President Kersti Kaljulaid has promised that she and the entire Office of the President will relocate to Narva for a period of one month next fall, where they will work from the Open Space (Vaba Lava) theater complex.
In her year-end interview with ETV+, Kaljulaid said that she has promised to relocate the entire Office of the President to Narva for a period of one month. According to ERR's Russian-language online news portal, the plan is to do so once construction is completed on the border city's Open Space complex.
With this step, the president wants to demonstrate the presence of the Estonian community and society in Narva, as well as the fact that the city is a valued part of the country.
The Open Space theater complex is being built on the property of the former Baltijets Factory. Construction began on Dec. 19 and is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 17, 2018.
"I really love Narva," said Kaljulaid. "My half-brother's father grew up in Narva, and I have never been on more exciting city tours as I have gotten with him there."
According to the president, while civil society has long since been established elsewhere in Estonia, it remains a new process in Narva.
"A process has begun in Narva that I call 'Kalamaja is Going to Narva,'" she said. "The people of Narva have found themselves as a community, and the people of Tallinn want to help the people of Narva function as a community like everyone else in Estonia does."
According to Kaljulaid, neither Narva nor Ida-Viru County are Estonia's poorest regions, but the people of Narva believe the city is. The population has shrunk as there are no new businesses in town, but this is also the case in many other Estonian towns and cities. The head of state believes that many of the border city's problems are tied to poor city management, and should the latter be improved, the former may be resolved as well, leading to improvements in Narva residents' lives.
The full-length interview with President Kersti Kaljulaid will be aired on ETV+ on Saturday, Dec. 30 at 8:10 p.m.
Editor: Aili Vahtla