Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Political Parties Unite to Work Off Campaign Debt

It isn't often Estonians see Edgar Savisaar, Andrus Ansip, and Mart Laar, figureheads of the Centre, Reform, and IRL parties, respectively, working elbow to elbow. But for the rest of the winter both are doing just that--pick axes in hand in an oil shale mine--in order to pay off their parties' massive local election debt (seven million-, four million-, and six million EEK, respectively). But oil shale mining itself cannot hope to cover the debt, and the three-party coalition has agreed that the men will also serve as stewards aboard Tallink boats, hosts on Estonian Air, and finally, if the debt remains still unsettled, the trio will work as male prostitutes in an EU capital to be named by the court.
The court-ordered indentured servitude may carry on even longer for Mr. Savisaar, whose party still has an unpaid 25 million EEK loan from the 2007 parliamentary elections and a 4.8 million EEK debt to the ad agency Kontuur Leo Burnett. The advertising agency Idea AD has asked the courts to force Centre Party into bankruptcy over what it owes that agency.
"Ansip never did a day's real work in his life," sneered Mr. Laar, as he drove his pick axe into a dark vein underground in Kohtla-Järve. "He thinks his days as an athlete somehow counted." Mr. Ansip, covered in toxic dust, declined comment. Mr. Savisaar, for his part, worked steadily, although he was connected to a respirator. "A concession we had to make," shrugged Laar. "Even in the office he's hooked up to that thing." Laar said that he himself had done a lot of physical labor in his youth while attending malevs, which were quickly characterized as "lemonade-sipping- and chess-playing-under-shade-tree festivals" by Mr. Savisaar, shouting to be heard from behind his respirator mask.
Photo left: Edgar Savisaar (left) makes crack about Ansip's mother. Laar (center) looks on.

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