Tallinn is planning to move ahead with the preparatory work for a new hospital, despite issues over funding sources.
Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said more and more money is needed to keep the old hospitals open. The longer construction drags on, the more investment is needed, he said on Thursday.
"Therefore, we must continue with the implementation of the Tallinn hospital project," Kõlvart said.
The city government will continue with the project based on the current agreement and schedule agreed between Estonia and the European Commission, he said.
"According to the agreement between the Estonian state and the European Commission on the reconstruction Fund, there is a timeframe and checkpoints for the realization of the project, the first of which has been met by the City of Tallinn. We can't leave the work already started unfinished — especially as the city has invested nearly €4 million in the design alone. For its part, Tallinn remains ready to honor the existing contract and continue with the project. The city also has a legal expectation to do so, because despite the state's protocol decision last summer, the European Recovery Plan decision is still valid — no one has amended, revoked or annulled it, and the state has argued in court that there is no formal decision yet," he said.
Last year, the government decided to exclude funding for the hospital from the EU's coronavirus Recovery and Resilience Fund which had been agreed upon a year earlier.
Under the plan, €280 million was allocated for the hospital.
Tallinn and SA Tallinna Haigla Arendus appealed the government's decision in the Supreme Court, but the ruling made yesterday did not go in their favor.
The current plan sees the construction of the hospital finishing in 2027.
Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright