Mart Laar: EKRE will not join Bank of Estonia's supervisory board

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

Mart Laar, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank, said he did not want to see the members of the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) in the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia, as their behavior could undermine the credibility of the Estonian state.

"Members of EKRE have not been invited to the council, nor are they invited. The Board of Eesti Pank rests on the credibility of the Estonian state. And as long as there is no custom in EKRE to think before speaking, no member of the EKRE will come here. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank cannot go and apologize for the statements made by of members of the Supervisory Board," Laar said in an interview with Delfi on Friday.

At the same time, Laar noted that EKRE is represented in the meetings of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank. 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, ERR News reported in June.

On Tuesday, the Riigikogu rejected Laar's draft resolution on the appointment of new members of the Banking Council. 

Laar, as supervisory board chair, had submitted a draft resolution comprising Centre Party MP Enn Eesmaa, academics Kaie Kerem and Enn Listra, former supervisory board member Rein Minka, former Social Democratic Party MEP Ivari Padar, former Reform MP Jaanus Tamkivi and economist Urmas Varblane as incoming members of the supervisory board of the central bank.

Four of these, Kerem, Listra, Tamkivi and Varblane, sat on the outgoing supervisory board, which ended in February.

However, the resolution was defeated 74 votes to 18 at the 101-seat Riigikogu, in a secret ballot, ERR News reported.

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.

Last summer, he backed up former Isamaa politician Margus Tsahkna in an opinion piece for daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) saying 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.

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


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Editor: Helen Wright

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