On Saturday, board of Social Democrats nominated Liisa Oviiri, Hannes Hanso and party chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski as candidates for business, defence and health/labour ministers respectively.
Better business environment
Having been set up for entrepreneurship minister by Mr Ossonovski, Liisa Oviir admitted to be flabbergasted. Before saying yes she consulted with her family, as well as former business minister and comrade-at-party Urve Palo. «She told me she advised me to accept the job – that she sees I’d make it and that it’s an interesting challenge and an opportunity to do what I went into politics to find. To do something that would make our business environment better,» said Ms Oviir.
This she plans to do by cutting excessive regulation by law, and by altering the attitude towards entrepreneurs. «For me, it is very important to such principal change in attitudes that actually the state exists for the people and not the other way round,» she said. Helen Mihelson
A law faculty graduate from University of Tartu, since 2008 Ms Oviir has worked as a leading jurist at Eesti Energia. Prior to that, she was jurist at AS Tallink Grupp, and assistant adviser in Estonian embassy in London. Helen Mihelson
Hanso: the current job has been exciting
Nominated for defence minister, chairman of Riigikogu’s foreign affairs committee Hannes Hanso said the decision to become a minister was not easy as the current post is exciting indeed.
«Well these aren’t the easy kind of decisions. The current job is exciting indeed and it is pity to give it up so quickly,» he admitted. «Even so, I let it be known on Thursday that should the board thus decide, I’d not be against.» He added he already has some ideas what to accomplish in the new position, but it would be premature to talk about it today.
The departing defence minister Sven Mikser said it is hard work in politics to get a mandate. «Doubtless, defence ministry is the most inspiring and the best collective where I have been honoured to work in my lifetime and therefore leaving is definitely difficult; however, in politics one cannot afford to harbour disappointment for long for things like that. Because the party or voters grant a mandate and take it away and then one will have to work hard again to be worthy of this mandate in times to come and to regain this position or some other,» said Mr Mikser. Piret Lakson, Meribel Sinikalda
Higher minimal wage and tough alcohol policy
Jevgeni Ossinovski said that for soc dems the domains of health and labour include topics important for the party. «My aim as minister is to shape in Estonia such living environment where all are ensured equal opportunities for an active, healthy and worthy life,» he said, adding he’d be focussing on changes to improve the living standards. «As health and labour minister, I will be able to stand for the raising of minimal wage and income tax free minimum,» said Mr Ossinovski.
«I definitely want to also invest in the toughening of alcohol policy, to reduce the alcohol-related damage in the society,» he said. Meribel Sinikalda