Riigikogu speaker: time of business model built on slave labor over

Henn Põlluaas.

PHOTO: Sander Ilvest

President of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas (EKRE) voiced his displeasure over Estonian strawberry farmers looking to hire cheaper foreign labor instead of employing Estonians on Friday.

“How did Estonians manage to pick strawberries when we didn’t have Ukrainians just a few years ago? Brilliantly. While they are suddenly so feeble and inept that foreign labor is the only way out. That is not true! It is extremely irresponsible to cultivate such lies and stoke hysteria. Especially during this crisis where we have 50,000 unemployed and that number is growing. Perhaps it is time those lamenting the situation take a frank look in the mirror and admit that the time of the business model based on cheap slave labor is over,” Põlluaas said.

Opposition Reform Party MP Urmas Kruuse said that the coalition has crossed the line when it comes to mocking farmers. “First, we have Henn Põlluaas insulating hardworking people – the speaker, who is supposed to be the second most important man in the country and represent each and every one of us. Instead, the president of the Riigikogu tells farmers, whose concerns are very real indeed, that if they don’t like EKRE policy, they can just close shop,” he said.