Funding issues behind Estonian president's Australia trip cancelation

Alar and Sirje Karis at Tallinn Airport.
Alar and Sirje Karis at Tallinn Airport. Source: President Alar Karis' official Social Media account

A planned official visit to Australia by President Alar Karis has been canceled due to a lack of funds.

The visit was set to go ahead this summer, or summer in the Northern Hemisphere at least.

Speaking to evening paper Õhtuleht (link in Estonian), president's office spokesperson Epp-Mare Kukemelk said: "On assessing the real options available to the office, the decision was made to postpone the visit."

Finance Minister Mart Võrklaev (Reform) meanwhile told Õhtuleht that: "At present, more funds have been requested from the government's reserve, though this is actually only intended to cover unforeseen expenses which could not reasonably have been anticipated during the preparation of the annual state budget."

The head of state gave an interview to weekly Maaleht (link in Estonian), published on Thursday, in which he said more funding was required due both to the rising cost of living generally and the greater number of tasks and responsibilities the role now carries with it.

The president said it would be problematic for the Estonian state if its head was unable adequately to engage in one of the role's most key tasks – foreign relations.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mirjam Mäekivi

Source: Õhtuleht, Maaleht

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