Is Tallinn racist

The Agriculture Minister von Ekre recently described Ilves and the former EU Commissioner Siim Kallas as "secret Jews". When they were sworn in at the end of April, father and son helmets demonstratively formed the OK sign with their fingers, which is considered a distinguishing mark among representatives of the "white supremacy". And the Helmes repeated the gesture when Marine Le Pen recently visited Tallinn.

When the government was sworn in, Kaljulaid wore a white sweater in parliament that read: "Sona on vaba", the word is free. With this she wanted to send a signal against the attacks on journalists from the ranks of Ekre. The Helmes had previously requested that "biased" journalists be removed from the state broadcaster ERR. For this reason, many Estonians are currently talking about the part from the Strache video in which the then FPÖ boss rants about the possible privatization of ORF.

"They are like all autocrats and pretend everything is very simple," says Kaljulaid. "They don't like the complex issues of the media and they put pressure on them." But there is still freedom of the press in Estonia. But of course this is not the case, says the president: "I want our journalists to fight for their freedom, every day. To be honest, we all have to do that."

So far, civil society has not given up: demonstrations took place every day during the coalition negotiations, and now two dozen citizens protest every Thursday when the cabinet is in session. At the Meri conference, many proudly wear a pin with pink rubber blobs: Ekre described liberals as "pink slime". There is also concern that Ekre will appoint the President of Parliament - and that he will be calling for more referendums to express "the true will of the people".

The assurances by Prime Minister Ratas that Estonia will of course remain in NATO and the EU are only reassuring to a limited extent. Defense Minister Jüri Luik is recognized, but precisely because of this, many ask behind closed doors why he supports the breach of word. The frustration can also be explained by the fact that all actors know each other, because more people live in Munich than in Estonia, where people like to say: "We are either related or neighbors."

In an interview with the SZ, the former President Ilves made it clear that Prime Minister Ratas and the other ministers could not deny their responsibility for the statements made by the Ekre ministers: "This is their government." Actually, he never wanted to comment on domestic politics again, but now Estonia's democracy is in danger. "If someone says that we have a racist, anti-Semitic government, nobody can argue." He hopes that this government will not last long and that the damage to tourism ("I am told about the first cancellations") and economy will be limited.

Skype still has its research department in Tallinn, says Ilves and asks: "Do dark-skinned talents come here when they know that there are people in the government who want a white Estonia?"

© SZ from 05/20/2019 / lala / bix