Estonian government approves police protection for Ilves' Ärma farm
The Estonian government expanded the list of sites guarded by the police on Thursday to include Viljandi County's Ärma Farm, the residence of former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves. The former president's application for compensation of reasonable expenses related to the upkeep of his residence as well as the use of offices located at 5 Roheline aas in Tallinn's Kadriorg neighborhood according to legislation regarding former Estonian heads of state has likewise been approved.
In accordance with valid regulations, the dwelling of the sitting president is on the list of sites guarded by the police. During the president's tenure,they are protected and the safety of the president's family and home ensured by the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA). Following the conclusion of the president's tenure, protection will be maintained at the request of the Office of the President, based on a risk assessment done by the PPA.
The regulation adopted in 2009 lists 26 sites guarded by the police, including the home of the president and administrative buildings of the Office of the President, the buildings of the Riigikogu, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the residences of the widow of President Lennart Meri and former President Arnold Rüütel.
The PPA will be employing electronic security equipment at Ärma Farm, which means that no officers will have to be physically present to guard the property.
"Just as with President Arnold Rüütel and President Lennart Meri's widow Helle Meri, the PPA will continue with [providing] electronic security at President Ilves' home," explained PPA spokesperson Helen Uldrich. "For security reasons we cannot provide further explanations regarding this security and the details of the system."
Government also confirms implementation of Ilves' office-related benefits
The Estonian government also decided to make available to former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves the benefits sought by him under law, which include compensation of reasonable expenses related to the upkeep of Ärma Farm as his place of residence, as well as the use of offices located at 5 Roheline aas in Tallinn.
While the law does not specify what "reasonable expenses" include, the practice until now has been to include the cost of maintaining the building and grounds, state taxes, insurance and utilities.
Similar decisions have been made with regard to all former presidents of Estonia, the necessary funds for which are budgeted for by the Office of the President.