Prime Minister Juri Ratas announced on Thursday 18 May, that the Centre Party (Keskerakond) does not tolerate corruption in any form. The announcement comes hot on the heels of the detaining of Sõle Sports Centre directror Toomas Ristlaan on suspicion of repeated bribe-taking the previous day.
Mr Ristlaan is reportedly a Centre Party member. The Centre Party is the largest party in the current ruling coalition government. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas is also Centre Party Leader.
"Corruption is certainly not merely a question of dishonest individuals or an issue related solely to local government or party matters. It is also the joint problem of the whole of society and everyone in Estonia. Public money cannot be spent in inappropriate places and to the benefit of certain individuals, but must serve all the people's joint interests," Ratas announced on social media.
"Incidents which undermine trust in local governments or the entire state of Estonia are in no way acceptable. Both law enforcement authorities and politicians must decisively respond to this," he said.
Ratas also stated that much has been done in recent years to reduce the risk of corruption in Estonia, but the work must undoubtedly be continued.
"I fully support the initiative of Tallinn Mayor Taavi Aas to create a program for combatting corruption in Tallinn. It is an important and necessary decision which issues a clear message that there is no place for corruption in our capital," he said.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Dario Cavegn