Minister of the Interior Kristian Jaani told ETV's political discussion show "Esimene stuudio" on Thursday that previous EKRE interior ministers left the Ministry of the Interior in very good condition.
"It is a good situation. In a very nice building, a very good team, a lot of people I have worked with before. So, the ministry's staff is very professional, very good," the former Police and Border Guard Board Northern Police Prefect said.
Jaani said that the ministry will continue with building the eastern border, also improving upon it with solutions provided by the Estonian defense industry. A crisis reserve for Jaani primarily means including volunteers and auxiliary officers.
The freshly appointed interior minister said the border guard will not be separated from the police during his time. "We are still speaking about the Police and Border Guard Board. Those two things go together," Jaani said.
Prosecution does not give Jaani reports on Center investigation
"Esimene stuudio" host Mirko Ojakivi asked Jaani how difficult it is to be an interior minister for a party that is currently under criminal investigation for corruption.
"It certainly gives me ideas. But an interior minister does not lead anything directly, nor can they lead institutions that deal with investigations. We cannot draw any connection here that the interior minister is in any way involved with these investigations," Jaani said.
He confirmed that the Internal Security Service and prosecution are not providing him reports on the development of the investigation and it is not the interior minister's business.
Jaani said his possible joining of Center - the party he was given the ministerial portfolio by - does not depend as much on the party's active investigation in connection to a €39 million loan to the Porto Franco real estate development in Tallinn, but rather his gut feeling and the coming local elections.
He noted tat he sees a willingness to root out corruption among Center members.
Goal is to increase salaries of frontline workers
Speaking on his goals as Minister of the Interior, Jaani pointed out the internal security development plan currently on the Riigikogu Legal Affairs Committee's table.
In addition, Jaani said the sector faces real estate issues. "Our Tallinn and Tartu buildings need replacing, we are on rental premises today. How do we move on from there," he said, adding that the maritime surveillance system also needs replacing.
The interior minister said he has set a goal to increase the salaries of rescuers and police officers.
Blatant crime committed against PERH chief of medicine
Jaani called what happened to Chief of Medicine for the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) Peep Talving on Wednesday evening a blatant crime. "I am completely certain the police will quickly clarify the circumstances," Jaani said.
He said the idea of the attack being against Talving as a government scientific council member is one of the versions. The fact is the action was thought through specifically. We will catch this person, it will become clear," Jaani said.
He also condemned the general badmouthing of scientific council members, which certain members like Talving and Irja Lutsar have fallen victim to. "There should be no such thing in a normal society. Yet there is," he said.
Speaking on vaccinations, Jaani said 3,000 frontline workers should be vaccinated as among the priority.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste