Those expecting Economic Affairs Minister Juhan Parts to be more severely punished for a recent cross-border gaffe and his apparent DIY diplomacy with Finland over the proposed LNG terminal will be sorely disappointed, the Äripäev business daily's opinion editor Vilja Kiisler wrote this week.
"Prime Minister Andrus Ansip will administer (and has administered) a public tongue-lashing, but in private they will instead agree on how to run things in the interests of best appearances," she wrote in Tuesday's piece.
She ventured that both of the stories were more a media bubble than a real conflict - though of course the Lithuanians were likely genuinely offended when Parts, in what was either a slip or an off-the-record rant, called their officials an unflattering word in the Wall Street Journal.
Writing in a colloquial, almost cryptic style, Kiisler continued:
"Rolling Estonian Air to the brink of bankruptcy was indeed on Parts's account, but using a secret weapon named Erkki Raasuke [who as supervisory board chairman put together a rescue plan during the worst of the crisis] saved Parts from the worst. This was such a reasonable step that Parts escaped major flaying at the hands of the media that time. With regard to the Eesti Energia foreign investment affairs, time will tell whether anyone will bring the chestnuts out of the fire. There can be a long calm before a storm. And as to the national wave of discontent over the train problems, just a little bit of empathy from the Elron director and - why not - from Parts himself could have gone a long way to easing it. [Prime Minister] Ansip isn't well-suited to wearing the mask of apologizer in chief - it tends to slip. But Estonian Air, Elron and Eesti Energia all have execs, boards and councils who could take responsibility for something, too. For a change of pace."
She concluded that, while the Reform Party may have bad blood toward IRL after the local elections and might be tempted to punish Parts, the position of economic affairs minister is too important and there is no one at the moment to replace him.