Autor: Kristel Härma, Polina Volkova • 17. aprill 2020

Startups React: Not The Time To Replace A Minister

Former IT minister Kaimar Karu (on the left) no longer fits with EKRE.
Autor: Liis Treimann

Earlier today, Kaimar Karu, the Minister of Foreign Trade and IT, elected by the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), announced on social media that the chairman of the party, Mart Helme, has asked him to resign. In the midst of the crisis is not the time to replace a professional and balanced minister, the startups react to the unexpected recall of IT minister Kaimar Karu.

"In a situation where everyone is focusing on curbing the crisis to restart the economy, it is a very unintelligible move to change a minister," said startup entrepreneur Ragnar Sass to Äripäev.

Sten Tamkivi, the vice president of the Estonian Founders Society, said that entrepreneurs have been sitting in this crisis for more than a month now with a lot of unclarity around. Now, in his opinion, things will probably start to drag on even more," he admitted.

Different opinions, but open to discussions

According to Tamkivi, the question is not how it will affect the startup sector. "The fact that Karu is an IT professional, who has a good understanding of these companies, has certainly been useful, but startups are not expecting special treatment here." According to Tamkivi, the best thing during Karu's tenure was the fact that they had a competent conversation partner.

Priit Salumaa, co-founder of software developing company Mooncascade, added: "Since ministers are expected to be professionals in their field, the appointment of Kaimar Karu was a pleasant surprise."

According to Ragnar Sass, Kaimar Karu had strong principles and they differed a lot from those of the startup community, but he was open to discussions and negotiations. Sass noted that Karu acted as a very effective minister in a crisis situation.

Estonia among the last to recover the economy

According to Sass, it is unfortunate that a large number of European countries have already put in place measures to revive the economy weeks ago. "Estonia is one of the last in Europe in this respect, and if we replace the most important minister with whom we have started this journey today, it will probably stop the whole process," he said.

Jana Budkovskaya, head of the prototyping fund Prototron, said that in a crisis situation, we do not need political games, party rules or other nonsense, but a clear united action of the entire government apparatus. "Today, we expect a clear and transparent action plan from the government, where decisions are based on facts and figures, free of political populism and infantilism, that support cooperation with all sectors."

According to Budkovskaya, Minister Karu became a key player at the height of the crisis, when the need for digitization became obvious and vital.

See the full article on Äripäev online.

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