Parliament Votes Down IRL Plan to Move Public Service Academy to Narva
Legislators voted down the opposition party's plan to move the higher-education-level public service academy to predominantly ethnically Russian northeastern Estonia, with only 29 of a total possible 101 MPs voting in favor.
The plan was a plank in the previous Reform-IRL government program but the Reform Party has since distanced itself from it, saying that internship opportunities should be set up in Narva rather than a full move, which it estimates would cost a prohibitive 70 million euros.
The Social Democrats also supported the move on the basis of regional policy and national security considerations.
IRL noted that along with the more densely populated capital region, northeastern Estonia has the highest crime rate in Estonia and that its average income is 25 percent lower than the national average.
The institution has four locations in Estonia, including north central Estonia, Tallinn and Muraste west of the capital.