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Kaja Kallas on Ansip criticism: I hope I don't become that embittered

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform).
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) has responded to recent criticism of her time in office from party-mate and MEP Andrus Ansip, referring to him as an "embittered old man."

kallasSpeaking to portal Delfi in a piece published on Thursday, Kallas said "Generally you journalists are aware that Andrus Ansip is something like a lemonade dispenser. When you put some money in, you certainly get lemonade. [In the same way] when you put a mic in front of Ansip, something toxic will surely emanate, in the direction of Kaja Kallas. You can, in this sense, depend upon him."

The prime minister added that she hopes that when she ceases to be prime minister and leaves the Stenbock House, seat of the Estonian government, time will not stand still from that point onward, and she will not become an embittered old "man," in the way that Ansip has done.

Ansip was prime minister 2005-2014.

Andrus Ansip MEP. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The rest of the Delfi interview dealt with criticism directed towards Kallas' finance minister, Mart Võrklaev, also of the Reform Party.

Kallas appeared to back Võrklaev, noting that good finance ministers are never popular.

Another senior Reform Partye member, Siim Kallas, also weighed in on the saga, asking rhetorically "Who is Ansip?" evening paper Õhtuleht reports on its website.

Siim Kallas is Kaja Kallas' father.

Siim Kallas. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Andrus Ansip had said in an interview given to ERR's Vikerraadio on December 28 that the Reform Party requires a new leader, which would automatically mean a new prime minister, too, as Kallas and her government present a "security risk," given that the coalition is supported by only around a third of the populace, according to polls.

Today, Friday, Reform holds a strategy day.

The party's secretary general, Timo Suslov, said the prupose of this meeting is mainly to talk about the state budget situation; Ansip had said that discussions on Reform's leadership, the government, and the content of the party's politics, in addition to the manner in which it is conducted, would be on the table.

Kaja Kallas stepped down as an MEP in 2018 to become Reform Party leader. She became prime minister in January 2021 where she has remained, heading up three administrations during that time.

Andrus Ansip was elected an MEP at the May 2019 European elections, and is likely seeking re-election at the next election in June this year. Prior to that he was Estonia's European Commissioner, holding the digital single market portfolio, 2014-2019.

Siim Kallas is also a former European Commissioner and was prime minister in the early 2000s. He is a sitting MP, and his recent career also includes a stint as mayor of Viimsi, just outside Tallinn.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Delfi, Õhtuleht, Vikerraadio

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