Prime Minister and Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas publicly apologized on Thursday for an ad that the Center Party ran on social media. He also said that all Kesknädal newspapers for sale that contain the ad must also be recalled.
The ad includes the photos of all five Center Party ministers together with the promise "We will support sectors that need help" and figures in the tens and hundreds of millions of euros from the supplementary budge passed into law on Wednesday broken down by sector.
Speaking at the government press conference on Thursday, Ratas stressed that such an ad is inappropriate during a crisis, and that he has requested that it be taken down.
"The wrong ad, with the wrong content," he said. "This isn't the Center Party's money; this is Estonian taxpayers' money. I'm sorry. I have requested that this ad be taken down [from social media]."
He also said he wasn't sure whether or not the newspaper containing the ad in question had yet reached anyone's mailbox. "If it's for sale, it of course must be recalled," he added.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) agreed with the prime minister. "This crisis cannot include any party trademarks," he commented.
Center Party Secretary General Mihhail Korb told ERR that the ad in question was a "work accident," and admitted that the paper containing it had already reached subscribers' mailboxes.
According to Korb, the party did not order the ad that had been on social media, and the point of the post was allegedly to highlight the fact that the latest edition of the paper was out. The unfortunate ad, he said, just ended up in the picture.
Editor: Aili Vahtla