Centre Party vice chairman thinks solution with Järvik will be found soon ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Legal Affairs Committee chairman Jaanus Karilaid (Center) at the Riigikogu.
Legal Affairs Committee chairman Jaanus Karilaid (Center) at the Riigikogu. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

The leaders of the Centre Party, Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), and Isamaa are looking for a solution with scandal-hit Minister of Rural Affairs, Mart Järvik, and the decision could come as early as this evening, said Jaanus Karilaid, Vice Chairman of the Centre Party, on Tuesday afternoon.

Karilaid told Vikerraadio's Uudis+ that the situation was not a government crisis.

"What's happening around Järvik has caused a problem. I hope that there is a clear solution on the table tonight or tomorrow morning and that we will overcome it, because if this failure stays in the political machinery for a long time, a bigger crisis could develop, though in my opinion, the coalition of the Centre Party, EKRE, and Isamaa will continue, "said Karilaid. 

"In the Reform Party's dream of coming to power on the back of the Mart Järvik scandal, they have failed."

Karilaid did not want to say whether Järvik would remain in office, however. 

"There are many different options," he said, adding the media could only be given more information once the agreement had been agreed. "The three parties are refining the deal."

Karilaid says the Centre Party's cooperation with Isamaa and EKRE is good, but if the situation is not resolved then cooperation may deteriorate.

The need to continue the coalition was justified by Karilaid's policy formulation. "We are talking, for example, about self-care, extraordinary retirement, raising private capital. There are a lot of these topics and the machinery of designing them in the ministries is working very well," said Karilaid.

Chairman of the Center Party and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas has also coped with earlier complicated political events and, according to Karilaid, will do so again. "I'm sure that will succeed," Karilaid said.

A controversy erupted around Järvik late last week over a conflict of interest which saw his former advisor, Urmas Arumäe, representing defendants in an EU subsidy fraud case against the agricultural registers and information board (PRIA), a body which falls under the rural affairs ministry's remit.

Arumäe stepped down on Friday, but opposition parties are maintaining pressure for Järvik, already embroiled in a Listeria controversy at a fish-packing plant, to resign.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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