Burkardt says Reform Party demanded bribes
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Edward Burkhardt, former owner of Estonian Railways, gave a television interview last week on the popular Estonia news program, Pealtnägija, where he claimed the Reform Party had demanded bribes from his company on two occasions. The first bribe, Burkhardt said, was requested in the amount of one million euros. After refusing to pay, he said, the Reform Party lowered its demand by more than half. Now that’s the capitalist spirit. Who doesn’t love a good discount?
Needless to say, the remark has created quite a stir in the community. Reform Party Prime Minister Andrus Ansip remarked that he knew no one in his party stupid enough to even ask for a bribe of five cents. While we have no inside track to this story, we are a bit skeptical of anyone who overestimates the honesty of those connected to any political machine. There are good men in every party, certainly, but there are always some you’d not want to meet in a dark alley. Reform Party can be no exception. A prime minister suggesting his entire party is free of corruption strikes us as the equivalent of an American president claiming that no one on his staff eats hamburgers. In other words, it might be true, but who’d ever believe it?