Estonia's ex-ministers Kristian Jaani, Eva-Maria Liimets undecided about future

  • 2022-06-07
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonia's former minister of the interior Kristian Jaani and former minister of foreign affairs Eva Maria Liimets, who entered politics from their respective fields of expertise, told Postimees that due to the government falling apart unexpectedly, they are taking it one day at a time and have yet to make any plans for the future.

Jaani, who used to be the prefect of the North Prefecture of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, as well as Liimets, a former diplomat, received an email from the Tax and Customs Board on Monday announcing that they had become unemployed.

"We're taking it one hour and one day at a time. At the moment, I need to think about the future and about how to move on. And how to secure my future," Jaani said on Monday as he had packed up his things at his office and was making the final preparations to leave the ministry with the secretary general and his other colleagues.

"I can't remember the last time I was unemployed," Liimets said. Neither of the former ministers rules out continuing in politics. Both are waiting to see if it will be their own party, the Center Party, forming the incoming government. In that case, they might both head back to their corresponding ministries.

"I would like to continue," Liimets said.

Both Liimets and Jaani joined the Center Party as ordinary members some time after having been appointed government ministers but neither has got overly involved in day-to-day politics. 

"Politicking doesn't bother me as long as important internal security decisions that have been previously agreed upon, are implemented," Jaani said.

Liimets said that having been immersed in foreign policy, she has not had the chance to ask the leader of the Center Party about the current situation.

"Some issues remain unresolved," Liimets said, adding that she is planning to ask the party leader about the causes of the government crisis over the coming days.

Neither Liimets not Jaani regret going into politics.

"I am very grateful to Juri Ratas for inviting me to take up the position of interior minister. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said, adding that the thing that surprised him the most during his stint as a government minister was that even decisions that have already been agreed upon are not as easy to implement as he had assumed while working as a prefect.

Liimets said that she was surprised by opposition politicians hurling hollow criticism at het and making proposals that they would most probably never implement if they came to power.

Until the new government is formed, the portfolio of the minister of the interior will be taken over by Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet. The minister of foreign affairs will be substituted for by Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Andres Sutt. Jaani and Liimets, as well as former minister of culture Tiit Terik and former minister of health and labor Tanel Kiik will each get a compensation of 37,242 euros. Due to the remaining three former ministers of the Center Party, Taavi Aas, Jaak Aab and Erki Savisaar, returning to the parliament, they will not be paid a compensation.