Outgoing presidential office director: Still over €1 million left in budget
The outgoing director of the Office of the President of the Republic of Estonia denies that the office has used up all its 2021 funds, adding that incoming president Alar Karis will not need to apply for additional money.
Director of the president's office Tiit Riisalo said Thursday that: "There is no need to apply for additional funding," adding there was more than enough in the kitty for the rest of 2021, putting the figure at €1.34 million – 34 percent of the total.
Abut the same amount – 33 percent – of money budgeted for wages remains in place, he added – a total of €663,738.
Riisalo also tendered is resignation as office director, and will leave office the same day the president does, next Monday.
"The new president will be able to appoint a new director for the presidential office on the first day of his term. Which is probably what he will do," he added, noting that in accordance with the relevant legislation, he needs to resing of his own volition
Monday's changeover of heads of state as Alar Karis ascends to office and Kersti Kaljulaid leaves, is set to cost around €118,000, €42,000 of which will go on security, BNS reports.
Unlike Kersti Kaljulaid, who resided elsewhere, Alar Karis and first lady Sirje Karis plan to live at Kadriorg, which, Riisalo said, will incur additional costs.
Riisalo under the regulations he will not be entitled to compensation upon release from service.
Riisalo's replacement has been named in the media as Peep Jahilo.
Recent media reports had spoken of a "gaping hole" in presidential finances, with all of 2021's budget allegedly blown by the end of last month, a situation the prime minister referred to Thursday as "not nice". Kersti Kaljulaid has made several official visits in the dying weeks of her presidency, including to Kenya and the UN headquarters in New York.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte