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Editorial: the political component and economic reckoning

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PHOTO: Urmas Nemvalts

Doubtless, state enterprise management and related decisions always come with both economic and political components. If the purely political becomes too much, the resulting imbalance is bad for society, and at times for the decision makers themselves. Seeing that, as a rule, state controls strategic companies directly of indirectly determining functioning and welfare of the state.

While the National Audit Office report on Estonian Air offered not much that would be new, it’s still an exhaustive overview of the tens of millions spent.

Again, we are faced with a bunch of questions about who is responsible. And how the government does its decision making after all.

In the introduction to the report, Auditor General Alar Karis tells us that as soon they started to work on it, many a politician shrugged it off as hindsight vision. A good way to fend off criticism.

Meanwhile, the public wants explanations why the total of €85m was poured in, and if needed we need to keep talking about it. What would have been the sums the state had missed without the direct flights and flow of passengers?

If criticism by National Audit Office is met with haughty irony or biting back, it backfires as the public remains in the dark.

Furthermore, lots of problems pointed out in the audit are not unique. As we were told yesterday, a ferryboat to sail the mainland-island lines will be late by three months. Thereat, the political responsibility is played back and forth like a ball.

What politician would not like to bask in the glory of freshly built vessels? But as soon as something goes amiss, the fingers point backwards to the previous minister.

Show us a politician, who would like the airplanes to get grounded on their watch …

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