The newly-elected government representative to Ida-Viru County, Jaanus Purga, says that far from being burdened with tasks central government will place on him, he will better showcase the various unique issues the region faces, to the government and to the state.
Purga's appointment was announced Thursday, ahead of starting in the new post next Monday.
Purga has had a feet in both camps when it comes to the energy sector, being one of the founders of the lobby group Rohetiiger ("Green Tiger"), which brings together stakeholders in the green transition, while he is also a former board member of Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG), which is involved in the oil shale sector.
Purga said he considers it important that issues related to Ida-Viru County, which until now were the responsibility of the ministers, should not be pushed solely to him as new government representative.
He said: "Being realistic, there is a danger that the central government will look to let that role deal with things, so our functions are fulfilled."
"I would be naive to say that it is not the case, but my task is to see that things do not turn out that way. I believe that those ministers who are more closely connected with Ida-Viru County will remain even more so, via me, and not the other way around."
The government itself has expressed a hope that Purgas' entrepreneurial background will be helpful in effectively utilizing EU Just Transition Funds, being vectored to Ida-Viru County.
Eve East, head of the Union of Municipalities in Ida-Viru County, said that she, too, hoped that the new representative provide a leg-up in the process of distributing a total of €340 million Just Transition Fund money, across Ida-Viru County – adding that the matter was quite pressing.
The non-partisan Purga will start working as the representative of Ida-Viru County with a four-month probationary period next Monday, at a wage of €5,130 gross per month.
The role was first agreed upon in the Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition deal signed in April.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera,' reporter Rene Kundla.