'Samost ja Sildam' analyzed minister's future career bill

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

Hosts of the "Samost ja Sildam" talk show on Sunday discussed a recent Ministry of Justice bill that would ban outgoing government ministers from working at the head of a company or organization in their former administrative area for a year.

"What is this now – this assumption that if a person becomes minister, they are automatically a villain and will start organizing a soft landing for themselves in the private sector from day one. It is called corruption for which people are fired and in some cases locked up. I cannot understand this kind of lack of trust," Toomas Sildam said, referring to the amendment as incomprehensible.

He said that ministers are a party's best candidates who go about their work honestly and are not looking to misuse their position.

Anvar Samost added that there is nothing wrong with a minister moving to the private sector, while the process should be transparent.

"Will it mean paying ministers a year after they are gone?" Sildam inquired. Samost said that instead, the bill plans to abolish ministers' severance pay and that no additional benefits will be created.

"On the one hand, it betrays mistrust in members of the government," Sildam added.

Samost said that it looks like ticking a box. He explained that the aim is to comply with a EU recommendation to limit ministers moving to the private sector and the bill comes across as observing formalities.

"A desire to show that a seemingly massive problem is being addressed /…/ I find it is sheer populism," Samost said.

Sildam added that this approach makes the generalization that all politicians are crooks.

The hosts also talked about the opposition Reform Party's hate speech bill.

Samost said he is glad it did not pass as it would have started to limit freedom of speech. "It was a highly unfortunate attempt to silence a part of public debate here in Estonia," he added.

Samost described Reform's bill as political and said that freedom of speech needs no restraint in Estonia.

"All in all, I believe that when it comes to political rhetoric that can be oozing with hatred at times, we need to proceed from the age-old principle that the best way to get even is to be different," Sildam added.

The hosts of "Samost ja Sildam" also discussed coronavirus vaccines and the marriage referendum.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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