Estonian PM Juri Ratas resigns over corruption charges

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas announced on Wednesday he was resigning after his Party came under investigation for corruption linked to Tallinn real estate development, a property development company.

The outgoing prime minister stressed that despite taking political responsibility for the loan scandal, he was not fully informed about all the details.

Mr.  Ratas said the suspicions lodged by the Office of the Prosecutor General “do not mean that someone is definitely guilty”, but have a serious impact, casting a shadow on the reputation of all the parties involved.

Earlier this week, Estonia’s public prosecutor’s office said it suspected the Centre Party which Juri Ratas chairs and five individuals of being involved in a corruption case: the party allegedly received financial support in return for approving a 39 million euros ($47.6 million) loan that Estonia’s state credit agency KredEx provided to the Porto Franco real estate development.

President Kersti Kaljulaid now has 14 days to name a new prime minister who would then have to be approved by parliament.

Juri Ratas said he hoped his resignation would help “shed light on all the circumstances and reach clarity” but insisted that he had not made “any malicious or knowingly wrong decisions”.

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