Opposition, SDE blame Parts for Estonian Air's end

Juhan Parts Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
11/10/2015 1:47 PM
Category: Politics

Parliament parties said the failings of Estonian Air should be analyzed, while the opposition parties point the blame at Juhan Parts (IRL), who was economy minister between 2007-2014. State-owned Estonian Air went into liquidation recently. It belongs to the jurisdiction of the economy ministry.

EKRE, the Social Democrats (SDE) and the Center Party said someone must take the political blame for the events leading up to the liquidation of national carrier Estonian Air, and for them, that someone is Parts.

“We are looking at Juhan Parts, who was the economy minister in 2007, who presided over the renationalisation of Estonian Air and pumped money into the company,” EKRE faction head Martin Helme said.

SDE MP Tanel Talve said the glues currently point to the economy minister at the time, and to the Andrus Ansip-led government.

“Parts believed we are able to built up a large and powerful company, which flies all around the world, and that we are the smartest and the most powerful. Once the initial plan fell apart, disappointment set in,” Center Party MP Mihhail Korb said.

He added this led to the belief that additional funding could solve the problem.

The Free Party's Artur Talvik said besides Parts and Ansip, the actions of the finance minister at the time, Jürgen Ligi, should also be looked into.

Reform Party's Maris Lauri said a thorough analysis should be done, and the European Commission will also shine more light on its decision. She said only after that can fingers be pointed, adding that state aid could have been the best of only bad options.

Parts himself, now an MP, said an analysis should indeed be done.

For the European Commission, the key question was whether the state funds were used exactly as a private investor would have used them, Parts said, adding that looking back now, not all decisions were in line with fair competition rules.

He said the Commission has treated different cases differently, adding that airBaltic received a positive decision on state aid from Latvia, despite the country pumping money into the airline on a number of occasions.

J.M. Laats

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