Reform Party Leader Kaja Kallas has spoken out on the proposed pulp mill near Tartu, stating that there is a need for such an industry in Estonia. However, in Ms. Kallas' opinion the government has been giving mixed signals regarding the location of the proposed mill, and if the planning regulations are changed mid-project, this can be damaging for the economy.
''There's a need for such plants in Estonia if we consider that timber certainly has an intrinsic value which should be exploited, rather than just being transported as a raw material,'' the Reform party leader explained
''We should try to explore all the possibilities that are out there to add value to the related products and services,'' she went on.
''In my view it's also important that if all the rules and regulations are followed, and business people follow the regulations too, then they won't need to be changed,'' she added.
''I think that what the government is doing at the moment isn't right, if it is misleading the business community into thinking the project is likely to be halted,'' Ms. Kallas continued.
Kallas also went on to say that she wasn't clear on whether the law as it stands now made the suspension of the proposed mill possible. If the project gets suspended due to regulations somehow being ignored in the agreed plans, then she felt it would certainly have a negative impact on the economy.
''What I'm waiting for from the Government is a clear position. There also hasn't yet been an answer, at least not a clearly comprehensible one, giving clear promises to both businesspeople and the populace as a whole, but rather only some sort of smokescreen,'' Ms. Kallas went on.
Kallas' fellow party member, Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas, has taken the view that the plan is sufficiently grounded to reach completion. But his priorities should continue to lie with protecting the local people under his auspices, Ms. Kallas stated.
''That Urmas Klass has defended the interests of people in Tartu is an absolute duty of any mayor,'' she went on.
The right amount of research is equally important, she thought.
''I think it's vital to look at whether this plant is viable and how it affects the surroundings," Kallas said.
Other politicians' views
Speaking to ERR last week, Helir-Valdor Seeder (Pro Patria) stated that his party is set to offer alternative plans to the current ones for the location of the proposed pulp mill.
In a similar vein, Social Democrats (SDE) leader Jevgeni Ossinovski claimed that his party never really supported the construction of the pulp mill and that these things need to be discussed at a governmental level.
According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre Party) such discussions are indeed set to take place this week in the cabinet.
Members of the Est-For Management Board, the company behind the proposed mill, Aadu Polli and Margus Kohava, announced today that the plant could also be built near the village of Tabivere.
The announcement that the proposed mill could be constructed along the Emajõgi river, which flows through central Tartu and into which waste from the mill could be carried, was met with huge popular protest in that city the weekend before last, with over 4,500 turning out to voice their concerns.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: ERR Uudised