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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