Atonen: Ligi's Apology Should Have Sufficed for Friendly Coalition Partners ({{commentsTotal}})

Reform Party founding member Meelis Atonen said if the current governing coalition had a good relationship, an apology by outgoing Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi should have been accepted, and he would not have had to resign following an outburst online against Minister of Education Jevgeni Ossinovski.

Atonen, the former Minister of Former minister of Economic Affairs and Communications, said on ETV on Tuesday that once detail in Ligi's words was amplified, but the sides were looking nervously towards the elections and polls.

Independent MEP Indrek Tarand said Ligi saw through Ossinovski's move to attack in the TV debate last week. “Ossinovski said there has been a long period of independence following the occupation and the Reform Party has been in power for the majority of that time. Logically an attack on the Reform Party was in the cards after such a build-up calling for a preemptive strike before the attack gathers momentum. In that sense Jürgen Ligi, as the main defender, made the right move, but his reactions was out of proportion and he was removed from the game,” Tarand said.

According to journalist Viktoria Ladõnskaja, Ligi's words did not come as a surprise. “He said what many Estonians think - at least the Russian-speaking community sees it that way,” she said, adding that Estonians have taken the matter to heart more than ethnic Russians.

Ligi said on ETV's “Foorum” program at the beginning of last week that the Soviet occupation is mostly to blame for Estonia falling behind in comparison to the West, while Ossinovski said that could not be considered an excuse.

Later that day, Ligi took to social media, calling Ossinovski's opinion “rootless” and “ignorant.”

“He an immigrant's son from a pink party, and should be super careful, but he doesn't even know how to look,” Ligi said.

Ossinovski is the son of Oleg Ossinovski, a naturalized citizen who is one of the country's richest men. Ossinovski also has roots in Estonia through his mother. He is equally fluent in Russian and Estonian.

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