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Ossinovski: City government work is surprisingly interesting

Jevgeni Ossinovski (right) being interviewed.
Jevgeni Ossinovski (right) being interviewed. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Working at Tallinn City Council and managing the life of the capital is more interesting than being in opposition in the Riigikogu, Social Democratic Party councilor Jevgeni Ossinovski said during an interview on Wednesday.

Ossinovski said work is "not at all" boring after sitting in the Riigikogu for 11 years.

"I have to say to myself, surprisingly, that it is interesting," he told a live broadcast.

While the council only meets twice a month, there is constant coordination between coalition partners, Center and SDE, Ossinovski said. As Tallinn is such a large council it needs strategic management and long-term plans.

The former MP is chairman of the council's SDE group and in his role he meets with Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) at least once a week.

It is not true there are no disputes between politicians or the parties he said, there is controversy but it is less ideological. "It cannot be said that it is less important than in the Riigikogu," Ossinovski stressed.

There are many disagreements, both practical, such as where and how quickly to build cycle lanes, but also on more fundamental issues, such as whether to abolish kindergarten fees, he explained.

Speaking about being in opposition in the Riigikogu, the politician said opportunities are limited and mainly consist of public speaking or asking questions.

"It is clear that [in the Riigikogu] the Social Democrats are currently in opposition and cannot participate in law-making, so it is more interesting in the city," he said. 

Ossinovski said he did not yet know if he will stand as a candidate in the Riigikogu elections next spring, although the party expects he will.

"I will announce it when the time is right," he said, saying he intends to stay at the council.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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