Thursday, February 4, 2010
"I always knew he was different than other children," said Vesta Ansip, in a 1994 interview about her son, then Tartu Mayor Andrus Ansip. "He was of course physically different, but he also didn't like to play with other children. He wanted to stay inside and plot vectors, ponder equations about weight versus mass, and build small-scale nuclear engines to power the riding lawnmower he built for his father. It was the only riding lawn mower in the entire Soviet Union." Vesta Ansip said her son did take an interest in physical activities, but they centered around "pinching other children's faces in a manner which would make them writhe in pain and toss about on the floor like they were epileptic," a skill later to come in useful for his rise through Estonia's Reform Party.
Early this morning, the Prime Minister held a news conference to announce that as of March 1st he will step aside as PM in order to serve as captain aboard the Solaris Keskus. "Something about the name 'Solaris' I have always found attractive," said Ansip, reading from a prepared statement in order to keep emotion from overcoming him. "It is with a certain amount of sadness I leave parliament, but the opportunity to command a vessel like Solaris comes only once in a lifetime." Fleet representatives were on hand to present Mr. Ansip with his new purple velour uniform and shiny gold captain's bars. A fleet representative who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the fleet rejected Ansip's request to rename Solaris 'the Kirov', but that negotiations were otherwise without obstacle.
Ansip (left) in university days. Today (right) he takes Solaris' helm.