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Should any party preach ethics?

Of pots and black kettles

At the Reform Party’s general assembly last Sunday, PM Andrus Ansip set the party’s goal: win in Tallinn at the local municipality elections in 2009. Ansip said the values promoted by the Reform Party in the parliament and government every day should also be found in municipalities. Is this a good thing?

At the same time, the Association Corruption-Free Estonia finds that the members of parliament are using their official positions for personal gain. This includes adding fringe benefits to MPs’ wages without obligation to document the spending. Also, recently, MPs have come under fire in the local press for taking board positions in private companies as a way to increase their personal incomes. City Paper sources say it is not atypical for a corporate board member in Estonia to earn between 3,000 and 6,000 EEK per month. While not a princely sum, serve on enough boards (where you are required to do nothing but attend a monthly meeting and chat over cocktails afterwards), and it can provide a tidy extra bonus.