The Tornado Sowing of Financial Flows in the Estonian Political Landscape

The Tornado Sowing of Financial Flows in the Estonian Political Landscape
@TheStevenAlber “TransNarrative Artistry”

Accountability for Actions is a Must

A few days ago, vague accusations surfaced in the media against the member of the Riigikogu, Tõnis Mölder. The respected legislator allegedly directed €25,000 of so-called "roof money" to a hunting society located in the middle of nowhere, hoping to skim a bit for himself. Law enforcement was quick on the scene, filing charges, as this was not to be dismissed as trivial like the pocketing of donations for Slava Ukraina, which was a highlight last year for Lehtme, a vote magnet of the government coalition party Eesti200, and against which the prosecution has shown little interest so far.

Of course, any individual undermining the democracy of the Republic of Estonia realized that something more serious would follow the revelations about Mölder, and indeed, an announcement came that, sorry folks, but the national airline Nordica is in trouble, and it seems unlikely to recover the millions invested by the state, nor the tens of millions in losses generated last year. The board had no clue, the council had no interest, and Jan Palmer, who stirred up this mess, took off, leaving the climate minister to throw up his hands.

Being in the wrong party gets you hanged, belonging to the right one...

More and more citizens are beginning to doubt the impartiality of the Estonian political elite and law enforcement agencies. Recall the haircut lawsuit against Lember, the former Deputy Mayor of Tartu, who was harassed over a decade for a free seven-euro haircut, or the harassment of former minister Reps for school rides and a coffee machine snatched for personal use. Yet, those involved in much larger scandals, burning millions of taxpayer money through negligence or stupidity, don't fall within the investigative authorities' sphere of interest and get off with an apology: "Oops, it went a bit wrong this time! Sorry! I'll move to another public office."

As reported by the head of the climate ministry overseeing the airline's activities, Kristen Michal: "The company's management aimed for expansion, but did not adequately assess the risks associated with different contracts and projects. New investments were also inadequately analyzed. Some contracts' content, restrictions, and risks were only assessed after signing the agreement and the emergence of problems." How cute! One must ask where were the minister's eyes when Russian roulette was being played under his jurisdiction.

One explosion after another.

Nordica is not the first flagrant waste of taxpayer money. Remember the Eesti Energia Utah affair, where millions were invested, now vanished? Does anyone take responsibility? No.

Estonian Air's infamous end preceded Nordica. An attempt was made to resuscitate the corpse by injecting another 80 million of people's money before bankruptcy. It ended with over 100 million in payment obligations, with only 11 million worth of assets remaining. A splendid outcome by our government, which knew well that the airline had become a hole into which money could endlessly be thrown.

The eternal and untouchable Palmer.

It's impossible not to mention that the crash of both airlines involves the enigmatic Jan Palmer, who, strangely enough, was moved like a valuable chess piece from Air to the next failed national airline, Nordica. After years of irresponsible management, both the company's leaders and board members say they don't know how it turned out this way, but they're sorry and won't do it again.

And that's it? Can the responsible minister Kristen Michal, even this time, come out clean and continue leading the country into green folly, which will require smoothing out future anomalies with hundreds of millions more? Any reasonably responsible person would have taken the time to investigate Palmer's background and figure out who they were dealing with. Here's what Wikipedia says about the god of Estonian aviation:

Jan Olof Palmer (born August 27, 1950) is a Swedish and Danish aviation figure. He was the head of the Estonian national airline Estonian Air from November 1, 2012, until its cessation of operations on November 7, 2015. Until July 25, 2023, he worked as the head of the national Airline Nordica.

Previously, Palmer led bankrupt airlines Cimber Sterling (Denmark) and Skyways (Sweden). His salary as head of Estonian Air was €21,500 per month.

Bankruptcy after bankruptcy, but it seems good enough for Estonians!

Enough with the excuses, it's time to take responsibility!

Following the unfortunate crash of Nordica, the Estonian state must decide whether to continue protecting the blunderers and accept a situation where some indifferent gang takes the liberty of spinning millions in a state enterprise, or to restore the people's trust in their country and demand accountability from the culprits with the full severity of the law, whether it be the company's board, who couldn't bother to analyze their actions, the council, who met only to justify their salaries, and finally Kristen Michal, who failed to fulfill his duties as the minister responsible for the sector, and his direct superior, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who lost touch with reality and responsibility. These individuals, through their omissions and indifference, have caused significant damage for which they must be held accountable. They should also collectively repay the hundreds of millions blown away.

Estonia must appear democratic not only in the speeches of politicians but truly become an honest and citizen-rights-protecting country, where not only the opposition is targeted, but everyone mishandling public funds is measured by the same yardstick.

Vsevolod Jürgenson