The Center Party's biggest donor said he was motivated to make a €60,000 donation in the third quarter because of the government's support for Rally Estonia, the secretary general of the Center Party said on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, ERR reported that businessman Hillar Teder, whose son leads the Porto Franco real estate development which received €39.4 million in crisis aid from the government led by the Center Party, donated €60,000 to the party in the third quarter of 2020.
Secretary General of the Center Party Mihhail Korb told ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) on Tuesday that he had personally contacted Teder after he made two separate donations of €30,000 as there is public scrutiny around the sources of and reasons why donations are made.
Korb said Teder confirmed to him that the large donation was motivated by the government's support for Rally Estonia and the Center Party's policies. According to Korb, there was no talk of supporting Porto Franco.
"As there is now a special focus on donations, I contacted Hillar Teder after he made his donations. He assured me that he supports the Center Party's policy and that he is happy with what the government is doing. And he singled out the Rally. Estonia said that he was very pleased that the government found an opportunity to support the conduct of Rally Estonia and that this motivated him to make a donation," Korb told AK.
"But I think you can definitely ask him what his reasons were and why he supported the Center Party," Korb added.
AK reporter Anne Raiste told Korb that the government's favorable development of the Porto Franco real estate development in Tallinn led by Rauno Teder, the son of Hillar Teder, raises some questions. She asked whether Teder's large contribution to the Center Party may be linked to a government crisis loan given to Porto Franco.
"I can't comment on that, we didn't talk about it," Korb replied.
Hillar Teder made a donation in two parts. On July 1, he donated €30,000 to the Center Party and a second sum of €30,000 on September 9. Kredex's supervisory board discussed a loan of €39.4 million to Porto Franco in early July, and the government approved the loan on September 3.
Last year, Teder donated €50,000 to the Center Party. Minister of Economic Affairs Taavi Aas (KE) has previously said the donations made by Hillar Teder are not related to the government's decision.
Two donations to the made to the Center Party have recently made headlines. The party was told by the Supreme Court in June that it must pay back a €110,000 donation because accounting from 2014/2015 did not provide adequate information about the source of the funding.
In May, the source of a €50,000 donation made to the party in the first quarter donated by a little known entrepreneur was also questioned.
Editor: Helen Wright