Estonia's economics minister survives confidence vote

  • 2000-08-31
TALLINN (BNS) - A motion of no-confidence against Economics Minister Mihkel Parnoja, the official directly in charge of the sale of a strategic holding in Estonia's large electric power stations, failed in Parliament on Aug. 28. The motion initiated by 45 opposition MPs was rejected in a 46-50 vote.

Peeter Kreitzberg of the opposition Center Party, who addressed fellow lawmakers on the bill, said the deal on the sale of the Narva-based power stations was rife with allegations of corruption and didn't correspond to the interests of the Estonian state.

"Never in the past ten years has this kind of business that concerns all residents of Estonia been conducted so secretly," Kreitzberg said.

He said Estonia was becoming a country where top state officials no longer carried responsibility for anything. Apart from the power station's privatization deal, the initiators of the no-confidence motion claim that Parnoja had links to the KGB and that he gave statements to Soviet prosecutors against dissident professor Juri Kukk who died in a Soviet prison.