Concerns raised around new MS Estonia wreck investigation

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The MS Estonia. Source: ERR

Raivo Hellermaa, the head of MTÜ Memento Mare, which represents the relatives and survivors of the victims of the MS Estonia ferry, said the new investigation has suffered due to the failure of the state functioning well, daily newspaper Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

"We are very concerned about numerous things. It is unbelievable that Rene Arikas, the head of the safety investigation center, who leads the international investigation, has not yet been able to start setting up the budget. Procurement could only start in June because although the government had allocated money, the bureaucracy took too much time. Maybe politicians have more urgent things, but it seems to me that administrative failure is the main issue," Hellerma said in an interview with the newspaper.

Hellermaa said they have met with representatives of the State Chancellery for several months, but nothing much has happened so far.

"In Sweden, things are moving along faster and many procurements seem to have been made through Sweden. At the same time, Estonia's leading role in the process is questionable. It seems to me that Rene Arikas, a fully committed Estonian research leader, should get more support," Hellermaa said.

Hellerema is also not optimistic about the preliminary investigation into the wreck which begins on Thursday.

Eesti Energia must be called to help with the procurement

In the meantime, it has also become clear that Eesti Energia must be called in to carry out the research procurements.

"It is interesting that there have been problems with procurement. We decided to invite Eesti Energia, which has great skills in organizing such procurements," Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said.

As Rene Arikas, Eesti Energia and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications have not yet signed the procurement document, the head of the Safety Investigation Center does not dare to predict how much the delays will change the schedule, daily newspaper Õhtuleht writes (link in Estonian).

According to the initial plan, the basic investigations of the wreck's injuries should start at the beginning of the new year and the final report should be completed by the end of the summer of 2022.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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