Sunday talk shows: Savisaar a good fit for environment minister

Erki Savisaar's Kadriorg presentation as new environment minister.
Erki Savisaar's Kadriorg presentation as new environment minister. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Hosts of Raadio 2 and Vikerraadio Sunday political talk shows found Erki Savisaar to be a good choice for the post of minister of the environment.

Host of Raadio 2 show "Olukorrast riigis" Indrek Lepik said that while pragmatic business people rather welcome Savisaar's appointment, climate activists are less thrilled.

"I'm sure there are people who believe that yet another oil shale apologist has been brought in to serve as environment minister. On the other hand, considering who the Center Party had to choose from, Erki Savisaar is a rather good fit for the office," he said.

Lepik's co-host, Maaleht Editor-in-Chief Hindrek Riikoja explained that even though Savisaar's political record is not exactly common knowledge, he is described as a practical and pragmatic person and politician.

"Looking at his initial statements in the new office, if only as concerns oil shale, he's not saying oil shale is the future and everyone suggesting otherwise would best pipe down. On the contrary, he is being far more pragmatic and balanced than that. He has said that oil shale is our resource, that we need to think of ways to make use of it and shouldn't kill off the industry outright," the journalist said.

"While everyone loves making grand green policy declarations, the reality of the situation is that all countries understand that major change cannot be effected this quickly or radically and that we need to rely on recent energy mediums for some time. Nothing would be simpler than to "hang" the new minister without further ado, but looking at his statements, they constitute balanced pragmatism. He admits that the green turn needs to be undertaken, while he adds that it needs to be done sensibly. I believe he is off to a relatively good start and has potential to make it as environment minister. He has been involved in the field through sitting on various committees," Riikoja offered.

Head of news at ERR Anvar Samost and ERR journalist Huko Aaspõllu also found on their Vikerraadio show that appointing Savisaar was a good move.

"He seems to be a politician sporting independent views and positions, as well as knowledge of the field. He is looking at a hard time as his position does not exactly coincide with the mainstream narrative. Savisaar is critical of environmental topics that tend to boil down to knee-jerk reflexes. That said, he seems strong enough. Anyway, I believe it to be a good move by the Center Party chairman, looking at the general capacity of the cabinet," Samost commented.

Aaspõllu agreed with Samost.

The hosts also discussed the future political career of Tõnis Mölder who recently resigned from the post of environment minister after admitting he was addicted to online sports betting.

"I would not go as far as to suggest his political career has crashed and burden for good. Looking at people's reactions to his social media post, comments were largely supportive. I think he might be elected to the Riigikogu again if he decides to run," Aaspõllu offered.

"It matters to politicians how well their name is known. Learning from one's mistakes might even end up benefiting one's image," he added.

Samost said that Mölder will not go down in history as environment minister but as a member of the government who had to leave office over a personal problem.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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