Weekly: Minister gets twice as much money for international travel (3)
Minister of Entrepreneurship Liisa Oviir (SDE) was made available €25,000 for foreign visits at the beginning of the year. According to weekly Eesti Ekspress, the minister’s travels have already excessed this limit.
Ekspress wrote on Wednesday that the minister’s appetite for travel had been such that she had spent €30,000 on the first half of 2016 alone. Her ministry now planned to double the expenses account to €50,000, the paper wrote.
Oviir has travelled a lot over the first six months of the year, including to North and South America, Africa, and Asia, beyond several shorter trips to European countries. This prompted Ekspress to quip that while Oviir’s official holiday was just about to start, she had actually been away on holiday all year so far.
The weekly also quoted anonymous sources that accuse Oviir of setting up her trips to go shopping. The tips Ekspress received to the effect apparently specifically talk about trips to Paris and Brussels.
In her comments to the paper Oviir stated that she had her driver stop here and there to buy some souvenir or chococlate.
Commenting on a specific trip to Arizona and California, Oviir said that in retrospect that one had been a mistake, as the meetings happened more on the level of a secretary general than that of a minister. In the case of other visits, all objectives had been met, the minister stated.