By Oisin Sweeney • 13 January 2021 • 12:24
Prime Minister Juri Rattas has resigned in the wake of the scandal - Image Source: Juri Rattas
ESTONIA’S government has collapsed in the wake of a massive corruption scandal following a police probe into a lucrative property development scheme.
On Wednesday (January 13th), Estonia’s Prime Minister Juri Ratas handed his letter of resignation to the country’s President, ending a coalition government his Centre party has led alongside a far-right party since 2016.
The Baltic country has been rocked by a massive corruption scandal involving a property developer called Porto Franco, which received a €39m state loan and struck a lucrative deal with authorities in Tallinn for a lucrative development on the capital’s waterfront. The city’s mayor is a prominent member of the Centre, leading to widespread accusations of cronyism and corruption. Investigators have alleged that members of the property firm made large donations to the Centre party to secure the massive deal, which would have seen work done to Tallinn’s historical Old Town’s port.
After losing his party’s majority in a 2019 election, Rattas has been propped up by the conservative Fatherland party and the far-right EKRE group who vehemently oppose the European Union. Estonia’s President, Kersti Kaljulaid, must select his successor within two weeks before they are approved by the country’s MPs.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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