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‘Legally proper’ but unethical business schemes will radicalize politics, says Talvik

Talvik on ETV's
Talvik on ETV's "Ringvaade", Feb. 1, 2017. Source: (ERR)

According to chairman of the Riigikogu’s anti-corruption committee, Artur Talvik (Free Party), cases like Toomas Hendrik Ilves’ company and its grant scandal as well as Reform Party heavyweight Rain Rosimannus’ secret involvement in the purchase of a large state-owned property radicalize voters and make them more likely to elect extremist politicians.

“Both cases are about the same corruptive mentality. Both are typical schemes that are ‘legally proper’ and that are somewhere in between of what is legal and what is ethical, where whoever is in power abuses the instruments at their disposal to organize a better life for themselves and their clan,” Talvik said.

These schemes were the reason why not just in Estonia, but also in Western democracies people were talking about a political class, and this development was very negative, Talvik said. “The actions and the nature of this political class have led to a situation where society is radicalizing, and substantially more radical groups can reach positions of power,” he added.

Following his statements published on ERR’s online news portals, the Free Party’s advisors had been outright attacked by a whole array of public officials, Talvik wrote on social media later on Wednesday. “They are accusing me of populism and demand of the advisors that they shut me up.”

Addressing those officials, Talvik wrote that they needed to understand that if this kind of unpunished meddling was allowed to continue, soon enough Estonia would face its own version of Trumpian politics. If Estonia’s political culture didn’t change, and change right away, there wouldn’t be much to change anymore soon, Talvik said.

According to Talvik, in the Ermamaa case involving the former president, Ilves himself should have taken the initiative and said that the 10 percent he was eventually asked to pay back were not a fair amount, and that he wanted that the matter would be resolved justly.

In the case of Rosimannus’ involvement in the purchase and development of the Arsenal plot in Tallinn, formerly owned by RKAS, the state’s real estate administration company, all that they could do was ask uncomfortable questions and condemn the deal publicly, Talvik said.

The Riigikogu’s Anti-Corruption Select Committee continues its investigation in the Arsenal case.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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