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New Bank of Estonia board not likely to sit well with EKRE

Bank of Estonia supervisory board chairman Mart Laar
Bank of Estonia supervisory board chairman Mart Laar Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Mart Laar, board chair at the Bank of Estonia, and a former prime minister, has said that he does not expect the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) members to support the central bank's governing council's new composition. Finance minister Martin Helme (EKRE) has been active in participating in Bank of Estonia board meetings, though as a political party member he cannot vote on its decisions.

"EKRE has not made any promises to me or promised anything generally," Laar said in a written comment to daily Postimees, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

Mart Laar submitted a request to the Riigikogu to replace board members Kalev Kallo (Centre) and Liina Tõnisson (SDE) last week. While Laar didn't explain his reasons for the replacement of Tõnisson, Kallo is involved in an ongoing corruption case.

He faced charges of not discussing with the parties the appointment of a new composition of the Bank of Estonia supervisory board, though he said he had been in contact with at least one high level EKRE politician, finance minister Martin Helme, who, possibly due to his position to attend the meetings of the supervisory council, although he does not have voting rights there, Laar said.

By law, no political party can be represented on the board and to faciliate the successful performance of its tasks, it is largely made up of independent experts and scientists.

"This is the case today and will remain so in the future, "Laar replied to a request from Postimees, hence is why there are no EKRE representatives among the candidates of the members of the central bank.

Mart Laar was the first prime minister of Estonia following the restoration of independence, 1992 to 1994 and again from 1999-2002.

Last summer, he backed up former Isamaa politician Margus Tsahkna in an opinion piece for daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) to the effect that EKRE leader Mart Helme and father of Martin was a "useful idiot" for the Russian Federation, adding that he, Laar, felt that Helme was a pathological liar as well.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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