Estonian president's office doesn't want residence set up at Liberty estate

Liberty suvemõis.

PHOTO: Peeter Langovits / Postimees

The Office of the President has decided to abandon the plan tabled during the tenure of Toomas Hendrik Ilves to renovate the seaside Liberty estate in the Tallinn suburb of Rocca al Mare for more than four million euros to serve as the residence of the head of state.

Liberty estate is not necessary for President Kersti Kaljulaid in a form like this, the president's spokesman Taavi Linnamae told BNS.

He said that the president lives in the suburb of Nomme and works at Kadriorg, and there is no need for a new compound.

Linnamae also pointed out that it is probably important for the people of Estonia that the president was present at Kadriorg as much as possible. For hosting of guests it is possible to use Kadriorg Palace when it comes to smaller events and the nearby buildings of the Estonian Art Museum to hold bigger events, the spokesman said.

In a letter to Finance Minister Sven Sester, Tiit Riisalo, director of the Office of the President, said that setting up a new residence for the president does not make sense. Likewise, the Office of the President does not need the 4.4 million euros initialy earmarked for building the new residence of the head of state.

Riisalo also expressed readiness on behalf of the Office of the President to compensate the state real estate management company RKAS for the costs incurred in connection with the agreement for the renovation of the Liberty estate concluded during the presidential tenure of Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

The spokesman for RKAS, Madis Idnurm, told BNS that RKAS was ready to sell the property now that the Office of the President has dropped the plan to take it into use. He added that before embarking on further action RKAS will ask the Finance Ministry for an opinion.