Daily: Politicians criticize Riisalo decision to miss Expo 2025

Tiit Riisalo.
Tiit Riisalo. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Politicians from both coalition and opposition parties have offered their criticism of a recent decision by Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology Tiit Riisalo (Eesti 200) which means Estonia will be the only European Union nation not to be represented at World Expo 2025 in Japan, daily Postimees reports.

Some politicians have, however, backed Riisalo, while the overall decision appears to have been one made by the executive.

Expo 2025 is to be held on a purpose-built island off Osaka, Japan, from April to October next year.

Postimees reports on its English-language page that Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said she had received an overview of the reasons for the minister of entrepreneurship and technology's decision and went along with that decision, saying: "We took note that there is such a decision that Estonia will not go to the Expo."

While Education Minister Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200), Riisalo's party-mate, found the reasoning for not taking part in Expo 2025 "reasonable," politicians from other parties did not, with Center Party Chair Jüri Ratas saying it sent a "bad signal" on Estonian business and the country's bilateral relations with Japan – Ratas is a member of the Expo 2025 working party, Postimees reports.

Reform's Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee Chari Marko Mihkelson called the development "regrettable," adding that participation may have cost a few million euros, but estimated inward investment from Japan in the wake of the exposure could have totaled €130 million by 2030, leading to the creation of around 500 jobs.

Mihkelson also said that the decision not to participate had been an executive one, while a previous IT and foreign trade minister, Andres Sutt (Reform) said that non-participation had not gone unnoticed, and that more clarity would be required in future on who was responsible for which preparations, to avoid hasty last-minute decisions.

The full Postimees piece is here.

Tiit Riisalo formerly headed up Kersti Kaljulaid's office, when she was president.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Postimees

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