TALLINN – Jaanus Karilaid, chairman of the opposition Center Party group in the Riigikogu, argues that the government led by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is not interested in the final report of the new inquiry into the sinking of the ferry Estonia and has caused the demise of the probe by not allocating the five million euros necessary for its completion.
"The work of the Safety Investigation Bureau, as the lead investigator, to reach a final report has been made virtually impossible. The contracts of most members of the investigation team have now expired and their renewal has been refused, despite the fact that money is available in the budget. What we are seeing is deliberate procrastination and obstruction of the investigation," the head of the largest political group in the parliament said.
"If the Estonian state wishes to reach new conclusions, the government must allocate 5.25 million euros from its reserve to complete the investigation. In this case, the ramp of the Estonia and other elements that the Safety Investigation Bureau needs can be brought to Tallinn from the seabed," he added.
According to Karilaid, the decision taken by the government of Prime Minister Juri Ratas to launch, due to the new circumstances that had emerged, a new investigation into the disaster of the Estonia under the leadership of the Estonian state was the only right decision to make to ensure peace of mind for the victims' next of kin and to get more precise answers to the questions that have arisen.
"Last year, the government allocated three million euros for further investigation of the Estonia wreck. In a situation where both Estonia and Sweden have made significant financial contributions to the investigation, Kaja Kallas' inaction begs the question -- in whose interests is such action taking place? With this, the current government is losing credibility and creating additional tensions. We are short of five million euros and political will to get the final report. The truth must come out," the MP said.