Tarand: scandals have not destroyed Estonia's image abroad (4)
Estonian independent MEP Indrek Tarand said Estonia looks like a small, corrupt EU state, after a number on corruption scandals, but the nation's image has not been completely tarnished yet.
He told ERR radio that Spain has gone through similar developments and the results have been good, adding that many leading party general secretaries are now behind bars. “Here [Center Party Secretary General Priit] Toobal is still arguing back,” Tarand said. “This is not the worst possible scenario, but it's embarrassing and lame, of course.”
Tarand said he has been trying to explain for the past 15 years that process of funding political parties has a fair bit of corruption, adding that without radical change to the system, the illness will not be cured.
“I would say Autorollo, Port of Tallinn – Reform Party and the Center Party are basically two cheeks of the same bottom. They are the ones who have created these corrupted systems, business racketeering, promoting average and weird supporters to public office etc. This is not a problem only for Tallinn, Tallinn is just very big,” Tarand said.
Tarand was referring to corruption and embezzlement cases involving Reform Party and Center Party members, including the Autorollo affair, which caused the Reform Party foreign minister to resign, the political party funding scandal a few years back, which also led to the resignation of a Reform Party minister, and to the new case surrounding Center Party Chairman Edgar Savisaar, who is now suspect in a corruption case.