"Samost ja Sildam": Minister's car serves the purpose of streamlining work

Toomas Sildam and Anvar Samost.
Toomas Sildam and Anvar Samost. Source: ERR

The Vikerraadio show "Samost and Sildam" discussed the necessity of ministers' company cars, how they can be used and which rules apply.

Host Toomas Sildam said that it was [now former education minister] Mailis Reps who mediated the previous government crisis between Center and the Conservative People's Party (EKRE). It could be why [EKRE MP] Mart Helme's criticism of Reps took other centrists by surprise.

He added that Reps has rather been a supporter of Center's coalition with EKRE.

"We cannot deny that there are aspects to this story that would not reflect well on any minister /…/, especially taking that bus to Croatia," Sildam said.

Co-host Anvar Samost said he read the editorials of different publications on Friday morning.

"It is very rare for Mart Helme and the Estonian press to agree on something almost word for word," he said.

He added that PM had said during the government press conference on Thursday that he must consider taking his kids to school himself in the mornings. Samost said that the prime minister's security regime is quite different from that of other ministers.

"People in charge of the prime minister's security, his bodyguards will not agree to the PM getting behind the wheel to take his kids to school," Sildam added.

Anvar Samost said that the scandal has raised the broader question of why ministers have official cars, adding that their use has been customary in Estonia.

"I do not want to get people in trouble after the fact but I have seen ministry vehicles in situations that today would be truly reprehensible," Samost said, giving the example of a ministry driver taking a minister to a private event outside of town and sleeping in the car for its duration.

He added that it is important to make sure the working time of ministers as high-ranking state officials would be used as effectively as possible for which purpose they have drivers.

Other topics discussed included the upcoming obligation to wear masks and financial difficulties of national mail carrier Eesti Post (Omniva).


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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