Outrage over Estonia's homophobic interior minister

Estonia's government is facing a storm of indignation following homophobic remarks made by Interior Minister Mart Helme during an interview. Helme, the founder and long-time leader of the far-right Ekre party, said he didn't take a "friendly" view of homosexuals and that they should go to Sweden. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas rebuked Helme in a Facebook post - but journalists say this is not enough.

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Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

Prime minister must show Helme the red card

For Eesti Päevaleht it's clear that Prime Minister Ratas cannot leave it at this:

“For some time now people have been saying that Finance Minister Martin Helme is the real Prime Minister. If Mart Helme [his father] remains Minister of the Interior, Ratas will only be corroborating this humiliating assessment. By refusing to hold up a red card to the Interior Minister, Ratas is holding the government together but destroying society. Even as the leader of a minority government he would be more of a prime minister than he is now. The will to go on bearing this title for a few more months, or even a year, should not outweigh his own personal humiliation and the harm he is doing to society.”

Õhtuleht (EE) /

Cowardly betrayal of the constitution

Õhtuleht is baffled by the way the coalition is seeking to demonstrate unity at all cost:

“Prime Minister Ratas says the interior minister's statement is meaningless, while Isamaa leader Seeder is accusing the media of inflating the affair and recommends ignoring the interior minister's words. Why do Isamaa and the Centre Party want to share power with a party that has a key minister whose words they both consider meaningless? ... It will be interesting to see what the solution to the scandal is that according to Ratas the coalition is currently working on. One thing is certain: even before any solution was on the table, it was made clear that the coalition would not break up. ... Homophobia is the backbone of Ekre's programme, and it is lamentable that the others are willing to cooperate with a party that violates the constitution.”