Weekend talk shows criticized Kallas and Lanno statements

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Kaja Kallas and Jüri Ratas. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Sunday radio talk shows "Olukorrast riigis" and "Samost ja Sildam" criticized Director of the Health Board Üllar Lanno and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' rather menacing statements that summer stands to be canceled if people fail to comply with coronavirus measures.

"Olukorrast riigis" host Hindrek Riikoja said that what irritated people the most was the tone of these messages – haughty and pedagogical.

"Kaja Kallas needs to take a look in the mirror first because she is responsible even if she's not to blame. That is what rubbed people the wrong way," Riikoja said.

He added that this was not the first time for Kallas to address the people using such a tone and that it has become a trend. Which is why it is little wonder Jüri Ratas has overtaken Kallas in the polls.

"It is very difficult to divine the government's message to people," Indrek Lepik added.

He described as unfortunate head of the COVID-19 scientific council Irja Lutsar's words that left the impression the military would be brought to the streets if people fail to comply with measures.

Riikoja said it was rather aimed at those who have called for an emergency situation as amendments from last year have made it possible to effect measures short of bringing out the military without declaring an emergency situation.

Lepik said that the problem is wider – namely that experts on the council tend to go solo, meaning that the press picks up not one coordinated statement but several controversial ones that use questionable phrasing.

"It should be given more thought how to phrase certain things. For God's sake, just agree on what you want to say, this is not a solo act," Lepik said.

Anvar Samost said on "Samost ja Sildam" that Lanno and Kallas are talking to people as if they were preschoolers, with everything communicated in the form of orders and bans: don't eat bread, don't eat sugar, don't be irresponsible.

"Around 95 percent of people comply with measures, while only very few are defiant. Why accuse and threaten those who comply? 'Summer is canceled,' what is that?" Samost asked rhetorically.

Toomas Sildam rushed to the government's defense, saying that the government can keep laying down restrictions until the cows come home but they are no use if people fail to comply.

If Samost referred to Lanno and Kallas' words as threats, Sildam described them as a warning.

"We do not need to worship vaccines or masks, while we should worship saving lives. People die because of or while suffering from COVID-19 every day. That was the prime minister's warning," he found.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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