim of regulation is to support some activity, then the current situation of too much red tape has already began to stifle business. This is a topic I want to look more into, if all regulations are necessary, what is the quality of the regulations and if it is possible to cut back rules to make the environment more attractive to entrepreneurs,” she said.

She told Kuku radio that another problem Estonia has is a great number of foundations. “Reading an audit by the National Audit Office, it says foundations costs the state 200 million euros each year, with labor costs in some foundations as high as 79 percent of the budget,” she said.

Oviir has created a new political dynasty in Estonia. Her father is Mihkel Oviir, the Auditor General for ten years until 2013, while her mother is Siiri Oviir, a former Center Party MP, MEP and a government minister in 1995 and again in 2002-2003.

Editor: J.M. Laats

Kallas, Kasemets, Maasikas: EU is strong, no upside to losing the euro

Speaking on Vikerraadio's "Reporteritund" ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Siim Kallas, Keit Kasemets and Matti Maasikas agreed that despite its prblems, the EU remained strong as a union.

Opinion digest: How can Estonia shed its reputation as a frontline state?

In a recent opinion piece in Postimees, Propastop, a blog maintained by Estonian Defence Forces volunteers, listed suggestions on how Estonia could shed its international reputation as a frontline state.