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Relocation of government jobs most important challenge, says new minister

Janek Mäggi before his first government meeting, May 3, 2018.
Janek Mäggi before his first government meeting, May 3, 2018. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Janek Mäggi (Center), sworn in as the government's new minister of public administration earlier this week, said in an interview published on Friday that he sees moving the planned amount of government jobs out of the capital into Estonia's regions as his most important task.

In his interview with tabloid Õhtuleht, Mäggi made his first public comments on his new role, saying that he will aim to bring the distribution of government jobs to an end before the elections in March next year.

"Some thousand jobs are moved out, about half of them have been moved already, there's half still to go," Mäggi said. He described the efforts to decentralize the administration and have the country's rural regions benefit more from the state's presence as "potentially the most important, but also the most difficult" task facing him in his new position.

He said that he will be able to go into more detail just how he is planning to get this done in three to four weeks.

Mäggi described his sudden rise as unexpected. "I needed to deal with it all in less than a week. A week ago I wouldn't have had a clue that I'd be getting this kind of offer, and today I'm a minister! I have to rearrange my whole life," Mäggi said.

Taking government jobs out of the capital began in earnest under Mäggi's predecessor, Jaak Aab (Center), who announced his resignation in April this year after it became known that the police had caught him speeding and driving under the influence. The project has been moving along slowly, mainly because of resistance among officials against their positions being relocated.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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