Newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) compared the departing Reform Party’s recent talk of Estonia’s shift to the left and change in course to former Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar’s former inability to prioritize national interests over personal ones when he attempted to refute Estonia’s joining the EU.
Mikser recalled on Wednesday’s broadcast of “Kahekõne” that when he first joined the government in 2002, the Reform Party had left the Pro Patria Union and the Moderates, forerunners to the modern-day Social Democratic Party (SDE), out in the cold.
“Quite a number of ministers from Mart Laar’s second government — Laar himself, Jüri Luik and Toomas Hendrik Ilves — had sweat blood for years in the name of Estonia being able to join the EU and NATO,” said Mikser. “We had reached the threshold and then their coalition partner for some internal political reason kicked them out of the room, so to speak.
“There was definitely reason for disappointment, perhaps for a certain resentment, however at the time these people managed to put Estonia’s interests far before their own personal disappointment,” he continued. “And I at the time, joining the government as a then yet Centrist Minister of Defence, felt a lot of support from Jüri Luik and Toomas Hendrik Ilves, which was quite helpful.”
A couple of years later, when leaving the government, Mikser stated that he experienced the opposite process when that same Siim Kallas government had worked hard to ensure that negotiations for Estonia’s joining of the EU would facilitate a positive outcome.
“We did it and were then met with a referendum,” Mikser continued. “And now one politician who in the meantime ended up in the opposition decided that we might as well go all the way now, let’s ruin it for joining the EU as well.” The social democrat confirmed later that he was referring to former Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar.
In Mikser’s opinion, Savisaar was incapable of putting national interests before his personal resentment.
"If you look at those leaving power today, it is fitting to ask whether they are acting the way Luik, Laar and Ilves acted when they were deposed or acting the way Savisaar did when he lost power?" mused the new minister.
Referring to his immediate predecessor Jürgen Ligi (Reform), Mikser said that if Estonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs is writing tweets where every other word is "coup leaders," it is not worth believing that such tweets are not being read abroad. The new minister added that while Estonia was certainly used to information attacks, these have usually come from the outside somewhere.
“"When they are coming from among ourselves, that is certainly unexpected in some ways — and unexpected in an unpleasant sense," Mikser noted.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla