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Business paper: Palling worked for VKG's benefit on Eesti Energia board

Headline about MP Kalle Palling (Reform) in Friday's issue of Äripäev. June 9, 2017.
Headline about MP Kalle Palling (Reform) in Friday's issue of Äripäev. June 9, 2017. Source: (ERR)

While serving as a member of the supervisory board of Estonian state-owned energy group Eesti Energia, Reform Party politician and current MP Kalle Palling played a double game, secretly working for the benefit of Eesti Energia competitor Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG), reported businesss daily Äripäev.

As it was being sought by Eesti Energia, Palling brokered an enticing waste-rock deal worth approximately €13 million for VKG, the state-owned energy group's largest competitor, it appeared from the Äripäev article (link in Estonian).

"While Palling's relationship with Priit Piilmann, VKG's largest owner, has not been a secret, such a direct conflict of interests has been," wrote the paper. "At least the state-owned company's public relations manager Kaarel Kuusk reported that Palling's actions came to them as a surprise. Eesti Energia had not authorized Palling to communicate with the competition and there was understandably no need to do so either, as both [companies] independently sought the same revenue opportunity."

According to the paper's information, in fall 2014, international construction group Jan De Nul was interested in purchasing a large amount — nearly one million tons' worth — of waste rock from Estonia.

"Palling, who had served on the supervisory board of Eesti Energia since 2009, personally informed VKG chiefs in October 2014 of the opportunity to sell waste rock to Jan De Nul," the paper wrote. "In November 2014, Palling visited VKG together with [party mate Jaanus] Rahumäe and Jan De Nul Group rock supply manager in Belgium Peter Van de Velde."

MP Palling denied a conflict of interest, however he did not directly answer the paper's questions.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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