Ratas, Ossinovski, Iva, Simson called for clarity regarding Rõivas ({{commentsTotal}})

Jevgeni Ossinovski (left) and Jüri Ratas.
Jevgeni Ossinovski (left) and Jüri Ratas. Source: (ERR)

As the Baltic News Service reports, four ministers in the government’s Thursday press conference all said that whover the trade delegation members were that conducted themselves improperly at a party in Kuala Lumpur last month need to explain themselves. The statements were made before a public apology by Riigikogu deputy speaker and former prime minister Taavi Rõivas.

The ministers reacted to an article that appeared in daily Eesti Päevaleht on Thursday morning that described a party in a Kuala Lumpur bar of members of a trade delegation following the conclusion of official business on Sep. 21. Several of the delegation’s members behaved improperly towards women present, including the Riigikogu’s deputy speaker and former prime minister, Taavi Rõivas (Reform).

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said that during the foreign visits that he has taken part in, afterparties like this “in the described form definitely did not take place”. “In this case those who went there have to give clear and specific answers,” Ratas said.

Minister of Health and Labor Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE) said that while different people have different ways to relax after work, he doesn’t agree with the description of the event as provided by one of the start-up executives that attended the party, who called it “an Estonian party as usual.”

“I think this is unfair towards a lot of people of Estonia,” Ossinovski said, at the time pointing out that one of the significant parties to the event (Taavi Rõivas; ed.) had not offered any explanations.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL) said a party as described by daily Eesti Päevaleht seemed strange to her. It doesn’t matter whether things like this happen in Estonia or elsewhere, Iva said. “The people who took part in it have to draw their own conclusions and have to speak up,” Iva said about the participants.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Center) said that shehad never encountered anything of the like on her numerous foreign visits. “I believe that this case is very exceptional, and based on it no generalizations can be made as regards our usual behavior abroad,” Simson said, adding that the person at the focus of the scandal currently heating up should come forward so that the reputation of the rest of the participants wouldn’t be tarnished.

Rõivas released a statement earlier on Thursday in which he admitted that there had been complaints about him. He also apologized “personally as well as in the name of all of the delegation” to all those who felt bad after the incident.

He also added an apology to his wife and children. Concerning the details of what happened, Rõivas said that there was an agreement “not to go along with speculations” about what had happened, and that he intended to stick to this agreement.

Rõivas headed a trade delegation to Singapore and Malaysia that left for a ten-day trip on Sep. 18. The events described allegedly took place at a party in a Kuala Lumpur bar after the official part of the visit ended on Sep. 21.

Rõivas was accompanied by his wife Luisa, who left for a holiday in Bali on Sep. 20 while he carried on with the delegation.

 

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS, ERR



Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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