Minister of Culture Rein Lang submitted his letter of resignation today, later making a 30-minute speech to Parliament in which he maintained that he had acted in good faith, but said he could not continue working in an atmosphere where lies had taken on a life of their own.
Discussing the Sirp scandal, Lang singled out individuals he said were to blame for his resignation. He attributed the course of events to a well-executed smear campaign by the Social Democrats and pressure from creative unions. He said he had been stigmatized in the affair, which had deteriorated to the point where communication with the daily working partners of a culture minister was no longer possible. Himself a former editor in chief, he then went into a discussion of the decline of professional journalism and the manipulation of public relations groups.
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, who expressed disappointment that Lang was stepping down, will hand over the letter of resignation to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on Wednesday, reported uudised.err.ee.
Lang has been minister of culture since 2011, and from 2005 to 2011 he was the minister of justice. Lang has said he will now take up a position in Parliament.
New candidates for culture minister will be presented by the Reform Party leadership tomorrow.