Ilves seeking continued state support for Ärma Farm
Estonia's former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves has applied for continued support for his farm in Viljandi County in the context of a law providing for the the compensation of reasonable expenses related to the maintenance of a former president's residence.
On Oct. 19, the Office of the President asked the Government Office to forward the question of making the prerequisite support sought by Ilves available to him to the government for deciding. According to the application, Ilves has requested the use of offices located at 5 Roheline aas in Tallinn's Kadriorg neighborhood as well as compensation for reasonable expenses related to the upkeep of Ärma Farm as his place of residence.
At Roheline aas 5, where the rooms planned for Ilves' use are located, his predecessor already awaits next door — President Arnold Rüütel's own official rooms and office space are located in a different building belonging to the same complex, at Roheline aas 1.
The President of the Republic Official Perquisites Act states that following the conclusion of the term of office, a former president is entitled to have at his disposal living quarters, reception rooms and work offices with reimbursement of rent and maintenance expenses by the state or to receive compensation from the state for reasonable expenses related to the maintenance of his residence.
The government is to decide between those perquisites within a year of the end of the president's term of office, taking into account the president's social position, the functions performed by him after the end of his term, the financial resources of the state as well as the president's opinion.
According to the law, Ilves will have the use of work offices and reception rooms at 5 Roheline aas and be compensated for reasonable expenses connected to Ärma Farm. The funds necessary for these are budgeted for in the budget of the Office of the President.
The law does not specify what exactly accounts for "reasonable expenses." The practice thus far, however, has been to include the cost of maintaining the building and grounds, state taxes, insurance and utilities.