Reports of Reform Party leader working as cashier a misunderstanding

Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas.
Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Reports that Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas would be substituting as a cashier at supermarket Maxima on Friday turned out to be unfounded, Baltic News Service reports.

Reform itself made the announcement Friday morning, with Kaja supposed to be working the tills at Maxima's Haabersti branch, west of Tallinn city center.

However, party spokesperson Kajar Kase said that a misunderstanding had taken place, though the Reform Party leader would be better familiarizing herself with the work of cashiers and other service sector employees in the near future.

"Kaja Kallas will not be transforming into a cashier at a Maxima store located in Haabersti today," Kase said, according to BNS.

"Unfortunately, there has been a misunderstanding regarding the circumstances of the event planned for today. Kaja Kallas will familiarize herself with the work of cashiers in greater detail in the near future, but not as a one-off media event.

"The initial objective of the initiative was to get acquainted with the finer nuances of the work conditions of the service sector and emphasize that every job is valuable. We apologize for the confusion," Kase added.

That Kallas is looking at the area at all is most likely a reaction to comments made by interior minister Mart Helme (EKRE) last Sunday, referring to new Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) as a "salesgirl", and making disparaging comments about her five-party coalition government as well.

Speaking on private radio station TRE Raadio, Helme said that: ""Now we can see that a salesgirl has become prime minister [of Finland] and some other street activist and uneducated person has also become a member of the government."

Helme's comments were widely criticized and led to an apology to Marin, the Finnish government, and the people of Finland, from both president Kersti Kaljulaid and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre), as well as a climbdown of sorts from the interior minister.

Helme's party, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) is in office with Centre and Isamaa; Kallas' Reform Party is in opposition, though it has the largest number of seats (34) of any party at the 101-seat Riigikogu.

Kaja Kallas did, however, issue a Christmas greeting on the Reform Party's site (link in Estonian).


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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